Chief Wanda Pascal was born and raised in Teetl’it Zheh. She is married to Douglas Pascal and together they have four children and eight grandchildren.
Chief Wanda worked for Legal Services for 16 years and in 1991 she was elected onto the Band Council where she served three years as a Councillor. During her first term as a Councillor, they established the Justice Committee. On July 4, 2016, history was made as Chief Wanda was elected the first woman Chief of our community, Teetl’it Zheh. Chief Wanda was then re-elected as Chief on June 24, 2019.
Chief Wanda was mostly brought up on the land by her grandparents, the late Annie and John Vaneltsi. During that time, she gained tremendous traditional knowledge and she is passing it onto our youth and others in and outside of the community.
She loves sewing, cooking and spending time out on the land with her family. She sat on various committees and is presently appointed to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Women’s Council which represents women across Canada. She also sits on the AFN’s Border Crossing Committee.
At this time Chief Wanda wants to say, “Haii cho for all of your support.”
Sub-Chief Phillip J. Kay
Phillip Joseph Kay is the son of Joseph and Louisa Kay. Grandson of the late James and Edith Nerysoo and Peter and Mary Kay. Great grandson to the late Ronnie and Laura Pascal and late Johnny and Edith Kay.
Phillip has attended Samuel Hearne Secondary School in Inuvik, NT. He has worked for many different construction companies throughout the North. He later on achieved his journeyman certificate in the housing maintenance field. Phillip sat on many different boards such as the Hamlet Council, Rat River Council, Teetl’it Gwich’in Council and Porcupine Caribou Management Board.
Phillip was bought up with both sides of his grandparents. He lived on the land with the late Peter and Mary Kay where he got a lot of traditional and hunting knowledge. His grandparents taught him a lot about respecting and loving one another. Also, sharing your harvest with each other.
Phillip wants to see the youth grow stronger with their traditional ways of life. He wants to see infrastructure grow with the band so that the Gwich’in people can have more job opportunities and most of all, work hard for our future generations.
Councillor Richard Wilson
Councillor Richard Wilson was born and raised in Teetl’it Zheh. He lived here until he completed grade eight and then moved to Inuvik to finish high school. Once he completed high school, he moved South to further his education in electronics. He finished his course in Edmonton and was then hired by Canadian National Telecommunications as an Installation Technician.
After he came back home to Teetl’it Zheh, Richard began working for the Band Council during the Land Claim negotiation years. To do a better job, he decided to further his education; so he took a Public and Business Administration program. As an on-the-land-person, once again, he decided again to further his education and took a Renewable Resource Technology program.
Through his education and management experience, he hopes to be an asset to the Teetl’it Gwich’in Band Council. His ultimate goal while on Council is to see Self-Government finalization for our people.
Councillor William Blake
William Blake, also known as Willie Blake, is the eighth son of the late Edward and Agnes Blake. He grew up in Fort McPherson until he left for residential school. Willie’s time going to school in Fort McPherson was spent both on the land and in the classroom. His parents believed that the bush life was just as important as classroom studies. They would take him out of school in March to stay in the bush and then back to school in time to write exams before the summer break.
Today, he lives at his bush camp at Husky River and he enjoys the time spent out there. It allows him to think and reflect on life and where we are going as Gwich’in people. He hopes that his experience can be put to good use in trying to help our people; especially the youth.
Councillor Stanley Snowshoe
Councillor Stanley Snowshoe grew up in Fort McPherson. He is the son of Charlie and Mary Effie Snowshoe. He is married to Norma Snowshoe and together they have four children.
Stanley attended Chief Julius School until he completed grade 9 and then moved to Inuvik for grade 10 before returning back to Fort McPherson.
Stanley was elected as a Councillor in June 2019. It’s his first time on Council for the Teetl’it Gwich’in Band Council. He also sits on the Renewable Resource Council and he volunteers with Special Activities. Special Activities is a committee that coordinates the talent shows and jigging contests that happen around Christmas and Easter time in our community.
Stanley has worked at the Chief Julius School for the past 15 years. He volunteers his time by opening the gym for students and community members to play sports as he loves sports. He also enjoys playing the guitar and singing.
Stanley loves the history of the Gwich’in people. He loves our elders for all of their wisdom and stories. He loves our youth because they are the future of the Gwich’in people and says we have to protect and guide them. He also loves the community of Fort McPherson because he knows there’s strength in being together and remembering that we come from the land and all the strong and smart ancestors that have passed on before us.
Elder’s Representative Richard John Blake
Elder’s Representative Richard John Blake is the son of the late Frederick and Elizabeth Blake. He is one of their 14 children that they raised. Richard John is married to Susan Blake and together they have six children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Richard John worked as a carpenter his whole life. He now spends most of his days at his camp, working with wood or checking his fish nets.
In 2016, he was appointed as the Elder’s Rep. on the Teetl’it Gwich’in Band Council.
A few words from the Elder’s Representative:
“I believe in protecting our Treaty, our Land, our assets, and all that the Band has to care for. I strive to do my best for all of our people. I believe that we as a people of Fort McPherson can go a long way together as one people. Thank you.”