Status of Women Council of the NWT
Status of Women Council of the NWT

Council members


Violet Camsell-Blondin

Tlicho Region, Behchoko
Appointed June 2019

Violet Camsell-Blondin was appointed to the Status of Women Council in June 2016 and she is currently the President of the governing Board. Prior to this, Violet served on the Wek’eezhii Land and Water Board for eleven (11) years and was the Chairperson of the Board from 2007 to 2016. She was also a member of the West Kitikmeot Slave Study Society which conducted traditional knowledge and scientific research. Violet was the Executive Director for the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council and provided administrative support for the finalisation of the Tlicho Self-Government and Land Claims Agreement. She also held the position of Board President of the Rae-Edzo Native Women’s Association.

Violet is a Tlicho citizen, born and raised in Behchoko, and she completed high-school in Yellowknife.  Violet has a passion for learning and attained a General Management Certificate through the University of Lethbridge. She is committed to lifelong learning as evidenced by the numerous business and community administration courses she has completed. Violet has held a variety of executive director and coordinator positions and is currently the Manager of Lands Regulation with the Tlicho Government. Violet demonstrates a commitment to women in leadership through her professional and personal life and is looking forward to advancing the Council’s objectives so that women and girls may enjoy equality in all aspects of their lives.


Photo to come

Photo to come

Andrea Steed

South Slave Region, Fort Smith
Appointed December 2017

Andrea Steed is a Case Manager with the Corrections Service in Fort Smith where she has worked for over 20 years. Andrea is married with two teenage sons who are busy with hockey and as such, so is Andrea. Andrea is an active volunteer in her community with a passion for helping others, addressing disparities, and improving the lives of women.

Catherine Mackeinzo-Taylor

Sahtu Region, Deline
Appointed December 2017

Cathy was born and raised in Délįne. She has three adult children and she has always encouraged them to connect with family and their Indigenous culture. She also supports and encourages them to further their education. Cathy is currently employed as the Wellness Coordinator with the Délįne Got’ine Government, after having worked for the GNWT for twenty years. Cathy’s first language is the Délįne Got’ine dialect of North Slavey. She is passionate about promoting and using her language and encourages the young to learn and speak their language. Cathy also sews and brings other women in the community together to make beautiful slippers, card holders, and handbags from hide and adorned with beading. She always supports and encourages women in the workplace, those seeking leadership positions, and is committed to the Council’s goal of improving the status of women in the territory.

Martina Norwegian

Deh Cho Region, Fort Simpson
Appointed June 2019

Martina was born and raised in Liidlii Kue and comes from humble origins.  She has learned through experience not to take anyone for granted in her life and is a voice for women who struggle to find their own voice.  Martina is passionate about language and speaks South Slavey.  Her dedication to education is strong and she has been the chairperson for the Dehcho Divisional Education Council and participated in the local District Education Authority. Martina is dedicated to spreading the word of God as a Lay Presider for the local Catholic church and is also involved in On Eagle’s Wings, a Christian ministry program. She has also been involved with the Historical Society preserving the local history for over 25 years. Martina is a strong leader, with a quiet and caring nature, who is always helping to empower women to be their best.  

Arlene Hache

North Slave Region, Yellowknife
Appointed June 2017

Arlene Hache, a person who has experienced homelessness is well known across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut as an advocate for social change. As a result of her work in the North, Arlene was awarded the Order of Canada in 2009 and then the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Arlene has participated on several research teams and is a published author. Arlene was a founder and the Executive Director of Centre for Northern Families for 25 years.  Arlene actively participated in the development, implementation and evaluation of every program offered at the Centre. She is also a past Wise Women Recipient for the year 1998. 

Rita Arey

Beaufort Delta Region, Aklavik
Appointed August 2017

Rita Arey was appointed to the Status of Women Council in August 19, 2017 and she is currently the Vice-President of the Board. Rita is currently serving on the District Education Council as the Vice-Chair in her community of Aklavik. She was also a member of the Status of Women Council of the NWT from 1990- 2000. This was the time when the Wise Women Awards were created, Take Back the Night, Breast Cancer Campaign and Zero Tolerance; just a few creations for women across Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.   Rita has spent many years being an activist for women in all aspects. She has also been active with the Native Women as a Family Support Liaison assisting with the MMIWG.

Rita was born and raised in Aklavik NT and attended high school in Inuvik and Ft Smith Grandin College. She was employed in the Private Sector as a Family Counselor in Inuvik and opened the first Counseling program in Aklavik. She was employed for the GNWT as an Adult Educator, Economic Development Officer, and a Social Worker. She retired on May 17, 2016. However, she continued advocation for her people and is now employed for the Aklavik Indian Band as an Employment Officer! Rita continues her commitment to women in her professional and personal life and is looking forward to making a difference to the women she serves across the NWT.