Henry "Hank" Koenen owned and operated Koenen's Air Service Ltd. from about 1949 to 1975. In 1960, there was a suggestion that he was considering selling Koenen's Air Service to Ken Stockall (one of his pilots), but the deal didn't go ahead. Another opportunity for sale arose in 1961, but again, the deal did not go ahead.
Koenen's Air Service provided charter services to places all over the Northwest Territories and a few outside, including Fort Simpson, Lac La Martre (Whati), Snowdrift (Lutselk'e), Fort Reliance, Fort Rae (Behchoko), Fort Norman (Tulita), Fort Good Hope, Fort Resolution , Trout Lake, Fort Providence, Thelon River, Rocher River, Fort Liard, Nahanni Butte, Fort Smith, Fort Franklin (Deline), Norman Wells, Jean Marie River, Pine Point, Coppermine (Kugluktuk), Athabasca, Lake Athabasca, Uranium City,and many small lakes, islands, and camps. Several planes were used by the business over the years, including CF-MFY Champion, CF-IYU Cessna, CF-HCQ Stinson, CF-HBL Cessna, and CF-EPP Cessna, among others. Several pilots, besides Hank Koenen, flew for Koenen's Air Service throughout its history, including: Bud Morceau, D. McKay, Keith Silvester, Ernie Boffa, Maurice Lynn, T. McCluny, Wolfgang Poepperl, Jim McAvoy, Ken Stockall, Kenneth Gordon Hornby, some of whom went on to found their own charter services.
Hank Koenen stops appearing the in Yellowknife telephone directory in 1963, although he reputedly remained in Yellowknife until the mid-1970s. Koenen's Air Service disappears from the directory in 1963, but reappears in 1964. Hank Koenen retired to Edmonton, selling Koenen's Air Service to Trevor Burroughs in the 1970s.
Trevor Burroughs appears to have operated Koenen's Air Service Limited in Yellowknife until about 1985, although it remained a federal corporation until 1995, when it was dissolved for non-compliance.
Bern Will Brown was born in Rochester, New York in 1920 and came north in 1948 as a priest with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In his first fourteen years in the north, he worked in a variety of locations, including Fort Norman (Tulita); Fort Franklin (Deline); Goldfields, Saskatchewan; Fort Chipewyan, Alberta; Aklavik; Fort McMurray, Alberta; and Nahanni Butte.
In 1962 Father Brown was sent to Colville Lake, only a short distance north of the Arctic Circle, in the traditional homeland of the Hareskin (North Slavey) Dene. On the shore of the lake he planned and built a log church, “Our Lady of the Snows”, in what was soon a growing community of log buildings. In 1971, he left the priesthood and married Margaret Steen of Inuvik; the couple remained in Colville Lake and continued to be active members of the community.
In addition to his regular duties, Father Brown performed routine medical work and dentistry and has been a fire warden, dogcatcher, storekeeper, postmaster, and newspaper editor. He was also a prolific artist, creating many paintings and photographs, and published five books. Bern and Margaret Brown built and operated the Colville Lake Lodge as well as a small museum and art gallery.
Bern Will Brown died on July 4, 2014 at the age of 94.
George Pappas was the proprietor of Yellowknife Bakery from 1950 to 1968. His sister, Esther Pappas, married Ken "Curly" McDonald, a Yellowknife prospector. Photos from Ken document his time at the Outpost Island mine. George Pappas married Helen Pappas (nee Thom), whose uncle was Art Umbach, the Yellowknife postmaster from 1942 to 1963. Art and Elsie Umbach had a son, Russell Umbach. George and Helen Pappas had a daughter, Lynn Carrier.
The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) was created on April 1, 2005 when the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (RWED) split to create ITI and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR).
The priorities of the Department include the overall economy of the territory, the sustainable development of natural and energy resources and needs assessments regarding related industries, industrial initiatives and the negotiation of agreements for proposed developments, development of traditional economy, and development of parks and tourism.
RWED transferred the responsibilities of the Economic Development division in several units: Tourism, Minerals, Oils and Gas, Investment and Economic Analysis and the Business Credit and NWT Development Corporations (which combined in 2006 to form the Business Development and Investment Corporation at arm’s length from ITI, and ceased to be part of the organizational chart of ITI in 2009-2010) to the newly formed ITI.
The Strategic Initiative division included the Diamond Projects, Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Office, Energy and Industrial Initiative units. Corporate Management division was comprised of the Directorate, Policy, Legislation and Communications (PLC) and Corporate Shared Services.
In 2006-2007 the divisions changed to Corporate Management, Economic Development (comprised of Tourism and Parks, Investment and Economic Analysis, and the NWT Business Development Investment Corporation), and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (comprised of Minerals, Oils and Gas, Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Office, Energy Planning, and Industrial Initiatives).
In 2008-2009 the divisions changed to Corporate Management, Energy, Tourism and Parks, Economic Diversification and Business Support, and Minerals and Petroleum Resources.
The Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development was created in 1996 from the amalgamation of three separate departments: Renewable Resources, Economic Development and Tourism, and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
The Department of Renewable Resources' responsibilities included wildlife, fisheries, water, forestry, land management and environmental protection. It managed wildlife and forest resources and ensured that the option of resource harvesting was maintained as a lifestyle and economic option for future generations in the Northwest Territories. The department was responsible for the support of the renewable resource economy and acted as the management and regulatory authority for wildlife and environmental protection. Furthermore, it had key responsibilities in planning for use of land and inland water resources. It participated in a wide range of Federal/Territorial committees and boards that coordinated and advised on land, inland water and offshore regulation and management programs. The department also advised and provided a territorial perspective on other areas of renewable resource management where the primary authority remained with the Federal Government.
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism was responsible for the promotion and development of businesses within the Northwest Territories in order to create jobs and incomes for northerners. This was facilitated through the provision of financial assistance such as grants and loans, technical support and employment training programs. The department targeted development of employment opportunities within the arts and crafts, small business, gas and mineral, renewable resources and tourism sectors. The Department of Economic Development and Tourism was also responsible for the promotion and development of the Northwest Territories as a tourism destination, through marketing, development of tourist facilities and the territorial parks system.
The Department of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources was responsible for the management of the development and use of non-renewable and energy resources for the maximum social and economic benefit of the NWT. This was done primarily by securing a positive and stable investment climate for non-renewable resource development. Through competent and effective organization, the Department managed the development of NWT mineral, oil and gas and other energy resources, taking a lead role in the negotiations for the transfer of oil and gas management responsibilities from the federal government. Policies and programs were put in place to ensure the efficient generation and use of energy resources. Although the Department influenced how energy was used in the NWT, it could not determine such use. A substantial portion of the Department's budget was devoted to the Mineral Initiatives Program, which was funded under the Economic Development Agreement (EDA) in place with the Federal Government. The Department managed in-house GNWT energy management training programs, the energy management communications plan, and, at the time of amalgamation, was in the process of implementing various energy efficiency and alternative energy initiatives.
MLA Stephen Kakfwi was responsible for the amalgamation of Renewable Resources, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and Economic Development and Tourism to create the new Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (RWED) in 1996. RWED carries forward many of the responsibilities held individually by the three former departments. Priorities include promoting economic self-sufficiency and growth through the sustainable development of natural resources and enhancing the creation of new, sustainable opportunities in the traditional and wage economies. The Department manages and protects the condition, quality, diversity and abundance of natural resources and the environment. Their aim is to improve economic conditions by enhancing the creation of new, sustainable jobs in the NWT and maximize the number of residents that fill both new and existing jobs. The Department helps to create a positive business environment that will attract investment capital and stimulate investment, trade and manufacturing in the NWT. Collaborations with aboriginal organizations and the federal government create the potential for the establishment of arrangements for industry access to lands and resources.
For the 1997-1998 fiscal year, the Department was subdivided into four areas: Resource Management and Economic Development, Corporate Management, Forest Management, and Environmental Protection Services.
The Resource Management and Economic Development area consisted of the Trade and Investment, Wildlife and Fisheries, Minerals, Oil and Gas, and Parks and Tourism divisions, the Business Credit Corporation (BCC) and the NWT Development Corporation. Trade and Investment provided advice and support to business, arts and crafts, manufacturing, trade and investment and marketing sectors of the economy. They also provided support to the Business Credit Corporation and the NWT Development Corporation. Wildlife and Fisheries was responsible for maintaining populations of wildlife, encouraging sustainable development practices, providing assistance programs to promote a hunting and trapping economy, and supporting resource user organizations to enable them to become more involved in wildlife management. Wildlife and Fisheries was also responsible for developing plans and programs for the sustainable development of the fisheries resource, including the administration of the sport fishery. The Minerals, Oil and Gas Division worked to coordinate the transfer of provincial-type responsibilities from the federal government to the GNWT with respect to mineral, oil and gas resources. It also developed strategies for increased economic benefit from mineral, oil and gas development and worked with communities to realize opportunities from resource extraction activities. Parks and Tourism provided for the development, operation and maintenance of public tourism facilities such as parks, visitor centres, interpretive displays, and promotional signs. It also promoted strategic tourism development by providing guidance to NWT Arctic Tourism.
The Business Credit Corporation (BCC) was a territorial crown corporation, with a board of directors of up to 12 persons, accountable to the Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, who had the power to decide on loans and guarantees. The objective of the BCC was to stimulate economic development and employment in the Northwest Territories by making loans to business enterprises, guaranteeing loans made by financial institutions to businesses and by providing bonds to resident business enterprises. The BCC was established as an independent lending corporation, taking over for the Business Loan Fund. It is responsible for making business loans to northern businesses where conventional lending institutions are not prepared to participate. Its role, therefore, was as a blend of being a last resort lender and a developmental agency to provide financial support for higher risk entrepreneurial ventures.
The NWT Development Corporation was established by legislation in 1990 to promote the economic objectives of the GNWT by creating employment and income for Northerners, stimulating growth of businesses in the North, and promoting economic diversification and stability. The Corporation is able to meet these objectives by providing direct investment and operating subsidies to companies through one of three types of economic involvement: subsidiary companies, venture investments, and project and business development. The Corporation may also provide small contributions for businesses to develop products, markets or business plans. These contributions are often provided on a cost-sharing basis.
In 1999-2000, two additional divisions were added to the scope of the Resource Management and Economic Development area: Community Economic Development Services, and Diamond Projects. Community Economic Development Services coordinated the Department's Community Economic Development Strategy, which was aimed at stimulating increased private sector and community-based job creation activity. It provided services to the Business Development Centres as well as strategic planning, research, program management, and training support to regions and communities. The Diamond Projects Division was responsible for addressing the need for diamond value-added industries in the North, including sorting, cutting, polishing, grading and marketing initiatives. The Division worked to develop programs to address developing a skilled work force, taxation issues, financing, industry regulations, distribution systems, marketing, and security. In 2001-2002, the Investment and Economic Analysis Division was created from the responsibilities left by the Trade and Investment and Community Economic Development Divisions. The Division was responsible for providing advice, coordination and support to the business, arts and crafts, trade and investment, manufacturing and marketing sectors of society as well as a being a link to international businesses and organizations. Investment and Economic Analysis also provided support to the BCC and the NWT Development Corporation, making recommendations concerning their planning and operations.
In 1997-1998, the Corporate Management area consisted of the Directorate, Policy and Legislation, Strategic Planning, Finance and Administration, Human Resource Management and Information Systems divisions. The Directorate, responsible for the overall direction of departmental programs, consisted of the Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Ministers and the Executive Director of Resource Management and Economic Development. The Policy and Legislation Division provided policy, legislative, planning and communications support to enable the Department to respond to issues of concern to the NWT pertinent to the Department's mandate. Strategic Planning researched, developed and maintained an overall economic framework for the NWT as a basis for assessment of departmental programs and services. The Finance and Administration Division provided financial management and administrative services to the Department, including budget development and control services, financial transaction authorization, and financial reporting. The Human Resource Management Division provided staffing services to the Department, administering affirmative action and in-service training programs. This function provided senior management with personnel information, recommendations on human resource issues and the development of monitoring systems and procedures. The Information Systems Division provided access to remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS), coordinating and compiling databases for the public and private sectors. It also provided computer services to the Department, including training and support for hardware and software use.
In 1998-1999, the responsibilities of the Finance and Administration, Information Systems, and Human Resource Management divisions of the Corporate Management Section were replaced by the Corporate Services Division. The new Community Economic Development Services Division assumed the role of economic and strategic planning for regional and community development. It also provided community economic development assistance to the regions. In 1999-2000, the Corporate Management Section was comprised of the Directorate, the Corporate Services Division, the Information Services, and the Policy, Legislation & Communication Division. Policy, Legislation and Communication effectively assumed the responsibilities of the Strategic Planning and Policy and Legislation divisions, while Information Services took over the remote sensing and GIS functions of the Corporate Services Division.
In 1997-1998, the Forest Management area consisted of the Forest Development and Forest Fire Management divisions. The Forest Development Division administered the development of the forest resources of the NWT. Timber permits issued helped to control harvest operations. Forest inventories were prepared to identify the location and size of forest resources. Silviculture programs, insect and disease monitoring in trees, and tree growth research were ways in which forest resources were assessed. The Forest Fire Management Division was responsible for the provision of forest fire management services on forested areas, including the protection of people, property and forest areas from wildfire and the use of prescribed burning to meet forest management and land use objectives. In 1998-1999, the Forest Fire Management Division became known as the Fire Suppression Division. In 2001-2002, the Presuppression and Program Management Division was added to the Forest Management area. Presuppression and Program Management was responsible for supporting forest management initiatives at the Regional and Territorial levels. This included forest fire presuppression, telecommunications and systems services, forest science research and planning, training and standards and the provision of supply and services in support of the programs.
The Environmental Protection Services area consisted of the Environmental Protection and Energy Management divisions. The Environmental Protection Division was responsible for programs in the areas of air quality, hazardous substances, waste management and impact analysis including monitoring and regulating activities that may impact the environment, as well as education and research. Energy Management was responsible for the development of economic energy projects with a community focus. Program areas include energy conservation, energy efficient technologies, alternative local energy source development and community energy planning. In 2001-2002, the Program Management Division was added. It was responsible for the planning, coordination, administration and management of divisional resources and programs.
On April 1, 2005, the Department was split in half; two new departments, Industry, Trade and Investment (ITI), and Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), were created.
Bill Largent lived from 1920 to 1951 in the Yellowknife and Hay River area. Bill's parents were Charles Largent and Estelle [maiden name unknown]. In the summer, they travelled north and traded furs. In winter, they ran a trading post, the location of which is unknown to the donor.
Growing up in the north, Bill learned to speak a multitude of Aboriginal and Inuit languages, and often assisted the RCMP with translations. As a teenager he had his own dog team and worked a trap line. As an adult, he owned and operated a gravel truck out of Hay River. Here he met his wife, Judy Rabchak Geyer. In 1951, Bill and Judy sold the gravel truck and moved to Vancouver Island to be closer to family. They visited Yellowknife again in 1970, but resided in British Columbia for the rest of their days. Bill passed away in Nanaimo on July 25th, 1981.
The Northwest Territories Development Corporation was established in 1990. Its primary mission was to invest funding, received from the Government of the NWT to enhance community employment opportunities. The Development Corporation fulfilled this mandate by incorporating, establishing and operating businesses or by directing projects that would create employment and income opportunities in the communities of the NWT. It also invested in business enterprises to stimulate the growth of businesses and promoted the economic objectives of the Government of the NWT. The corporation acted as an agent of the Government of the NWT and as a public agent was required to respect the authority of the Financial Administration Act. The day to day operation of the corporation were overseen by a President; however it was governed via a Board of Directors. The corporation had three core committees: The Audit Committee, the Personnel Committee and the Investment Committee.