Norman Yakeleya was elected to the 15th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories in December 2003 and then acclaimed for a second term as the Member for Sahtu in October 2007 in the 16th Assembly. Mr. Yakeleya was re-elected to the 17th Assembly on October 3, 2011.
During the 15th Assembly, Mr. Yakeleya served as the Caucus Chair, the Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Programs, a Member of the Striking Committee, and a Member of the Board of Management. Mr. Yakeleya also served as the Member of the Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight (AOC) on the Joint (Cabinet/AOC) Pipeline Planning Committee. During the early part of the 16th Assembly he was Minister of Transportation, Minister Responsible for Seniors, Minister Responsible for Youth, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, Minister Responsible for the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission, and Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation. During the early part of the 16th Assembly Mr. Yakeleya was also a member of the Ministerial Energy Coordinating Committee, Chair of the Committee on Sustainability of Rural and Remote Communities, and Chair of the Strategic Initiative Committee on Regionalization of Government.
Mr. Yakeleya, a Sahtu Dene, was born in Yellowknife in 1959. He has lived in Inu
vik, Hay River, and Fort Smith and currently lives in Tulita. Mr. Yakeleya served with the Tulita Dene Band as a band councillor from 1987 to 1990 before being elected Chief. He was also the Chair of the Sahtu Tribal Council.
Prior to being elected to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Yakeleya worked for the Tulita Yamoria Community Secretariat, was Health Manager for the Dene Nation, Executive Director for the Grollier Hall Healing Circle, Executive Director for the Northern Addictions Centre, Healing Director/Trainer for the Dene Cultural Institute, Tulita Self Government Chief Negotiator, and the Chief Negotiator of the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim.
Mr. Yakeleya is a graduate of the Samuel Hearne High school in Inuvik, the Native Studies Program at Arctic College (Yellowknife), and the Renewable Resource Technology Program at Arctic College (Fort Smith). Mr. Yakeleya also earned a By-law Enforcement Certificate, an Alcohol and Drug Program Certificate, and a Train the Trainers Certificate from the Nechi Institute in Edmonton and has operated his own business in the wellness field and development of human resources. Mr. Yakeleya has also received a certificate in Neuro-Linguistics Programming.
Mr. Yakeleya’s volunteer efforts include work with the wellness agencies, the national and territorial residential schools healing programs, and youth programs (most recently with the Canol Trail Youth Leadership Hike). He enjoys reading, Dene drumming, expanding his traditional skills, developing cultural knowledge and skills, and practicing martial arts with his his son in Yellowknife.