Bertha Allen is a life-long activist for social change and the advancement of Aboriginal and northern women. She attended Grant McEwen Community College in Edmonton and completed several courses in life skills, professional development, leadership training, business development, public relations and management skills. Through her leadership as a former President of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women of the Northwest Territories, founding President of the Native Women’s Association of the Northwest Territories and former President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ms. Allen has been a tireless promoter of equality for women. A strong advocate of education and training, she helped found the NWT Training Centre in Yellowknife and Inuvik and worked as a life skills facilitator at the centre. The centre has provided opportunities for Aboriginal people for more than 20 years.
Ms. Allen has worked to improve health and social services for the North, through participation in the Territorial Hospital Insurance Services Board for a period of ten years, the Inuvik Medical Transient Centre for five years and through her 2001 appointment to the Council of Grandmothers, which advises the NWT government on health, wellness and social development issues. A trailblazer in the struggle for Aboriginal and northern women’s political equality, Ms. Allen has served on the NWT Constitutional Committee, National Aboriginal Advisory Committee to the RCMP Commissioner, NWT Judicial Appointments Committee, the Multicultural Advisory Committee to the RCMP and she was the only woman to sit on the Bourque Commission. Ms. Allen was presented with a Governor General’s Award for Commemoration of the Persons Case in 1999, a NWT Commissioner’s Volunteer Award, highest level in 1987, and the National Health and Welfare Canadian Volunteer Award in1987. Bertha Allen lives in Inuvik, NT.