Harry Deneron

Harry Deneron gets things done. Named Business Person of the Year in 1999 by the Northwest Territories Chamber of Commerce, this veteran chief of Fort Liard’s Acho Dene Koe Band has bravely shown his people the way of the future. And in doing so, Mr. Deneron has ensured they won’t be left behind. Only eight years ago, revenues for the companies his tiny band owned were well under $5 million each year. Then Mr. Deneron sprang into action. He recognized before many that oil and gas development in his region of the Northwest Territories could bring the benefits his people needed. With a confidence many other Aboriginal political leaders in his area now emulate, Mr. Deneron took on the energy developers. He welcomed them to his region but made them clearly understand that the days of all the energy exploration money and benefits making the long flow south were over. It was time they talked business. In the southern office towers, investors and developers soon learned one thing: Harry Deneron and his people would be true partners, not observers, in any ventures concerning their lands. Now, just a few years later, the numbers speak for themselves. Revenues from band owned companies now exceed $30 million each year. In a community of less than 1,000 people, wages and benefits from Mr. Deneron’s work exceed $7 million annually. Six hundred jobs have been created. For Harry Deneron and his people, it’s only the beginning.