Rooted in Dene values, Det’on Cho Management wins national award

Det’on Cho Management is the first winner from any of the three territories.

Det'on Cho Management becomes first ever winner of Canada's Most Admired award, from the North. (Photo courtesy of Paul Gruner)

Det’on Cho Management becomes one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures for 2020.

For over 30 years, De’ton Cho management has worked alongside the Yellowknives Dene First Nation in securing jobs and economic stability for Indigenous communities in the North.

This year, the added challenge of a pandemic was unforeseen.

“Operating during a pandemic is not easy,” says Paul Gruner, president and CEO of Det’on Cho Management.

“There’s no textbook,” for this kind of thing, he adds.

Gruner attributes the success of his company to his team’s swift action in handling its COVID-19 response, together.

He says the company has been on a journey for the past five years. At that time hiring a new board of directors.

Det’on Cho Management is rooted in Dene values and celebrates its distinct contributions to corporate culture, Gruner says.

“Det’on Cho Management LP is the first winner from any of the three territories,” says Lindsay George, spokesperson for Waterstone Human Capital, founder of the award. “And they are one of only a handful of Indigenous organizations to have won the award.”

“It’s a big milestone for us,” says Gruner, “the future looks promising.”

This award recognizes the finest Canadian organizations in corporate culture and performance.

Currently, Det’on Cho Management is looking at alternative ways to generate revenue as the Diavik Diamond mine is expected to expire in 2025, he says.

Many northerners rely heavily on the mining industry, he says corporations and First Nations governments will come together to strategize their next steps to ensure stability.

“The future is based on indigenous business being successful,” he says, “[it’s in] everybody’s best interests that we work to make sure that happens.

“We will continue to look for opportunities to partner with local and Indigenous businesses for the work involved in closure,” says Matthew Klar spokesperson for Diavik Diamond mine.

This is the 17th year of Canada’s Most Admired Cultures awards.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108