Inuvik’s Gerry Kisoun is new Commissioner of the Northwest Territories

Kisoun is an Inuvialuit-Gwich’in Elder and an active member of his community

Gerry Kisoun in a 2022 video. (Photo courtesy of Inuvialuit Communications Society)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced the appointment of Gerald W. (Gerry) Kisoun as the next Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, for a term of five years.

He succeeds the NWT’s 17th commissioner, the Honourable Margaret Thom, after she served nearly seven years.

Kisoun is an Inuvialuit-Gwich’in Elder and an active member of his community who has dedicated his career to serving the people of the Northwest Territories.

He served in the RCMP for 25 years, worked with Parks Canada for 17 years, and was the Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories from 2011 to 2017.

Kisoun started Tundra North Travel, and NWT Tourism states as well as boat tours through the Mackenzie Delta, Kisoun guided dog-team trips out from Inuvik, sometimes as far as Herschel Island, nearly at the Alaskan border.

Although he doesn’t manage the company any more (he turned the reins over to a family member), he’s still at the heart of Tundra North, much loved by the company’s clients.

Kisoun told NWT Tourism that talking about his culture remains essential. “I think we have to share those stories with the traveling public because a lot of people don’t know about our part of the world.”

Kisoun has four grown children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

He is also a dedicated volunteer and the recipient of numerous recognitions, including the RCMP Long Service Medal, the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Polar Medal.

Trudeau stated in a release: “As a community leader with a wealth of previous experience, including as a former deputy commissioner, I have no doubt that he will continue to make important contributions to the territory and be an inspiration for all Canadians.”

Territorial Commissioners are federal Governor in Council appointments.

They fulfill many of the same duties as the Lieutenant Governor of a province.

Although the Commissioner still officially opens each session and provides assent to bills, the role of the Commissioner has become mostly ceremonial.

Elder Phillip Dryneck, right, Monfwi MLA Jane Weyallon Armstrong, and NWT Commissioner Margaret Thom in blue lead a drum dance following a swearing-in ceremony in 2021 at the NWT Legislative Assembly. (CKLB file photo)

About the Author

James O'Connor
James O’Connor joined CKLB 101.9 FM at the start of 2024, after working as a journalist, photo editor and managing editor at newspapers in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. James also has experience in politics, arts, service clubs and the NWT’s non-profit sector. At this point in his lengthy career, James is thrilled to be working at such a unique media outlet and always welcomes notes from listeners at: