Who We Are
The Giant Mine Oversight Board was established as a condition of the Giant Mine Remediation Project Environmental Agreement.
This multi-party agreement was signed on June 9th, 2015 by the Government of Canada, Government of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, North Slave Métis Alliance, Alternatives North and the City of Yellowknife. Incorporated under the Societies Act of the Northwest Territories, the Giant Mine Oversight Board is established as an independent entity administered by a six-member Board of Directors.
The Board has a storefront office located downtown Yellowknife, NT for both its administrative function as well as for the distribution of public information about the activities of the Giant Mine Oversight Board and the Giant Mine Remediation Project.
Board of Directors
Ginger Stones has more than 30 years of experience working in the Canadian Federal Government and in the Canadian private sector. Her last position with the Federal Public Service was that of Director General Environment for the Department of National Defence. Ginger has in depth knowledge and experience in managing a variety of clean-ups under the Federal program for contaminated sites. While at DND, she was involved in the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line clean-up in the Arctic. This was a $583 Million multi- year clean- up of 21 former radar sites.
David Livingstone has worked in the north for nearly forty years and has made Yellowknife his home since 1987. He worked in several departments during his 33 year career with the federal government, holding different responsibilities but always focused on environmental and resource development issues in the north. Since leaving the federal government in 2009 Livingstone has been engaged in a wide range of environmental stewardship projects in the NWT, Nunavut and internationally. In 2011, he was awarded the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s Massey Medal for outstanding achievement in Canadian geography, specifically his work in the NWT. He is the only Northern resident to have received this award in its 57-year history.
Ken was born in Yellowknife and grew up out at the Giant campsite. His family has a long history of working and living at Giant. Ken holds diplomas in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and was the first environmental technician at Giant in the 1970’s. His career included time with Fisheries and Oceans when he travelled and worked throughout the Central Arctic spending time in many small communities. He went on to become a hazardous substance/contaminated site specialist with the GNWT then managed the environmental protection services until he retired in 2011. Working in both industry and public service with people from across the North has helped him develop a balanced perspective.
Tony Brown, M.Sc., P.Eng.
Tony is a Civil Environmental Engineer licensed to practice engineering in the Northwest Territories. He has twenty-one years of professional experience across a variety of disciplines, with a particular focus on northern contaminated sites management. His work typically includes the provision of strategic advice on: site characterization studies, preliminary options analysis, logistical planning, regulatory affairs, development of remedial options and Remediation Action Plans and post-remediation monitoring.
Dr. Kathleen Racher
After completing a Ph.D. in chemistry and several years of post-doctoral research, Kathy came to Yellowknife in 2000 to pursue a career in environmental science. In her roles as manager of the Taiga Environmental Lab and the Water Resources Division at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), as Technical Director for the Land and Water Boards (LWBs) and now as a private consultant, Kathy has performed technical reviews of mining related water licence applications, environmental assessment reports, management plans, aquatic monitoring plans and closure plans for all of the major mining projects in the NWT since 2004.
Dr. Ken Froese
Dr. Froese is an environmental health scientist with more than 22 years of professional experience since completing his PhD in Germany. He is designated as a Professional Chemist in Alberta and British Columbia. Dr. Froese is the owner and principal consultant of GatePost Risk Analysis; he also an Adjunct professor in Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary where he teaches Environmental Health. Dr. Froese’s experience includes environmental chemistry and drinking water research, teaching, and numerous scientific publications and conference presentations. He has led and performed simple to complex risk assessments, critical reviews, research and policy development, serving First Nations, community groups, provincial and federal governments, and various clients in oil and gas, mining, and utilities. Dr. Froese approaches community environmental health issues from a broad perspective that combines risk-based methods with systems thinking, because the issues are typically complex and require different solutions for different communities.
Vision, Mission, Mandate
The remediation of the Giant Mine site, including the subsurface, is carried out in a manner that is environmentally sound, socially responsible and culturally appropriate.
The Giant Mine Oversight Board independently monitors, promotes, advises and broadly advocates the responsible management of the remediation of the Giant Mine site. It also manages a research program focused on finding a permanent resolution for the management and disposal of the arsenic trioxide stored underground at the Giant Mine site.
The Environmental Agreement requires that the Oversight Board:
- review and make recommendations regarding the annual report from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), the Status of the Environment report and the 20-year Independent Project Review report;
- participate in and provide advice regarding the process followed by the GNWT and INAC for assessing options for the management of Baker Creek;
- manage a research program focused on finding a permanent solution for dealing with arsenic trioxide stored underground at the Giant Mine;
- promote public awareness of itself, the Environmental Agreement and the Board’s roles under the Agreement;
- establish a publicly accessible repository of records that it considers relevant to its responsibilities;
- provide all its reports and evaluations to the Parties to the Environmental Agreement and make them available to the public; and
- issue a report and hold a public meeting annually.
The Giant Mine Remediation Project Environmental Agreement is a multi-party agreement signed on June 9th, 2015 by the Government of Canada (INAC), Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), Yellowknives Dene First Nation, North Slave Métis Alliance, Alternatives North and the City of Yellowknife.
The intent of the Agreement is laid out in Section 2.1 as follows:
- to provide for the establishment, roles and funding of an independent oversight body for the Project, and establish or give effect to the rights and responsibilities of the Parties who signed the agreement, relating to the independent oversight body;
- to support the development of a coordinated approach to the implementation of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act Measures, the Co-Proponents’ Commitments and the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act Suggestions;
- to facilitate collaboration among the Parties who signed the Agreement; and
- to build public confidence in the Giant Mine Remediation Project and enhance transparency and accountability in relation to the Giant Mine Remediation Project.
Executive Director – Ben Nind
Ben has called Yellowknife home since 1967. He holds a B.A. in Law and Political Science and is currently the Executive Director of the Giant Mine Oversight Board. With gained experience in community engagement, facilitation and cross cultural communications, he has held positions in both the territorial and federal government as well as with the private sector. Recent positions have been with the constituency office for the Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories and as Executive Director of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre.
Office Administrator – Letitia Pokiak
After returning to the North, Letitia worked in the Environment Division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, GNWT, where she began to work on the Giant Mine file. She supported the establishment of the Giant Mine Oversight Board in her role as Secretariat, and has been employed with the GMOB since April 2016. She previously worked in the Aboriginal Education Services for the Comox Valley, School District No. 71. With her background in Anthropology, she has worked on a number of archaeological projects in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, notably the 2010 Archaeological Survey in Aulavik National Park, which received the Excellence Award from Parks Canada.