Our Council Chair - Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith has a long-standing interest in land claims implementation, the foundations of co-management, and how they contribute to effective wildlife management in the Yukon. Originally from Whitehorse, she earned a diploma of Renewable Resource Management from Yukon College. For over a decade she worked as the Executive Director for the Wildlife Management Advisory Council (North Slope) in the areas of conservation planning, species management, and policy. She is passionate about the Yukon North Slope and upholding the principles of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. 


Dan Rafla


Dan Rafla-814246.jpg

Dan Rafla has worked in conservation for 25 years. Currently, Dan is in the role of Resource Conservation Manager for Parks Canada’s Western Arctic Field Unit which includes Inuvik National Park, and a role that has traditionally been a WMAC NS board member. 

Previously, Dan was in the same role at Grasslands National Park, a park with a very high concentration of species at risk. Dan was formerly the Human-Wildlife Specialist for Banff and Waterton Lakes National Parks, a high-profile role with a focus on landscape wildlife corridors, habitat security and achieving co-existence. 

Prior to working with Parks Canada, Dan worked in the Pacific Northwest, primarily coastal British Columbia and Alaska, on sustainable fisheries management.

Carol Oyagak

Inuvialuit Game Council

Carol Oyagak-814304.jpg

Carol Oyagak (née Arey) was born and raised in Aklavik. She would spend half the year in Aklavik and live out on the Yukon Coast and in the Mackenzie Delta from June to mid-September.

At the age of 16, Carol was old enough to seek board appointment, and was elected to the Aklavik Hunters Association, at the time both Inuvialuit and Gwich'in. She would go on to become president of the Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee, and hold positions on several other committees, including the Aklavik Bowhead Committee and the International Beluga Whaling Commission for the Inuvialuit. From 2000 to 2010, Carol was the Chair of the Aklavik Community Corporation (ACC) and an Executive member for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC).

Following her term with ACC, Carol then decided to work in Inuvik for IRC. From 2013 to 2018, she relocated to Kaktovik, Alaska, for work and to have her son attend school there. Carol decided to move back home to Aklavik following her son's graduation and was soon appointed to the AHTC and WMAC (NS). 

Carol is still very active on the land, harvesting and sharing her knowledge. She is currently working on a license for a Bowhead whale hunt for Aklavik and the surrounding Communities, the first one since 1996. 

Marc Cattet

Government of Yukon

Marc Cattet-814261.jpg

Marc joined our Council in 2021 as the Yukon Government alternate (and then as the full member in the summer of 2022). He is the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Branch for the Department of Environment and has been in Whitehorse since 2020. 

Prior to 2020, Marc spent much of his previous career as a wildlife researcher and veterinarian, with his work focussed primarily on the assessment of health in large mammals and how human activities impact their health. Coincidentally, his initiation into wildlife research and management began in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in 1982. 

Billy Storr

Inuvialuit Game Council

Billy Storr-814255.jpg

Billy was born in Aklavik and has spent much of his life supporting his community. He is a lifelong harvester and fisherman. He especially loves to fish for Dolly Varden and grayling. His many community commitments have Billy traveling all over the ISR and beyond; despite his busy schedule, he tries to fish along the way, sharing whatever he catches. 

Some of his contributions include 17+ years with the Porcupine Caribou Management Board, and sitting on the Inuvialuit Game Council, District Education Board, and the Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee. He has also served as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Aklavik. In his "spare time" he coaches indoor soccer and other sports - he loves to see youth excel and how sport motivates them in life!


Michelle Gruben

Inuvialuit Game Council

Michelle Gruben

Michelle Gruben is originally from Tuktoyaktuk, but has called Aklavik home for the past 20 years. Michelle enjoys spending time out on the land and listening to stories from Elders in the region. Since 2009 she has worked for the Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Commitee as Resource Person, and was recently appointed to the Wildlife Management Advisory Council - North Slope. Michelle strongly believes in conservation and that we must all work together for the future.

Catherine Pinard

Yukon Government

Catherine Pinard-814250.jpg

Originally from Québec, Catherine spent most of the last 23 years in the North, including Inuvik where she worked as the Inuvialuit Harvest Study Coordinator in 2000-2001. She spent a few years in Nunavik, helping to develop a network of protected areas but eventually came back to the Yukon where she now works as the Wildlife Harvest Biologist for the Yukon Government. Always keen to explore news places, new cultures and spent time outdoors, Catherine is excited to join the Council and stay connected to the Inuvialuit and their region.

Craig Machtans

Government of Canada

Craig Machtans-814233.jpg

Craig is the supervisor of the Population and Conservation section of the Canadian Wildlife Service in Whitehorse. He has been in Whitehorse since 2013 and spent the previous 17 years at CWS in Yellowknife and as such has a good deal of northern experience. 

Most of his technical work has been on bird monitoring and conservation, policy development, and environmental assessment at local, regional and national scales.

Evelyn Storr

Inuvialuit Game Council

Ivvavik Firth Valley

Evelyn was born and raised in Aklavik. She brings vast knowledge and experience to any work that she does. She has worked for the Hamlet of Aklavik, the Aklavik Housing Association and the Northwest Territories Power Corporation in Inuvik. Evelyn served as the President of the Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee and is an active member of the Inuvialuit Investment Board. Evelyn currently lives in Inuvik.


Kaitlin Wilson

Program Director

Kait Wilson

Kaitlin has spent much of her career exploring the relationships between northern environments and the people and animals that call them home. Although she has been particularly focused on caribou, having worked on tuktu issues from Nunatsiavut to the Yukon, she is most passionate about protecting healthy landscapes for generations to come - it just so happens that caribou are a pretty good indicator of a healthy, wild place!

Kaitlin holds a M.Sc. in Environmental and Life Sciences from Trent University, where she studied the drivers of home range size for caribou across northern Ontario.

Allison Thompson

Program Manager

Allison Thompson-814279.jpg

Allison started her career in wildlife co-management in 2017. Since then, she has worked with Inuvialuit, government, and other Indigenous peoples on initiatives to support healthy wildlife populations, species at risk initiatives, landscape-scale conservation planning, and efforts to collaboratively manage species across political boundaries. Throughout this work, Allison has focused on ways of equitably bridging Indigenous knowledge with Western science in wildlife management, from research to decision making.

Allison worked for WMAC (NS) from 2018-2021. She then spent a year and a half working with the Canadian Wildlife Service in the polar bear management unit, supporting polar bear conservation across Canada and internationally. Allison returned to work for WMAC (NS) in July 2023.  

Jessi Pascal

Community Engagement Coordinator

Jessi Pascal-814276.jpg

Jessi was born in Inuvik, and raised in Aklavik; A multi-cultural community where she was surrounded by knowledge holders of both Inuvialuit and Gwich’in descent. She moved from Aklavik at age 17 to receive her Environmental and Natural Resources Technology Diploma in Fort Smith, where she began to learn about the management and co-management of wildlife, fisheries, forestry within the Mackenzie Delta. Since she graduated from the diploma program, she has worked at several organizations within the communities of Aklavik and Inuvik. She also travels often on the land with friends, family or solo. With a keen interest in media, she hopes to showcase the importance of Traditional Knowledge and wildlife habitat within Aklavik and the Yukon North Slope. Jessi is very excited to join the WMAC NS team! 

Ryan Durack

Program Manager

Ryan Durack-814242.jpg

Ryan grew up in the Montreal area and spent his summers in the Eastern Townships. After receiving degrees from both Concordia and McGill, he worked 10 forestry seasons across the Boreal forest of Canada, often travelling the winter months. These Boreal experiences left a lasting impression, culminating in the decision to relocate permanently to the Yukon. 

Ryan and his partner initially landed in Teslin, where he managed the George Johnston Museum for 5 years. He also worked as a substitute teacher, an education assistant, and volunteered as a fire fighter, eventually starting a family. Despite their love for Teslin, his family decided to relocate to Whitehorse so their children could learn French. 

It is unclear whether Ryan found WMAC or WMAC found Ryan, but he is thrilled to dive into the realm of co-management, to support Council in implementing the IFA, and to contribute to the highly collaborative team at WMAC (NS)! 

Stephanie Muckenheim

Program and Administrative Coordinator

Stephanie M 2

Stephanie moved to the Yukon from Ontario in 1997 to attend Yukon College, where she earned a diploma in Renewable Resource Management. Having a keen interest in Indigenous Culture, land claims, and wildlife conservation, Stephanie spent her first decade in the Yukon working for land claims organizations born from the Yukon First Nation’s Umbrella Final Agreement, including the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee, and Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. 

In 2008, Stephanie began her longest role to date as the Government of Yukon’s Inuvialuit Final Agreement Implementation Coordinator, where she has worked diligently to ensure the Government of Yukon was fulfilling its IFA obligations pertaining to the Yukon North Slope. Stephanie has had the privilege of visiting the Yukon North Slope and all of the Inuvialuit communities, where she has built strong working relationships with the Inuvialuit co-management bodies. Over the years, Stephanie has worked closely with the Wildlife Management Advisory Council (North Slope), and is very excited to be embarking on a one-year secondment with the Council from October 2023 to October 2024, to continue learning and working with the people and lands she cares so deeply about.