Sharon Firth

Youth and Volunteer Leadership Specialist, Municipal and Community Affairs, Government of Northwest Territories


School of Public Health

Youth and Volunteer Leadership Specialist, Municipal and Community Affairs, Government of Northwest Territories



I have firsthand knowledge of the struggles Aboriginal youth face and am committed to promoting the development of programs and services that promote positive self-esteem, self-awareness, healthy choices and positive lifestyles for youth.

As an advisor with Municipal and Community Affairs, I support the Government of the Northwest Territitories in its delivery of programs that improve quality of life and wellness in 33 communities across all five regions of the Northwest Territories.

I provide advice on youth program and service delivery, assist in the development of partnerships for cooperative youth initiatives, support organizations in raising awareness of the needs of youth in the Arctic, coordinate youth functions and encourage youth involvement. I also instruct and promote cross-country skiiing in schools, drawing on my experiences and skills as an athlete and four-time Olympian.

Speaking at events across the Northwest Territories and Canada, I share a message of motivation and excellence, as well as the principles and values I drew upon as a female Aboriginal athlete to achieve success. I recognize that I am a voice for our people, and I carry this responsibility in high esteem and revered dignity and honour.

In my role with the School of Public Health, I provide orientation for students completing their practicum in Yellowknife and support, as a knowledge user, to faculty embarking on research programs that focus on youth wellness and sport.

Degrees and certifications

Leadership Breakthrough (I and II) and Power Communication, Rapport Leadership International, 2012

Leadership Certificate Program, Vancouver Community College, 2007

Indigenous Women in Leadership certificate, The Banff Centre, 2006


Honorary Doctorate of Laws, University of Alberta, 2017

Inductee, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, 2015

Inductee, Northwest Territories' Sport Hall of Fame, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012

Inductee, Banff Sports Hall of Fame, 2008

National Aboriginal Achievement Award (Sports), 2005

Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002

Inductee, Canadian Ski Museum and Skiing Hall of Fame, 1990

Member, Order of Canada, 1987

Northwest Territories Commissioner's Award, 1981

John Semmelink Memorial Award, Canadian Amateur Ski Association, 1972