Territorial Ethics Committee (TEC)

    About the Territorial Ethics Committee

    The Territorial Ethics Committee “The Committee” was recently formed in 2019. The purpose of The Committee is to  review ethical issues, dilemmas and concerns related to health and social services in the Northwest Territories. The Committee provides guidance, recommendations and consultation to employees and patients/residents as required. Additionally, The Committee provides guidance and support to the development of procedures and/or processes that may have ethical implications for patients or families.

    The committee is composed of an Ethicist, staff members from the NTHSSA, Hay River Health and Social Services Authority, Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency, and patient/citizen advisors. 

    What can the Territorial Ethics Committee do for you?

    Facing a difficult health care decision? Help is available for patients, family members and health professionals:

    • What if I'm asked to receive or provide care that compromises my beliefs or values?
    • What's the right care decision for a family member who can no longer express a choice?
    • How can I choose the right thing to do?

    The Committee conducts confidential case consultations in response to requests from staff, physicians, patients and their families. The confidential case consultations are conducted following the Territorial Ethics Committee Framework.

    How to get help with an ethical decision

    There are three different ways to access the Territorial Ethics Committee.

    Call the Chair of the Territorial Ethics Committee, Mr. Fraser Lennie. His phone number is (867) 767-9106 ext 40098.
    Email us  NTHSSA_Ethics@gov.nt.ca Note: Any patient, family member or health care provider can ask the Ethics Committee for help. No referral is needed, and all consultations are completely confidential.

    More about the Ethics Committee

    The Ethics Committee provides support, outlines options, and helps you and the health care team make a decision. Examples:

    • Issues of confidentiality and patient privacy
    • Appropriate levels of medical treatment or intervention
    • When and how issues around death and dying should be addressed
    • Patient autonomy and informed consent
    • Clarification of policy issues and concern

    Committee Members


    Ruth Anne Blake

    Regional Manager, Child and Family Services - Beaufort Delta

    Ruth Anne was born and raised in Fort McPherson, NT and is of Gwich’in/Slavey/Irish descent. She has lived in the north all of her life, with the only exception being when she engaged in educational pursuits. Ruth Anne joined the BDHSSA in 1999 first as a practicum student, then as a Community Social Worker. In 2007, she returned to graduate studies and obtained a Master in Social Work in 2009, based on her research project focused on Gwich’in perspectives on death and dying. Ruth Anne holds a BISW from the University of Regina. She also has a Diploma in Social Work from Aurora College.

    Ruth Anne served as the Regional Manager of Income Security for the Beaufort Delta Region under a transfer assignment for one year. She also held the position of Manager of Social Services for Inuvik/High Arctic, and as a Director of Social Programs. Currently she is the Regional Manager of Child and Family Services in the Beaufort Delta Region. Ruth Anne is very passionate about the work she does, and brings an Indigenous perspective to the health and social services field.

    Heather Fikowski

    Oncology Social Worker, NTHSSA Cancer Navigation Program

    Heather Fikowski is a registered social worker originally from Alberta but has spent the last 19 years practicing in the NWT, most recently working with the Cancer Navigation Program as the Oncology Social Worker. She is honoured to learn from and be a part of the Territorial Ethics Committee. Heather hopes to bring her professional experience to the committee work, including medical social work, counselling, social work educator, family violence research, as well as mental health and addictions program and policy development.  She loves the north and appreciates getting to raise her children up here with her partner. They all enjoy being outside as much as possible, camping and biking in the summer, and skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.

    Mireille Hamlyn

    Chief Operating Officer- Sahtu Region



    Erin Griffiths

    Chief Executive Officer- Hay River Heath and Social Services Authority



    Sarah Hyde


    Manager of Mental Health and Wellness for the Tlicho Region


    Sarah came to the Northwest Territories from Northern Ontario in 2015. She has worked with the Tlicho Community Services Agency in various roles before starting her current position of Manager of Mental Health and Wellness for the Tlicho Region.

    Sarah completed her Master of Social Worker from Dalhousie University in 2018 and has a Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work from Laurentian University, and Bachelor of Arts – Sociology from Nipissing University.

    Since coming to the North, Sarah has had opportunity to travel and continue her education and enjoy the outdoor activities that the North is known for. She joined the Territorial Ethics Committee as of 2020 and enjoys being able to speak with others who have a great deal of knowledge and backgrounds to expand her understanding of issues that are pertinent to Northern communities.

    Kyla Kakfwi-Scott

    Director of Community, Culture and Innovation, NTHSSA

    Kyla Kakfwi Scott is the Director of Community, Culture and Innovation with the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services. In this role she leads the system’s Primary Health Care Reform initiative – advancing cultural safety and anti-racism, innovation, public participation, and addressing the social determinants of health as guided by the wisdom of Indigenous peoples and communities.

    Kyla’s leadership career has spanned over 20 years and includes diverse experience in the public, private, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors at scales ranging from the grassroots community level to territorial, national, and multi-national initiatives. She has contributed to the creation of several innovative organizations and collaborations over the last decade, including the NWT On the Land Collaborative, Dene Nahjo, the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, and the Arctic Inspiration Prize. She holds a Masters of Public Administration from Dalhousie University, and is an alumna of the Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship. Her work has been recognized with a Premier’s Award for Collaboration, and the ECE Minister’s Cultural Circle Award.

    Kyla is K’asho Got’ine – originally from Fort Good Hope, born and mostly raised in Yellowknife – and married into a large Tłı̨chǫ family.

    Rob Krushel

    Obstetrics/ Gynecology, NTHSSA


    I have been working as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist in the Northwest Territories for 17 years. I trained in Alberta and Newfoundland.  I have worked in a wide variety of health systems, including the United States, Alberta, and the Maritimes, but I particularly enjoy the diversity and the unique challenges of working in the North.  I especially appreciate the hard work, dedication, and ingenuity exhibited by the Territorial health care providers.

    My interests include informed decision making, patient safety, and health care economics.

    Fraser Lennie

    Territorial Manager- Quality & Best Practice

    Fraser Lennie is the Chair of the Territorial Ethics Committee and the Acting Director of the Quality, Risk, and Client Experience Division with the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority. Fraser is Indigenous to the North and his family’s heritage is rooted in the Sahtu Region. Fraser is a northern graduate of the University of Victoria’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program offered through Aurora College. He went on to complete his Acute Critical Care Nursing Certificate from Mount Royal University and most recently completed a Master of Leadership  (Health Specialization) from Royal Roads University in BC. Fraser loves living in the north, spending time with his spouse and family, and spending as much time outdoors as possible.

    Gary Lepine

    Clinical Ethicist, Alberta Health Services

    Dr. Gary Lepine is a Clinical Ethicist with Alberta Health Services, primarily supporting the Rockyview General Hospital, South Health Campus, and the South Zone of the province. Gary is Chairman of the Board at New Heights School & Learning Services, a Calgary school for children on the autism spectrum. Gary is also the founder of Concord Professional Development Inc., a company that offers training in professional ethics, workplace environment, and organizational culture. He has an interest in advanced care planning and has offered educational opportunities to the general public on this theme.

    Glenn McPhee

    Quality & Risk Manager - Hay River Health & Social Services Authority

    Currently working in the role as Quality & Risk Manager for the Hay River Health & Social Services Authority Glen previously worked as a Human Resources Officer and Quality Assurances Analyst.  Glen holds a Certified Professional Human Resources Designation (CPHR) and along with his human resources background Glen had worked with the Federal Government as a Quality Program analyst in various departments including the Canada Student Loans Program, Service Canada and Citizenship & Immigration. Glen has always been a lifelong learner taking advantage of many training opportunities including obtaining a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Communication from the University of Cape Breton and various certifications in Leadership, Project Management, Creating Self Directed E-learning, and Instructional Techniques. Glen is currently working on finalizing his Executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and completing the Quality & Safety Programs through HealthCareCAN.

    Susan Peffer

    Resolution Health Support Worker - Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 

    Susan Peffer

    Susan Peffer was born in Aklavik to her parents are George and Martha Harry, and she was raised and attended school in Inuvik. She loved hearing stories about her grandparents and her parents’ travels when they were younger, and she enjoys family gatherings and travelling to her family’s camp in the summer time. She began her career at the Native Women’s Center where she did 6 months of life skills. Despite being very nervous and insecure during her training period at her first job, with help and lots of encouragement from the team leader and her peers she went on to accept the position as a counsellor. There she worked for a year before returning to school and completing the Teacher Education Program Diploma in Inuvik. She taught primary grades for three years and later moved back to Inuvik with her family. She is currently working with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation as a Resolution Health Support Worker, and she feels so fortunate in this job to have the opportunity to help someone identify and find the best parts of their selves. Susan has learned to always look for the goodness in others because it is there that you can find peace

    Delphine Pierrot

    Community Heath and Social Services Worker

    Delphine Pierrot is an aboriginal woman that was born and raised in Fort Good Hope, NT. She has been working with the Government of the Northwest Territories for the past fifteen consecutive years in various capacities. Most recently she worked in Fort Simpson, NT, for two years as a social worker, and then was hired back into the Sahtu in 2018. Delphine is an accomplished Social Worker from Aurora College in Yellowknife, NT. Her caseload with NTHSSA includes Sahtu families, children, youth, foster families, and Out of Territory Residential facilities intakes. Delphine comes to the Territorial Ethics Committee with a wealth of work experience and knowledge from her background in Social Work. Delphine is excited to work closely with the Territorial Ethics Committee for the next three years; she looks forward to sharing and gaining knowledge in this capacity.

    Dale Loutit

    Dale Loutit – Public Representative

    Dale Loutit is a Public Representative from Hay River. Her passion lies with Community Wellness, with both her education and work experience in alignment through recreational pursuits. Along with various work experience, education certificates, and professional development initiatives, she also has a diploma in Recreation Tourism and Community Development, and a Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services. She is Indigenous to the Northwest Territories, having been born and raised in Hay River, and is happy to be raising her daughter in the same community she calls home. She very much looks forward to further developing her personal and professional experiences in the North

    Alexander Pryor

    Rector, Anglican Church in Fort Smith

    Born to a family of fishermen in a small community on the coast of Newfoundland, Fr. Alex Pryor is a life-long teacher, musician, and community organizer. He completed his B.Mus. at Memorial University of Newfoundland in pipe organ and choral conducting, with intensive studies at Westminster Choir College and the RCO/St. Giles Organ School in London (UK). This was followed by a B.Mus.Ed. in Classroom, Choral, and Instrumental music, with an emphasis on curriculum development and ensemble pedagogy.  After briefly teaching high school at a public Arts Specialist College in Essex (UK), he then entered seminary at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Wisconsin in 2011, earning his Master of Divinity in May 2014, before ordination as an Anglican priest.  His thesis examined the creation of shared meaning and group identity through musical practices.  Elected to the faculty of Nashotah House as Instructor in Church Music in 2016, during his tenure he also held the positions of Director of Residential Life and Coordinator of Marketing & Student Recruitment, together with overseeing a major capital project.  Alex became Rector (senior pastor) of the Anglican Church in Fort Smith in 2019, and is Co-Chair of the Education Committee for the Diocese of the Arctic.