One of Our Own: Joel Holder, Director Economic Diversification

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Blog Entries

May 15, 2018

Economic Diversification may be one of the most prevalent themes of the 18th Legislative Assembly. It’s foundational to the government’s mandate and discussions about how we can improve the quality of life in the Northwest Territories (NWT).

That can mean high demands for the position of Director of Economic Diversification at the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI).

But new recruit Joel Holder isn’t shying away from the task.


He’s starting the new gig with an upper hand thanks to his 12 years with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. That experience means that he comes equipped with extensive insight and knowledge of three of the files he’s now responsible for: fish, traditional economy and agriculture.

Holder has been on the job for about a month and already he’s impressed with the potential he’s encountered. 

“There are high quality, polished products being developed in the NWT – everything from artwork and film productions to furs and preserves. So many impressive creative projects are underway and I’m excited to be able to connect with our communities and see firsthand the influence and impact that our programs and services can have,” Holder says. 

With economic diversification in the spotlight, does Holder feel the pressure? Quite the contrary.

“There is so much potential in all of these areas and an appetite locally to commercialize them. Knowing that the 18th Assembly is fully supportive of economic diversification and recognizing that they’re rooting for our success is a great feeling,” he says.

”With the Federal government interested in supporting several of our initiatives, the timing is right and the resources are there to truly make progress.”