© iStock Women of the Arctic Council: Devlin Fernandes, Executive Director of Gwich’in Council International 10 March 2021КанадаМеждународный совет гвичинов In honor of International Women’s Day on 8 March, we spoke with some of the women who work with the Arctic Council to learn more about them, what it means to be a woman in their field and their advice for young women. Devlin Fernandes is the Executive Director of Gwich’in Council International and has a strong background in capacity and leadership development and designing and delivering community-based projects. In this Q&A, Devlin shares about the importance of community empowerment, the power of believing in people and making space for diverse voices, and her advice for young women Tell us about yourself, your work and your role within the Arctic Council I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, of mixed settler ancestry, and worked in bush camps, at a university, for government and in the not-for-profit sector across Canada, including over a decade on the north coast of British Columbia. My career has been built around capacity and leadership development, as well as co-designing and delivering community-based projects focused on the connections between people, place and economy. I moved to Yellowknife, Canada in 2019 and serve as the Executive Director of Gwich’in Council International (GCI), one of the Permanent Partipants at the Arctic Council. I’m responsible for overseeing the adminstration, programs and strategic plan of GCI, and supporting our Board, members and partners to amplify the voice of the Gwich’in Nation on issues of sustainable development and the environment. Within the Arctic Council, I facilitate invovlement in projects, discussions and Working Groups. I look for ways to connect resources and opportunities at the Arctic Council with community priorities and needs, and bring Gwich’in expertise, knowledge and leadership to Arctic Council activities and decisions.