Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox, PhD grew up in Inuvik, NT, graduating from Samuel Hearne Secondary School. She went on to earn a BA in Political Science at the University of Alberta, including an exchange year at the University of Plymouth, England. She completed her MA in Political Science at the University of Alberta, and has since worked for Indigenous peoples’ organizations in the NWT on self government and related political development initiatives. She received a PhD from Cambridge University during 2005, where she was supported by a full scholarship as Magdalene-Donner Scholar in North American Studies, was a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, and a Major Scholar at Magdalene College during her studies.
Her second book, Finding Dahshaa: Self Government, Social Suffering, and Aboriginal Policy in Canada (UBC Press, 2009) is the result of over a decade of a combination of academic research and experience working on self government negotiations in the NWT. It was nominated for book awards with both the Canadian Political Science Association and the Canadian History Association.
Based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Stephanie holds appointments as Adjunct Research Professor with the University of Carleton School of Public Policy and Administration and with the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, and Research Associate at the Stefansson Arctic Institute, Iceland. An independent scholar, and practitioner in the areas of governance and socioeconomic development, she has provided governance advisory and research services to organizations and communities in the Northwest Territories and across Canada for the past two decades. She is regularly invited to universities, conferences and events across Canada and around the world as a keynote and plenary speaker, participating in events sponsored by institutions such as the Munk School at the University of Toronto, the Gordon Foundation and Jane Glassco Fellowship Program, the Trudeau Foundation, the Arctic Council, the Government of Iceland, the Smithsonian, the Tlicho Government, TEDx, and many others.
Stephanie owns Fox Consulting Ltd, providing expertise on governance, multi-party stakeholder collaborative initiatives, and organizational design in cross-cultural and organizational change contexts. After a decade working as Governance Advisor on the team that negotiated the self government Treaty-based Deline Got’ine Government, she led its’ establishment as Implementation Director. She continues to work with NWT Indigenous governments as a governance advisor. Over the last two decades she has held various SSHRC, CIHR and other grants from government and private funders to convene academic/community conferences and conduct research projects with Indigenous peoples’ and non-government organizations in the NWT.
Active in her community as a volunteer, she is also an Editorial Board member of Northern Public Affairs Magazine, and is a board member of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies. She lives in Yellowknife with her husband and two sons.