James W. Bourque was born in Wandering River, Alberta, Canada, to Mary and Edwin Bourque on December 17, 1935. He learned hunting, trapping, and fishing as a youth. From the age of 18, he served in a variety of political and professional posts, including president of the Fort Chipewyan Hunters and Trappers Association, as park warden in Wood Buffalo National Park (Northwest Territories, Alberta), president of the
Northwest Territories Métis Association, deputy minister of renewable resources for the Government of the Northwest Territories, chairperson of the Commission for Constitutional Development, founder and chairperson of the Fur Institute of Canada, and co-director of policy for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. In honor of his distinguished career and achievements, he was appointed to the Privy Council in July 1991 and as a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 1995. Bourque and his wife Sharleen had three children. He died in Ottawa on October 19, 1996.
See also Government of the Northwest Territories Legislation (1966- ); Indigenous Knowledge; Métis; Northwest Territories
"Bourque's Acclaimed Department re NWT Renewable
Resources." Yellowknifer Weekender, July 15, 1988, p. 5 Braden, Bill, "J. Bourque Named to Senior Post on Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples." Yellowknifer, 22(90) (1994): 16
Devine, Marina, "Lives lived: James W. Bourque." Globe and
Mail, December 5, 1996 "J. Bourque Announces Retirement from NWT Govt."
Mackenzie Times, December 2, 1992, p. 4 "J. Bourque Visits USSR re NWT Renewable Resources
Minister." News/North, August 15, 1988, p. 3 "J. Bourque Back to NWT Govt." Slave River Journal, Fort
Smith, NWT, February 25, 1982, p. 1 "J. Bourque Resigns re NWT Metis Association." Native Press,
February 26, 1982, p. 1 "J. Bourque Appointed Deputy Minister re NWT Resources."
Nunatsiaq News, March 12, 1982, p. R7 Malloy, P., "J. Parker, J. Bourque Named to Inuvialuit Board."
News/North, April 13, 1992, p. 12 "NWT Wildlife Officer Honored." Tapwe, April 16, 1980, p. 17 "New Metis President Named Wildlife Officer of the Year." The
Hub, Hay River, April 16, 1980, p. 10 Saunders, P., "J. Bourque Carries on re NWT Boundary."
News/North, December 30, 1991, p. 1 Thompson, Francis, Man Who "Can't Stop Working is about to
Retire." News/North, November 30, 1992, p. A11 "Wildlife Officer Gets International Award." News/North, April 18, 1980, p. A9
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