YWCA NWT Board members:

Cherish Winsor, Board President

Cherish took part in research that aimed to better understand the living situations of Canadian low income women. Her involvement in this community-level work helped to spearhead change by engaging key stakeholders and bringing to light barriers experienced. Cherish has held positions in fund development and social engagement and is a passionate supporter of projects and philosophies where women help women. Along with her husband and five children, she now lives in Yellowknife where she works in corporate communications.

Sarah Arngna'Naaq, 1st Vice-President

Miriam Gordon, 2nd Vice-President

Miriam moved to Yellowknife 13 years ago and fell in love with the North and the community of Yellowknife. She currently works in human resources. As someone who believes in the importance of giving back, she is an active volunteer and in addition to the YWCA, she leads a running group throughout the summer and is the volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity. As a single mother, Miriam is a strong believer of supporting women and children in the North.

Rassi Nashalik

Rassi recently retired as host CBC North’s Inuktitut supper-hour program, Igalaaq. She was a welcome guest in northern living rooms for almost 20 years, covering all the important stories, particularly the evolution of Nunavut. Rassi moved to CBC from the territorial government where she was manager of the language bureau. During her career, she has been a champion for issues and events surrounding Inuit culture, and has maintained close contact with her home community, Pangnirtung. Rassi wanted to volunteer on the YWCA board because she likes to make a difference for women who need help. She and her husband have two adult children.

Brianne Timpson

Brianne has enjoyed living in Yellowknife for eight years. While in the NWT, she has shifted her career focus toward education, and the successful completion of her master’s degree in Nursing.  As a nurse, Brianne has been able to gain unique insight into the health and wellness of the people of Yellowknife, and the communities of the NWT.  She has used her professional knowledge base in a variety of ways including through an ongoing research project examining the quality of life of senior citizens, in collaboration with NWT Seniors’ Society.

Keelen Simpson

Keelen is a Metis/Nehiyaw from Hay River who now works as a lawyer in Yellowknife. She is an active community member and has been a board member with NWT Pride, the NWT representative for National Aboriginal Youth Council on HIV and AIDS (now National Indigenous Youth Council on HIV/AIDS), and a member of the Youth Executive for the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre in Hay River. Keelen joined the YWCA as she is committed to community development and because the YWCA provides an excellent opportunity to be involved in empowering Indigenous women, which ultimately empowers Indigenous children and youth and provides them with the skills and opportunities to be our future leaders.

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina has lived in the north for more than a decade and works as a consulting engineer, primarily in the environmental field. A former resident of BC, Katrina was taught from a young age the importance of giving back to her community and has done so as a Girl Guides volunteer and as an advocate for increasing the amount of women in engineering and other non-traditional professions. She believes that girls can have a powerful voice from a very young age and can be the change they want to see. As a board member, Katrina is passionate about equal rights for women and their families and is devoted to lending her voice to the important work of the YWCA.

Shelby Brothers

Shelby was born and raised in Yellowknife, where she works with the GNWT in the communications field. Shelby developed a strong sense of community and service at a young age, where she volunteered as a figure skating coach, student business committees including Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other fundraisers. As a strong supporter of the YWCA’s work in northern communities, Shelby is eager to play a role in an organization that provides a safe, supportive space for northern women and families.

Jinal Shah


Lyda Fuller, Executive Director

Lyda has been the Executive Director of YWCA Yellowknife since February 1997.  Lyda first came to the Yellowknife YWCA during the summer of 1996, on loan from the YWCA Regina, where she was also the Executive Director.   She moved to Regina in 1991 from the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin where she was the director of community development.  Lyda notes there are many similarities among YWCAs in Canada; all those she worked for had women’s shelters, women’s housing, licensed child care services, programming for girls, and some type of pre-employment and upgrading for women.  Lyda moved to Canada in 1983 from Baltimore, Maryland, where she worked for the Maryland State Medicaid Program as the director of special initiatives.  She became a Canadian citizen in 1986.  Lyda has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland, and a Master’s of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University.  She has several recognition awards, including being named a Wise Woman for the NWT, a recipient of the Cleta Herman award from YWCA Canada, the Woman of the Year at the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin, and a semi-finalist for Maryland State government’s Women Manager of the Year.  

Hawa Dumbuya-Sesay, Director of Child and Youth Services

Debby Rybchinski, Supervisor, Alison McAteer House

Kate Wilson, Director of Housing

Charlotte Henschel, Director of Finance

April Davies, Supervisor, Sutherland House (Fort Smith)