Lois Philipp


Deh Gáh Elementary & Secondary School

P.O. Box 320,

Fort Providence, NT

X0E 0L0

Phone (867)699-3131 Fax (867)699-3525

Our Community of Deh Gah Got’ı̨ę and our School

Deh Gáh school is technologically positioned to have been equipped with a recent upgrade to our Broadband Fibre Optic Service, something which we know will positively impact our tech. capacity as well as the learning opportunities for our K-12 students. Our fine Hamlet of Fort Providence has a population of approximately 800 people. The school is located bankside, with the Mackenzie River and town-center, in the Hamlet of Fort Providence, a location of both community and cultural prominence. Being positioned along the headwaters of the Mighty Mackenzie River, we are 3 hours drive south of Yellowknife and 2 hours drive West of Hay River.

Just as the Hamlet of Fort Providence has a richness of cultural diversity, Deh Gáh School also shares a wonderfully diverse school culture – student and staff population alike. Our school offers an Indigenous Dene Immersion Program experience for students from Grades K-3, ( 3 Indigenous Dene Teachers and 2 Dene Educational Assistants) while the grades 4-12 students experience the English Program. Our classrooms are double-streamed except for the Senior High Program.

In my school, we have a professional staff of 11 teachers, 5 Educational Assistants, one Administrative Assistant, and 1.5 Caretakers. While we don’t have a Theatre Arts Specialist or Music Specialist at our school, we do have a Vice-Principal, a Program Support Specialiast, a Youth Counsellor as well as an Athletic Literacy Co-ordinator. Whereas the student population approximates 50% of Dene Culture, the staff represents a comparable diversity coming from geographic regions as diverse as Scotland, Germany, Portugal, the United States and a variety of the Canadian provinces. Our school staff spans the entire wonderful mosaic that the world recognizes as CANADA, including the magnificent Northwest Territories. Deh Gáh Elementary and Secondary truly represents the spirit found between the lines of our National Anthem – “True North Strong and Free!”

Our school’s student body excels with participation in programs including Canada Winter Games, Hay River Cross Country, Kole Crook Fiddle Association, Metis Dancing, Educational Excursions to a Variety of Canadian Universities as well as Europe, the Land Program, Indigenous Handgames, School-Hamlet Indigenous Drummers to mention but a few of our student program opportunities. Our school curricular and extra-curricular program is wonderfully supported by the DEA of Fort Providence as well as the Hamlet of Fort Providence. Our school success reflects a partnership of successes with many different groups within our Hamlet.

We welcome any and all visitors to Deh Gáh, with a knowledge that such new visitors may arrive as strangers but hopefully leave as new friends, of this wonderful culturally rich Northern Public Dene School. Either we hope to see you here – or we hope to hear from you!


Terry Sapp

Has graduated high school in Fort Providence, and continued her education with the Language Revitalization Program in 2015. Graduated with a Bachelor’s of education in November 2019. She has work at Deh Gah School since December 2019. Her passion has always been to support and help mold the youth of her community.

Nimisha Bastedo

Was born and raised in Yellowknife. She completed her teaching certification and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic in Maine. She first began working at Deh Gáh School as an outdoor education coordinator, while completing a Diploma in Indigenous Language Revitalization. She now teaches high school full time and is enjoying working with Dehcho youth.

Sonia Minoza

I am Sonia Minoza, from Fort Providence, and I am proud to be a Deh Gah School Teacher. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from University of Saskatchewan, this will be my fifth-year teaching, and I teach grades four and five. One of my favourite aspects of my role as a teacher is being out on the land and submerged in nature, with our students and knowledgeable elders/teachers. I have a passion for helping all children reach their potential and love to challenge students to be curious and take chances when learning. 

Della Beck

I am Della Beck, I have recently moved to Fort Providence to teach at the Deh Gah School as the new PST – Program Support Teacher. Past teaching experience as an Adult Educator in Yellowknife, at the Tree of Peace Friendship for 4 years. I love the community and all the friendly wonderful people both young and old!

Michael Leishman

Hi, my name is Michael Leishman. I am currently teaching Junior High at Deh Gah School in Fort Providence. I have been working at Deh Gah for the past 28 years. I began as an SNA in September of 1995, my daughter Kayla was born the month before. I loved being an SNA because I got to work with many teachers throughout the years. I began my teaching career in the fall of 2007, with the help of Lois P. I have enjoyed teaching many grade levels throughout the years. I am proud to have helped many students fulfill their educational journeys and will continue to hopefully have an impact on them. Being a part of our community allows me to connect with parents and community members, which allows students to receive a more personal learning experience. Math is a subject I enjoy teaching and the students can really see my passion for this subject. Being around all these young minds have kept me young all these years and many more to come.

Carmen Gonza

I have been blessed to have the opportunity to teach in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, Baffin Island, Sanikiluaq Nunavut and now in Fort Providence, Northwest territories.

Working and living in Fort Providence has been a joy. Winter is beautiful and we are in love with the way the snow lays on the trees. The  community is knowledgeable, approachable and very welcoming.  My family and I are happy to be working in Fort Providence.

Mauricio Carmona

My name is Mauricio Carmona and I have been a part of Deh Gah school since January of 2023 along with Carmen my partner and wife. In this short time in Fort Providence I have experienced a great community with amazing hospitality. Likewise, working at Deh Gah has been a positive experience with great staff and students.  I am amazed at the level of support that students receive so that they can achieve their full potential

Edith Squirrel

Edith Squirrel: Born and raised in Deh Gah Gotie Kue (Fort Providence). I have worked as a Student Assistant for 14 years at the Deh Gah School. Making a difference in a child’s learning, it is what keeps me in this role as an S/A.

Bertha Landry

My name is Bertha Landry, Dene woman from Deh Gah Got’ie Kue’. Born and raised, now raising my own family. I work at Deh Gah School as a Support Assistant for three years. I really enjoy my job! I just finished my second year of Mentor & Apprentice Program, Learning my Dene Language.

Teresa Vandell

My name is Teresa Vandell. I have lived in Fort Providence for 29 years with my family. 23 of those years I have been working at Deh Gah School as an Educational Assistant.  My favourite part of my day is doing Guided Reading with students!

Jonas Landry

Hi my name is Jonas Landry, I’m a Dene From Deh Gah Gotie Kue. I’m a Support Assistant at Deh Gah School. I have been working for over fifteen years. I enjoy my job teaching the students. I have one daughter who is seven years old, her name is Zoe. She is my world, and my pride and joy. She is in grade two. I enjoy teaching her the Dene Zhatie language.

Trinette Constant-Farcy

I am Trinette Constant-Farcy, I am born and raised in Fort Providence, NT., I have been Secretary at Deh Gah School for 17+ years, i enjoy working with amazing students and staff


Alayna Krutko

My name is Alayna Krutko. I was born in Inuvik, and raised in Fort Providence. I am a graduate of Deh Gáh Elementary and Secondary School, and I now have a niece and two nephews attending Deh Gáh School.  

I am an employee of the Government of the Northwest Territories. I have been at my position for more than ten years. I am also the Chief Shop Steward for our Local 31 UNW membership.

I have a strong belief in education, culture, and connection. I consider myself a lifelong learner and now, I am a part of the newly elected Fort Providence District Education Authority. I look forward to this new journey as the Fort Providence DEA Chair.

Destiny Thom-Gargan

My name is Destiny Thom-Gargan. I am the Case Aide Worker for Social Services. I am from Fort Providence. This is my first time being elected to the DEA and I am very honoured! Education and community is truly important to me. Mahsi Cho!

Sydney Sapp

My name is Sydney Sapp.  I am an accounting technician for a locally owned and operated Indigenous heavy duty mechanic company. I was elected to serve on the Fort Providence DEA in December 2022; this is my first year serving as the Fort Providence DEA Trustee. I am also the proud mother of two young children who are beginning their educational journey at  Deh Gáh Elementary and Secondary School in Kindergarten and Grade 2 respectively.  My family has called Fort Providence home for the last 5 years.

Fort Providence District Educational Authority

P.O. Box 254

           Fort Providence, NT X0E 0L0

       T: 867-699-3501 F: 867-699-3525

Regular Meeting Minutes