Yellowknife city boss receives Women of Influence award

Sheila Bassi-Kellett, the City of Yellowknife’s senior administrator, has received a 2020 “Women of Influence in Local Government” award.

Bassi-Kellett is one of four recipients receiving the accolade this year from Municipal World, a magazine and website dedicated to Canadian municipal affairs.

The year’s first honouree was Annie Bernard-Daisley, a band councillor from We’koqma’q First Nation and the first woman from the Nation to lead the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association.


Bassi-Kellett, joining that list, said in a news release: “I’m really honoured, really appreciative of the opportunities there are to recognize women in roles where typically women haven’t been dominant, where we haven’t been the majority.”

She was nominated for the award by Yellowknife’s mayor, Rebecca Alty, who praised Bassi-Kellett’s “policy perspective, extensive northern experience, and understanding of municipal governance.”

“With over 30 years of public service experience in the Northwest Territories, Sheila is very deserving of this recognition. She is a ‘big picture’ thinker and takes a ‘together we’re better’ approach,” said Mayor Alty.

“This has strengthened relationships with community stakeholders, citizens, within the municipality, and with other orders of government – federal, territorial, and Indigenous.”

Bassi-Kellett is the first woman to hold the city administrator position in Yellowknife since taking the job in 2017, the news release stated. She was formerly the NWT government’s deputy minister of human resources.


Municipal World said its award recognizes recipients’ support for other women in government as both administrators and politicians.

“I know, and I appreciate deeply every day, I’ve had a handful of really strong, amazing mentors that have gifted me with their knowledge and guidance,” said Bassi-Kellett.

“I’m in touch with them to this day, going back 30 years.

“I’m humbled and honoured that someone thinks I have something to contribute to their professional development, their personal development, and I take it really seriously.”