CDETNO is a non-profit organization that promotes, stimulates and supports economic development and employability of Francophones and Francophiles of Northwest Territories. Together with our partners, we develop services and tools to support all Northerners.

CDETNO is a member of the National Francophone Economic Development Network (RDÉE Canada).

Our services:

  • Recruitment
  • Employment
  • Immigration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Investment
  • Tourism

We are proud to be part of the Northern development.



CDETNO was started in 2001 by a group of Francophones interested in expanding opportunities in French in the NWT.  The next year they developed a three-year plan for economic development within the NWT Francophone community.

They presented that plan at the Fédération Franco-Ténoise annual general meeting in Hay River in November 2002. There, it was decided the group should become an independent non-profit organization. CDETNO held its founding meeting and elected its first board of directors on March 7, 2003.

Since then we’ve developed strong partnerships with governments at all levels and connected hundreds of members from the NWT business community with services in French.

Board of Directors

CDETNO is run by a five-member board of directors.

Frederic Deschenes, Crowe Mackay

Fred moved to Yellowknife in August of 2010 to join Crowe MacKay LLP as an assurance manager, after 11 years of experience with national firms operating in northern Ontario. He became partner in January of 2013 and currently provides expertise on a variety of audits, specializing in those for not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, school boards, hospitals, and co-operative organizations.

Jean-François Pitre, Pido Productions

As one of the founders of CDETNO, Jean-François Pitre has made a major contribution to the development of Francophones in the Northwest Territories since moving to Yellowknife in 1982. From 1998 to 2003, he was involved with la Fédération Franco-Ténoise. As the owner of the successful Pido audiovisual production company, he is an acclaimed philanthropist of the arts community across the Northwest Territories. As one of the founders of CDETNO, Jean-François Pitre has made a major contribution to the development of Francophones in the Northwest Territories since moving to Yellowknife in 1982. From 1998 to 2003, he was involved with la Fédération Franco-Ténoise. As the owner of the successful Pido audiovisual production company, he is an acclaimed philanthropist of the arts community across the Northwest Territories. F As one of the founders of CDETNO, Jean-François Pitre has made a major contribution to the development of Francophones in the Northwest Territories since moving to Yellowknife in 1982. From 1998 to 2003, he was involved with la Fédération Franco-Ténoise. As the owner of the successful Pido audiovisual production company, he is an acclaimed philanthropist of the arts community across the Northwest Territories.

Rolland Éric Rakotomena, Explorer Hotel

Rolland-Eric Rakotomena is well involved in Yellowknife’s community and cultural life. He has a long presence in the hotel industry with international experience, Eric completed a diploma in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Since arriving in Yellowknife in 2016, he is the Director of Banquets and Events at the Explorer Hotel Yellowknife.

Ghislain Tatem, Avery Cooper & Co

Originally from Cameroon, Ghislain Tatem studied corporate accounting and worked for many years as a financial manager before deciding to immigrate to Canada with his family. He is an auditor with the firm Avery Cooper and is involved in Yellowknife community activities, mainly with Francophones. He created the Wolf Foundation which helps abandoned and out-of-school children in Cameroon and Africa, and he also runs his cleaning business with his wife.

Our Team Members

François Afane

Executive director, 867-873-5962 ext. 102, direction@cdetno.com

Trained in business administration and project management, François has over 17 years of experience in community, private (entrepreneurship) and government sectors. Before taking the helm of CDETNO, he was the connector program coordinator at Conseil économique et coopératif de la Saskatchewan (CÉCS), a sister organization equivalent to CDÉTNO in Saskatchewan and a member of RDÉE Canada. Today, he actively works with his team to expand CDETNO’s positive impact on the community and to support and promote the economic development of the Northwest Territories.

Nadine Cantin

Administration coordinator, 867-873-5962 ext. 101, admin@cdetno.com

Having obtained her diploma in office automation at O’Sullivan College in Quebec City, Nadine has more than 18 years of experience in administration and accounting. She has acquired her experience in several types of companies. She has been in Yellowknife since September 2018 and is discovering the Northwest Territories. 

Erika Cairo

Communication and Marketing Officer, 867-873-5962 ext. 105, communication@cdetno.com

Erika arrived in Yellowknife in November 2020. She has a Master’s degree in Management and Business Strategy and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Management. Originally from France, she has worked with her city’s economic development organization for several years to promote craftsmanship. Passionate about marketing, new technologies, and web designing, she is ambivalent and a force of proposal. Some of her strengths are verbal and written communication, project management, entrepreneurship, and strategy development. With CDÉTNO, she is the Communication and Marketing Agent.

Christian Fure

Economic Development Officer and Innovation, 867-873-5962 ext. 104, services@cdetno.com

Coming soon

Paule-Muriel Essebou

Environmental Project Officer, 867-873-5962, environnement@cdetno.com

Coming soon

Ghyslain Letourneau

Immigration, Recruitment and Career Officer, 867-873-5962 ext. 106, emplois@cdetno.com

Ghyslain is originally from France. He arrived in Yellowknife for the first time in October 2014 for 6 months. After traveling around the world, Ghyslain came back and settled in Yellowknife in August 2016 with a Working Holiday Visa. He is now close to becoming a Canadian citizen. Because of his personal experience in the NWT and his ability to adapt, Ghyslain is well placed within CDETNO to help Francophones immigrants with their Job search and to provide guidance with their immigration process.

Caroline Flor

Youth Entrepreneurship Coordinator, 867-873-5962 ext. 107, tourisme@cdetno.com

Caroline is a graduate of the University of Regina with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She has over 9 years of experience in accounting, both in Europe and in Canada. She is also an entrepreneur with experience in launching businesses. She is currently working as a Coordinator for the Youth Entrepreneurship Project.

Gordon Ross

Manager NWT Career Centre, 867-873-8790 ext. 111, career_manager@cdetno.com

With 12 years of local, provincial and national experience in recruitment, facilitation and labour market activities (including diversity & inclusion initiatives), Gordon has returned to Yellowknife to support and enhance the collaborative work ongoing within the NWT labour market. He has studied Business Administration & Marketing through Seneca College and holds certificates in advanced communication, leadership and career development.

Mercy Beilem

Career Coach NWT Career Centre, 867-873-8790 ext. 110, career@cdetno.com

Mercy Beilem holds a Bachelor of Arts in English. Before joining the NWT Career Centre, she worked as an administrative secretary and counselor with the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa (SWAA-Cameroon) for ten years. 

She is skilled at advising and coaching individuals on resume, cover letters and labour market information to enable you to advance in your career. To enhance her abilities to assist job seekers, her journey continued with Career Development courses. She is a Certified Career Development Professional (CCDP) through the Career Development Association of Alberta and also a member of Career Professionals of Canada (CPC).

Andrea Fowler

Administration officer NWT Career Center, 867-873-8790 ext. 110, nwtccadmin@cdetno.com

A member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation residing in the community of Dettah, Andrea brings over 10 years of experience to the NWT Career Centre. As a Graduate of Grant MacEwan’s Mental Health Aboriginal Connections Program, her work in the Community for both Private and Government organizations (Restorative Justice and Youth worker), her knowledge will help to advance supports for job seekers in the North Slave and beyond.

Rambo Landry

Coordinator NWT Career Center, 867-873-8790 ext. 114, nwcccoord@cdetno.com

Rambo relocated to Yellowknife on September 2021. He is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources candidate. He graduated with a Human Resources Management Certificate with Simon Fraser University, including a Human Resources Management Diploma with McMaster University. As a lifelong learner, Rambo is currently enrolled in a Sociology degree program with McMaster University as well. Rambo has previously worked with Nova Scotia Works, including working with indigenous governments in the Northwest Territories and Alberta. Rambo is passionate about helping others reach their full potential.

Malini Sengupta

Yellowknife Immigration Partnership coordinator (YIP), 778-318-6198, lip@cdetno.com

A progressive Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) and HR Professional with diverse international experience spanning many industries such as Technology, Banking, Education; from corporate start up environments to government agencies.

Holding a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant license and two master’s degrees focused in Human Resource from the University of Hertfordshire, UK and Global Management from Royal Roads University, Canada. Further strengths include fundraising, marketing campaigns and new initiatives management for community education and support new immigrants.

Presently, working as Yellowknife Immigration Partnership Coordinator (YIP); YIP is a community partnership focused on the development of settlement strategies for newcomers. These strategies will bring together and support service delivery to newcomers, while promoting positive relationships, opportunity, and use of local resources effectively.

Annick Lessard

Settlement Worker in Schools (SWIS), 866-823-3866, swis@cdetno.com

Mother of two children and special educator, Annick graduated from the CEGEP of Saint-Hyacinthe Quebec. Since then, she has accumulated more than 15 years of experience in working with various clienteles, but her strength is with children and their parents. As a Yellowknifer for the past ten years, she knows well the challenges of settling in a new region. With her creativity, empathy, and experience with children, she is happy to join CDETNO’s team.

Open position

Settlement Advisor, 867-873-5962 ext. 108 or 833-688-1631, settlement@cdetno.com

Sonia Kouakou

Settlement Advisor, 833-688-1549, etablissement@cdetno.com

Sonia arrived in Yellowknife in June 2019 after living in Quebec for 7 years.

She has a background in Sales Force Management and has worked in customer service for over 15 years in Ivory Coast and Canada. She also has a certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). 

She comes to us from the Fédération Franco-Ténoise (FFT). She joins the CDETNO team which now houses the Welcome and Settlement Service for Francophone newcomers. Her role is to support and direct newcomers to the various resources and services available in our community. It will therefore be a challenge for her to work and participate in the settlement and retention of Francophone newcomers to the Northwest Territories, in a minority setting. 

Together, we will spread the message that it is possible to live in French in English-speaking Canada.

Our Funders & Partners



In order to provide French services and support job opportunities for Francophones and Francophiles in the NWT, we have strong partnerships with many government organizations:

  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Young Canada Works – Canadian Heritage
  • The Department of Education, Culture and Employment
  • The Department of Industry, Tourism & Investment of the Government of the Northwest Territories



Association des parents ayants droit de Yellowknife

Association franco-culturelle de Hay River

Association franco-culturelle de Yellowknife

Association franco-yukonnaise

Aurora College

Ayni Conceptions

Centre d’accueil francophone – Immigration TNO

City of Yellowknife

Commission scolaire francophone des TNO

Conseil de développement économique de l’Alberta

Denendeh Investments Inc., Carrefour Nunavut

École Allain St-Cyr

Embassy of Canada to Belgium (Brussels)

Embassy of Canada in France (Paris)

Embassy of Canada to Senegal

Fédération franco-ténoise

GNWT Department of Human Resources

Hay River Chamber of Commerce

Inuvik Chamber of Commerce

Jeunesse TNO


Military Family Resource Centres


Northern Aboriginal Business Association

NWT Chamber of Commerce

NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines

NWT Tourism

Office Compliments

Pido Productions

Pôle-emploi International

RDÉE Canada

Réseau en Immigration francophone (RIFTNO)

Réseau TNO Santé en français

Thebacha Business Development Services

Tait Communications and Consulting

Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce

Yellowknife Immigration Partnership (YIP)