About Us


The Arctic Funders Collaborative promotes more informed and effective grantmaking to support healthy Arctic communities and ecosystems. We leverage support for opportunities across the Arctic that advance land and water stewardship, capacity building for Indigenous peoples, and community and cultural well-being.


To facilitate continued growth in Arctic philanthropy by building capacity within the philanthropic sector to support Arctic initiatives, and strengthening connections among philanthropic institutions and Northern, especially Indigenous, communities.


  • Encourage, inform, and grow philanthropic investment in the Arctic by serving as a resource and support network for new and established Arctic funders
  • Work as a collective to advance and create awareness about environmental and social issues impacting the North and its sub-regions
  • Lead and share best practices that strengthen relationship building and collaborative actions among philanthropic, Indigenous and Northern communities
  • Maximize the impact of our collective resources by collaborating and developing strategic partnerships that advance priorities led by the people of the North


The AFC is made up of Northern grantmakers who value continued and growing collaboration. The success of the Collaborative has been dependent on an evolving group of AFC members who have taken on leadership roles as the AFC Steering Committee in order to provide guidance and support to the AFC staff.


Itoah Scott-Enns

Executive Director (Staff)


Itoah Scott-Enns is a member of the Tlicho Nation and was born and raised in Denendeh, the land of the Dene in the Northwest Territories, Canada.

Itoah currently works as the Director of the Arctic Funders Collaborative where she facilitates collaboration amongst funders to support them in being more responsible and effective grant makers across the Arctic, deepen their understanding of Northern issues, and strengthen their relationships with the North and its people.


She has a degree in Aboriginal Studies and Ethics, Society & Law from the University of Toronto and is an alumnus of the Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship Program where she published policy research on the social impacts of the mining industry on Tlicho women and families.

Previously, Itoah worked for the Tlicho Government on industry related issues including agreement negotiations and environmental assessment files. She served on the Board of Directors for the YWCA Yellowknife and worked with the Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Itoah now sits as an Advisor on the Next Generation Climate Board for the Global Green Grants Fund.


Itoah is passionate about promoting and building capacity amongst young Indigenous leaders in the North to be able to strengthen their cultures and languages, and work towards a sustainable North. In 2015, Itoah started #SpeakTlichoToMe campaign to promote young people to learn and use the Tlicho language and is working to learn and pass on her language to her daughter. She lives in Yellowknife, NT, Canada with her husband, London, and daughter Setiya. .

Anne Henshaw

Co-Chair (Steering Committee)


Anne Henshaw joined Oak Foundation in September 2007 as a marine conservation programme officer in the North Pacific and the Arctic with a primary focus on grant making in Alaska. She has a special interest in building capacity for indigenous community-based conservation, co-management and international governance.

Prior to joining Oak Foundation, Anne was a visiting Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Bowdoin College from 1996-2007, and director of Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center from 2000-2007. Anne holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University and a B.A., magma cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire in anthropology.


The results of her work have been published in a variety of peer reviewed journals and international venues including the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and the International Panel on Climate Change.


Stephen Ellis

Co-Chair (Steering Committee)


Stephen Ellis is the Program Lead, Northern Canada, at Tides Canada. Based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Stephen works with Northern communities and partners to empower northerners, build capacity, and advance solutions to integrated social, cultural, environmental, and economic challenges in the North.


After completing a Masters in Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, Stephen and his wife Tracey commenced life together and started a family in Lutsel K’e, a Dene community on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake. During this time he worked primarily with indigenous communities, but also with governments and industry, to tackle tough land and resource challenges.

Stephen is a member of the Environmental Monitoring Advisory Board for the Diavik Diamond Mine and a Director for the Dechinta Institute for Research and Learning. He previously chaired the Akaitcho Screening Board and was a long-standing Director of the Denesoline Corporation and a member of the NWT Protected Areas Strategy Steering Committee. He enjoys being outside in all seasons and spending time with his three boys.

Denny Takahashi Kelso

(Steering Committee)


Denny leads the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s marine conservation team, overseeing work on ocean planning and reforming fisheries management. He has dedicated his career to ocean conservation, most recently as senior counsel at the Ocean Conservancy, where his work included Arctic ecosystem protection and science-based ecosystem restoration in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP oil disaster.


Previously, Denny was a program officer in conservation and science at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. He has also served as an assistant professor of environmental studies and the associate director of the STEPS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Policy, and Society) Institute for Innovation in Environmental Research at UC Santa Cruz, and worked as an independent consultant advising on natural resources and environmental protection issues in Juneau, AK, and Seattle, WA.


Denny began his career in natural resource management roles with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and then as Alaska Commissioner of Environmental Conservation. During his time as commissioner, he helped to oversee the state’s response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill and enforce cleanup standards.


Denny holds a B.S. in psychology from Iowa State University, a J.D. in environmental law from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley.


Alina Enggist

(Steering Committee)


Alina Enggist is the Program Officer for the Trust for Mutual Understanding (TMU) and is based in New York City. TMU supports cultural and environmental exchanges between professionals in the United States and their counterparts in Central, East, and Southeast Europe; the Baltic States; Central Asia; Mongolia; and Russia.


30 years ago, TMU’s donor’s aim was to create a philanthropic entity focused on supporting direct person-to-person contact between American and Soviet professionals working in the fields of art and environmental science. Though geographic boundaries have since shifted and countries have been added to the foundation’s geographic scope, TMU’s focus remains the same: to encourage the understanding and appreciation of languages, cultures, and values systems, both shared and different.

Alina joined TMU in August of 2011 after earning Masters Degree from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Columbia University in socio-cultural anthropology. She focused on the intersection of art and anthropology and wrote a thesis on earth art under Professor Michael Taussig. While completing her degree, she worked for Columbia’s human rights institute, Joseph Stiglitz’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and Columbia’s Arts Initiative. Before graduate school, Alina worked for the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, an organization that recognizes emerging artists founded by Jasper Johns and John Cage. Alina earned a BA degree in Philosophy with a focus on Ontology and Aesthetics from Boston College, and spent her first few years after college working in cross-cultural consulting and for several contemporary art galleries.

Charity Status

The Arctic Funders Collaborative is a project on Tides Canada’s shared platform, which supports on-the-ground efforts to create uncommon solutions for the common good. Tides Canada is a national Canadian charity dedicated to a healthy environment, social equity, and economic prosperity. Tides Canada’s shared platform provides governance, human resources, financial, and grant management for leading environmental and social projects across Canada, allowing projects to more effectively achieve their missions. Tides Canada has full fiduciary and governance responsibility for Arctic Funders Collaborative. More information about Tides Canada can be found at www.tidescanada.org.