Kirk is from Whitehorse, Yukon. During his two decades in public service, he held positions in the Government of Yukon, Province of British Columbia and Canada’s Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development focusing on policy, planning and legislative development. While with DIAND, Kirk worked on creation of the new Nunavut Territory and other northern governance topics. His public service career culminated in his appointment as a Yukon Deputy Minister (Executive Council Office/Cabinet Secretary, and Environment). During his time with the ECO, he oversaw Devolution of land and resources administration to Yukon from Canada, the rewrite of the Yukon’s Constitution (the Yukon Act) and the settlement of a number of outstanding land claims. In addition, in 2011 Kirk was elected to Whitehorse City Council where he served two terms. Since June 2016 Kirk has been the federal appointee to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.
In 2003 Kirk moved to the private sector as a governance consultant working at various times for environmental and engineering firms including Gartner Lee Limited, AECOM and CH2M Hill. In 2009 Kirk established northSense management consulting, providing strategic advice and facilitation services to private, public and Indigenous clients. In 2016 he founded the Northern Governance Institute with offices in Whitehorse providing wide-ranging services to Indigenous and public governments. During his time as a consultant, Kirk has provided services to most Yukon First Nations, and Indigenous governments/corporations in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. He has also advised the Land Claims Agreements Coalition representing those Indigenous groups throughout Canada with Modern Treaties.
Kirk is co-author of two books, The Yukon’s Constitutional Foundations (1991) and Northern Governments in Transition (1995), and has published numerous articles and book chapters on government and constitutional development in Canada’s North. He publishes regularly with the magazine, Northern Public Affairs (http://www.northernpublicaffairs.ca/index/).
Kirk has a B.A. from the University of Victoria in English and History and has undertaken graduate studies at Queen’s University. He has been a Sessional Instructor at Yukon College since 2012. Over the years Kirk has lectured on northern topics at universities throughout the world: Oxford, Moscow, Alaska, Toronto, York, Brock, Queen’s and Alberta.