Dave Porter is a member of the Kaska Nation, whose traditional territory covers a large part of northeastern British Columbia and southeastern Yukon. He spent the first seven years of his life on a trapline near Good Hope Lake, B.C. His education included Confederation College in Thunder Bay and Pre-Law at the University of British Columbia. Porter was founding Chairman of Northern Native Broadcasting, Yukon. He was also elected as Vice-Chair of the Council for Yukon Indians through two terms from 1978 to 1982.

In 1982, Porter was elected to the Yukon Legislature and became Deputy Premier upon re-election in 1985. He has also served as Minister of Renewable Resources, Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and Minister Responsible for Constitutional Devolution. After leaving the Legislature, Porter was named Executive Director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission, then Deputy Minister of Culture and Communications for the Government of the Northwest Territories. In the 1990’s Porter served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for the British Columbia government.

In 2002, Porter was elected Chair of the Kaska Dena Council, with a special commitment to preserve Kaska culture and create greater opportunity for Kaska youth. Porter was first elected to the three-member political executive of the First Nations Summit, the Summit Task Group, in June 2004, and was re-elected in June 2006 to a second term. Porter is currently the CEO for the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council and President of the Dena Kayeh Institute (DKI).