Jamena (James Allen) concludes term as Chancellor of Yukon University and leaves a legacy of leadership and dedication to cultural and educational advancement

Portrait of Chancellor Jamena James Allen

Whitehorse, Yukon – Yukon University announces the conclusion of Jamena (James Allen)'s tenure as Chancellor. Allen's tenure will be remembered for his commitment to community engagement, as well as cultural and educational advancement in the Yukon. Allen served as Chancellor in transition as Yukon College became Yukon University.

“This University is very unique,” said Allen, “we’ve had input from all Yukoners, both First Nations people as well as non-Indigenous people, launched this all encompassing project called Yukon University. We have laid the foundation and the direction of this institution going forward. “

Even before his tenure as Chancellor, James Allen’s leadership was pivotal in creating the Executive Development program which later became the Indigenous Governance degree program. Celebrating six (6) graduates this year, this program has room to grow and will continue to support the educational aspirations for Indigenous self-determination.

"James Allen's leadership has been transformative for Yukon University," said Dr. Lesley Brown, President and Vice Chancellor of Yukon University. “Chancellor Allen is a true champion of Yukon University, and his vision and commitment have helped us foster an environment where all students can find their path, and where communities feel a better sense of connection to the institution. I am deeply grateful to Chancellor Allen for his friendship and guidance these past years.”

Allen said he is proud of Yukon University’s commitment to Reconciliation, “The University is indigenizing the institution and is open to a new way of looking at post-secondary education. A more holistic, First Nations approach. We’ve come a long way in a very short time. I'm really happy with the direction the University is taking. It’s an exciting time.”

James Allen follows a line of esteemed Yukoners in his role as Chancellor, including Pierre Berton, T’aaḵú Tláa Pearl Keenan, Ken MacKinnon, Anyalahash Sam Johnston, Rolf Hougen, Geraldine Van Bibber, and Piers McDonald. He is the eighth Yukoner to serve in this honorary capacity since 1989.

As Yukon University works to confirm the next Chancellor, the institution remains committed to building on the solid foundation laid by James Allen. The University will continue to prioritize academic excellence, community engagement, and the integration of ethical space for the intersection of western and Indigenous knowledge systems in its educational offerings.

A Chancellor’s Potlatch will be held at the University campus on May 30th to celebrate and honor the love, leadership and achievements of Chancellor Jamena. The ceremony will provide one further opportunity for Chancellor Jamena to instill a legacy of cultural integration at the University and invite the community and the public to celebrate, dance, feast and gather in dän k’e (Southern-Tutchone way).

The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university. Appointed by the board of governors, they act as a bridge between the institution, the students, and the broader community. The Chancellor is responsible for conferring credentials on each graduating student. The position is voluntary for a term of two years. Under the Yukon University Act the chancellor is now a voting member of the board of governors and university senate.

About Yukon University: Yukon University is Canada's leading northern institution, offering a broad range of programs and courses that reflect the unique needs and opportunities of the North. Committed to academic excellence and community engagement, Yukon University provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

For more information, please contact

Misha Warbanski

Director, Communications and Marketing

University Relations