WHITEHORSE, YT—Yukon University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lesley Brown has announced several changes to the roles and structure of the senior team leading the Canada’s first university north of 60.

Dr. Shelagh Rowles has accepted a three-year appointment to the position of Provost and Vice-President Academic. Dr. Rowles holds an Interdisciplinary Ph.D from the University of Saskatchewan in the field of history, public policy, and innovation and has been with the university since 1991.

WHITEHORSE, YT— Following an extensive search within the territory, Gavin Gardiner has been selected as YukonU’s inaugural University Secretary and General Counsel.

Gardiner is a lawyer who joins Yukon University from Woodward & Company Lawyers LLP where he is a partner. He supports the governance of northern First Nations with a practice focused on modern treaty implementation, employment law, policy development and restorative justice.

“Gavin is an accomplished lawyer with a formidable background in negotiation, policy development and Yukon First Nations governance. He also brings executive leadership and post-secondary experience to this new role. The University Secretary supports the effective and efficient operation of our bicameral system of governance and is vital to our journey of fulfilling the promise of Yukon University,” said Dr. Lesley Brown, president and vice-chancellor, Yukon University.

WHITEHORSE, YT— An exhibit of paintings by Maegan Garrett celebrates the beauty of the written word.

“In our world of instant gratification and disposable culture, a writer’s ability to paint vivid pictures with words is something we need to hold onto. Playing with language is an underappreciated art form in a social climate of sound bites and memes. The exhibit, Wordscapes: Paintings Shaped in Books, is my way of celebrating great writing and the art of language”, said Garrett.

Maegan Garrett is a visually impaired Yukon artist and registered art psychotherapist who believes creativity can heal and transform. It wasn’t until her mid 30’s that a diagnosis of incurable, degenerative blindness spurred her to prioritize art in her own life. Maegan is largely self-taught, and her style is constantly fluctuating in response to her sight loss.

On September 1, the Every Child Matters flag was raised and will fly for the entire month. On September 30, the National Truth & Reconciliation Survivors flag will be raised and fly permanently in honour of Residential School survivors. The Survivors’ Flag - NCTR.

FNI invites you to share your reflections on what truth and reconciliation means to you or perhaps you may want to share resources (articles, books, groups, etc.) that foster healthy discussion and thought on Truth and Reconciliation, a personal commitment to reconciliation, or anything else that will encourage healthy thought and discussion. Share them here at First Nations Initiatives' Kudoboard

WHITEHORSE, YT—This year, Yukon University students have access to over $53,000 in financial support thanks to the generosity of donors across the Yukon and Canada. The application deadline for $31,000 in student awards is October 3, with a further $22,000 available in the winter semester with an application deadline of January 31. 

WHITEHORSE, YT—Close to 500 rock and mineral samples collected from across Yukon and the western United States by the late George Gilbert, a respected Yukon geologist and placer inspector, has been donated to the Earth Sciences program at Yukon University by Gilbert’s children, Mark Gilbert and Dolly Robertson.   

Dear students and colleagues, 

Queen Elizabeth II, Canada’s Head of State, passed away today at the age of 96. Accordingly, the flags at Ayamdigut campus that can be lowered will fly at half-mast until the day following the Queen’s memorial service in Canada (date to be determined). Her eldest son, King Charles III is Canada’s new Head of State. 

WHITEHORSE, YTThree students and one faculty member from Yukon University have spent several months in Norway and Sweden this year thanks to the north2north mobility program through the University of the Arctic 

Dear students and colleagues,

My heart is with the communities of James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan, as well as the students, faculty and staff among us who have ties to Saskatchewan, following the unspeakable actions that have left 10 dead and many injured in those communities.  

It is right to be shocked by such news and right to feel upset. Many of us feel grief for these communities even though we may not have direct connection to them.  

Whitehorse, Yukon – The Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship has released a Draft Summary Reconnection Vision and Action Plan (RVAP) for Engagement along with a short film about the plan and an engagement survey to hear from northerners about their relationship to reconnection in their lives and communities.

The 20-month Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship is comprised of 13 Yukon First Nations youth fellows from across the territory and aims to decolonize climate policy in the North by empowering youth to lead the charge.

Kwanlin (Whitehorse), YukonWater and wastewater operators play a critical role in ensuring drinking water safety by helping to prevent and reduce risks to water and wastewater systems. Access to ongoing training, mentoring and support is key to building First Nations’ capacity to manage water systems, and recruit and retain qualified water operators.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and Yukon University today announced a new program delivery model to enhance water and wastewater operator training and support in the region.

This week, I watched as Indigenous people from across Canada received words of recognition and apology for years of torture and abuse experienced in residential schools across Canada. I watched as tears fell on faces and as single arms were raised high into the air, and I saw that in seeking what is right, Indigenous people once again showed what it means to act with bravery, and with courage and with unbreakable spirit and indomitable resolve.

I respect that the words delivered this week have landed differently amongst those who are scarred by the actions of the Catholic Church and I respect that recognition and apology can feel like a trite offering to a history of abhorrent physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and sexual abuse; after a history of cultural genocide.