Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

New chancellor Jamena James Allen speaks at a ceremony at the university Monday afternoon. Piers McDonald, right, is the outgoing chancellor.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

Lawyer and land claims negotiator Dave Joe was presented an honourary Bachelor of Arts Degree at the installation of the new chancellor of Yukon University. His daughters, Jesse Hudson, left, and Jamie Joe-Hudson, were in attendance. Audrey McLaughlin was also presented with a degree.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

New chancellor James Allen presented honourary Bachelor degrees to Audrey McLaughlin, above, and Dave Joe during a ceremony installing Allen as chancellor, succeeding Piers McDonald.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

Dave Morrison placed the Chain of Office on James Allen at Monday afternoon’s ceremony at the university.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

New Yukon University chancellor James Allen, right, presented Dave Joe with an honourary Bachelor of Arts Degree Monday afternoon.

First honourary YukonU degrees handed out

Audrey McLaughlin and Daka Dave Joe received the first two honourary Yukon University degrees Monday afternoon from new Chancellor Jamena James Allen at his installation ceremony.

By Whitehorse Star on November 18, 2020

Audrey McLaughlin and Daka Dave Joe received the first two honourary Yukon University degrees Monday afternoon from new Chancellor Jamena James Allen at his installation ceremony.

A small group of 20 people gathered in-person at a socially distanced event held in the Innovation Commons at the Ayamdigut campus, while many more joined via Zoom.

Dave Morrison, the chair of the Yukon University board of governors, presided as the university bid farewell to Chancellor Piers McDonald and the chain of office was passed on to Allen.

Then, as his first official duty, Allen conferred the honourary Bachelor of Arts to McLaughlin and Joe.

McLaughlin was the Yukon’s NDP MP from 1987 to 1997. She led the federal NDP from 1989 to 1995, as the first female leader of a federal political party and the first to lead one from the North.

Since then, the former social worker has impacted communities across the globe through chairing or co-chairing international delegations to oversee the integrity of elections held in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Niger, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Lebanon, and through working on peace and social justice issues in Bahrain, Yemen, and Morocco and Kosovo.

Joe is a citizen of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the son of Harry Joe and Jessie Hume.

Since the age of 14, Joe has been immersed in the push to recognize Aboriginal rights and title in Yukon and beyond.

In 1973, he was chief negotiator in the contingent of Yukon First Nations leaders that travelled to Ottawa to hand-deliver their plan for self-government, Together Today For Our Children Tomorrow, to then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

Joe studied law at the University of British Columbia. When he was called to the bar in 1977, he was the first lawyer of Yukon First Nations ancestry.

For the next two decades, Joe focused on negotiating the details of the Umbrella Final Agreement, the historic framework document for negotiating individual Yukon First Nation Final and Self-Governing Agreements that was signed in 1993.

He then went on to support several Yukon First Nations governments in negotiating their final land claims agreements.

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.

Allen is the eighth well-respected Yukoner to serve in this honourary capacity since 1989.

He follows in the footsteps of McDonald, Pierre Berton, T’aakú Tláa Pearl Keenan, Ken MacKinnon, Anyalahash Sam Johnston, Rolf Hougen and Geraldine Van Bibber.

Jamena and Daka are the Dän k’e (Southern Tutchone) names of Allen and Joe respectively.

T’aakú Tláa and Anyalahash are the Tlingit names of Keenan and Johnston respectively.

Comments (8)

Up 4 Down 3

Sandy on Nov 24, 2020 at 10:32 am

@JC - You have to make it through grade school first.

Up 8 Down 1

Mick on Nov 23, 2020 at 5:06 pm

@my opinion

You’re bias is showing. These names are all NDPers, nice try though.
Also shouldn’t Yukon U wait until they actually produce a graduate before frivolously handing out honorary degrees?

Up 49 Down 7

My Opinion on Nov 19, 2020 at 6:13 pm

Liberal Nepotism in plain view. Unbelievable really.

Up 76 Down 9

TMYK on Nov 19, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Honorary Degrees make a mockery of people who put in hard work and money for their real degrees.

Up 84 Down 12

jack on Nov 18, 2020 at 11:42 pm

This college is rapidly morphing into another left-wing salary and pension factory.

Up 60 Down 10

Guncache on Nov 18, 2020 at 7:50 pm

Honourary degrees for a photo op. These people love photo ops and an unearned certificate to hang on the wall.

Up 9 Down 53

Wilf Carter on Nov 18, 2020 at 6:45 pm

Great to see.

Up 47 Down 12

JC on Nov 18, 2020 at 3:28 pm

And when can I expect mine?

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