Photo by Whitehorse Star
Yukon University’s board of governors is growing.
The Yukon University Act, which came into effect in February 2020, called for an increase from 12 to 17 members to better represent key stakeholder and rights holder groups. Both the board itself and the Yukon government can appoint members to the board.
In November, the government appointed Aan Goosh oo Mark Wedge, Gàndałêch Pearl Callaghan, and Christine Mahar to the Yukon University Board of Governors.
Aan Goosh oo Mark Wedge is a citizen and former Khà Shâde Héni (chief) of the Carcross-Tagish First Nation. He belongs to the Deisheetaan (Beaver) Clan of the Yeitl (Crow) moiety.
A former executive director of the then-Council for Yukon Indians, Wedge has acted as a negotiator for various First Nations in asserting land claims and possesses dispute resolution experience in both Canada and the U.S. He is currently a trustee of Carcross Tagish Dánna Jíli Trust and director of the First Nation Bank of Canada Board and Trust.
Gàndałêch Pearl Callaghan is a citizen of the Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC), member of the Dakl’áweidi (Eagle) Clan of the Gooch (Wolf) moiety and sits on the TTC Elders Council.
In her career, Callaghan has held leadership positions in Yukon First Nations governments and non-government organizations. She practises her culture and heritage and recently graduated with honours from YukonU’s First Nations Arts certificate program.
Christine Mahar is a chartered public accountant who has spent all but eight years of her life in the territory.
Mahar is wrapping up a 32-year career as a public servant with the government, most recently as assistant deputy minister of Finance.
In September 2020, board members elected Jason Bilsky under a provision in the act that empowers it to elect one member who is not a student nor employee of the university.
Bilsky is the CEO of Yukon Hospital Corp. and formerly chief financial officer and vice-president corporate services at Northwestel Inc.
He is a board member of HealthCareCAN and president of Basketball Yukon as well as a former volunteer vice-president sponsorship for the 2012 and 2020 Arctic Winter Games.
The board also welcomed three recently elected senate, faculty and staff representatives—Dr. Joel Cubley, Erica Bourdon and Jennifer Harkes respectively.
Cubley is the chair of the School of Science and a geology instructor in the Earth Sciences program. He is a faculty representative in the YukonU Senate, and co-chairs the academic appeals committee.
Cubley is also a director of the Yukon Stikine Regional Science Fair.
Bourdon is co-department head of the Student Success Division, which oversees most YukonU student facing services, and an instructor with the School of Academic and Skill Development.
She has 14 years’ experience teaching Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language in Poland, Mexico, France, Ontario, B.C. and the Yukon.
Harkes is a co-ordinator with Continuing Studies and a shop steward with the Yukon University Employee’s Union.
She joined Yukon University in 2006, first at the Alice Frost campus in Old Crow and then with the Applied Science and Management Division from 2008 to 2011, when she joined Continuing Studies.
“We welcome our new members and appreciate their willingness to place their experience and perspectives in service of Yukon students as we embark on hearing from Yukoners and developing a new five-year strategic plan for Canada’s first university north of 60,” board chair David Morrison said Friday.
“We are grateful to outgoing members, Julia Salo and Shawn Allen, who both represented the interests of rural communities for many years. Their guidance and wise counsel have served Yukoners well during our transition journey,” added Morrison.
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