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The Aboriginal Employees Award of Honour recognizes accomplishments of Yukon government Aboriginal public servants who provide outstanding service or contributions to the Yukon government, fellow employees or to the Yukon public.
2016 recipients & nominees
Health and Social Services
Kim has worked as a Nursing Home Attendant with Continuing Care since 2001. She started in the Extended Care Unit at the Thomson Center and is currently working in the secure dementia unit at Copper Ridge Place. The Manager of Resident Care at Copper Ridge says “the exceptional care Kim provides is no accident. It requires an in-depth knowledge of the residents. Kim is a caring worker who exemplifies a person-centered approach that is so important when working with residents with dementia. Her gentleness puts residents at ease and increases her effectiveness. A sense of purpose and calmness radiates from her that soothes residents and engenders trust, having a calming effect in return. She continually seeks out information to support meaningful quality of living for those in her care. In all of her interactions, Kim strives to connect with the clients in a way that is both personal and meaningful. Her approach fosters teamwork and her and her mentorship has been well-received by a diverse group of employees. Kim has expanded the cultural knowledge of numerous staff through her conversational teachings in addition to her advocacy for residents of Aboriginal ancestry. She is a model of gratitude, gentleness, and wisdom.
George is a First Nations Experiential Advisor with the Department of Education. He is a gentle and tireless leader in the true spirit of reconciliation, holding up and supporting non-Aboriginal colleagues, teachers, and students to better understand Yukon First Nation perspectives, history, language and culture through his meaningful conversations, demonstrations, in-services and field trips. One of the many education initiatives in which George provides invaluable support is the planning and facilitation of the Rural Experiential Model, known as REM. At REM, George ensures that rural students are offered a rich experience on the lands and waters of Yukon First Nations’ traditional territories. Hundreds of students have left REM with a lasting understanding of the important inextricable link between Yukon First Nations people and the land. George has made significant improvements to processes such as approvals of field trips for public schools and learning opportunities by chairing the First Nations Perspective Review Committee which provides cultural advice to schools. George is committed to ongoing learning by taking courses on the Tlingit language where he has now participated as a co-teacher. One of his students had this to say “George is a man of passion. When he does something, it is with his heart. He has a lot of valuable knowledge that I had the pleasure of benefitting from."
Health and Social Services
Marie is a First Nations Liaison Worker at Copper Ridge Place. Marie demonstrates leadership and innovation by working in partnership with Environmental Health, a local butcher, and First Nation groups to acquire donations of wild game from the community in order to serve traditional foods for the residents. She championed and developed the First Nation Traditional Foods program for Continuing Care Facilities. Marie works with other members of the team to organize special gatherings such as Summer Solstice Celebration, Camp Fire gatherings and other culturally-related events with Copper Ridge, Macaulay Lodge and Thompson Centre residents. Marie respects the individual dignity of each resident and brings much joy and happiness to the residents by maintaining their connection to the land, family and community thus improving their quality of life. She also supports Residents’ access to the community on outings and facilitates access to a First Nations healer for residents suffering from physical or emotional pain. Marie has provided leadership in the development and implementation of culturally appropriate programming to residents in these facilities. She strives to maintain and enhance the dignity of the people with whom she works. She is caring, compassionate and a great advocate for the residents.
Charmaine has worked as an Environment Act Inspector with the Department of Environment for over twelve years. In September 2015, she took on a leadership role and developed new standard operating procedures to help ensure consistent spill response across government. In an effort to address this lack of consistency, she became the Yukon government member of the National Spills Working Group under the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to learn how other jurisdictions prioritize spill response and determine how Yukon could best adapt an approach. She chaired the Spills Committee for Yukon, using it as a platform to engage other lead agencies and departments. In July 2016, Charmaine displayed a strong sense of leadership when she had buy-in from multiple departments and agencies on the new Spills Memorandum of Agreement. Charmaine continues to excel and is now in the process of training Environmental Protection Officers in other departments to ensure all can fully implement the new procedures using an updated curriculum that she developed.
Her nominator says Charmaine’s “commitment to human health and environmental protection is remarkable and her ability to develop and implement a project of this magnitude is a testament to her outstanding public service.”
Executive Council Office
Violet has worked for 13 years as a Financial Administrative Assistant for the Aboriginal Relations Division of the Executive Council Office. She plays a key role as the first contact for Yukon First Nation officials and governments, the Premier and Cabinet Offices, other YG employees and the public. This is an understated but highly important role for a branch whose primary function is to interact with and promote mutually respectful relationships with First Nations. Violet always provides a professional, tactful, open and friendly approach to her work. While not an official part of her job, Violet is the go-to person for any and all inquiries at the office, and is the backbone of the Aboriginal Relations office. This is not just due to her significant corporate knowledge, but attests to how willing she is to assist others. What sets Violet apart is that every day that she is in the office she works hard and goes above and beyond her role. Her consistent and reliable contribution matters, makes a difference to the people that she works with and is essential to defining the tone and atmosphere of the office.
Robin worked as Supervisor, Contracting Assets and Facilities at the Department of Environment for a year and a half before taking on a temporary assignment as Project Coordinator for the Yukon Hospital Corporation. While at the Department of Environment, Robin showed that she was excellent at building relationships with clients and moving projects forward in a timely manner, and her reputation and her positive attitude opened the door to her current role with the Yukon Hospital Corporation. The people she works with speak highly of her and all express appreciation for the great work that she does. She has been a big part of the hospital expansion project’s success in achieving a facility design that was reflective of and sensitive to Yukon First Nations’ priorities, while also supporting improved access to hospital care. Robin is proud to represent the Kluane First Nation on their Election Committee and the Kluane National Park Management Board. She also holds a position as Director on the Kluane First Nation Development Corporation. She has been an integral and very active member of her First Nation and has assisted with the implementation of many First Nation council resolutions.