Former justice minister leads aboriginal women’s group

Marian Horne comes back to the limelight, this time not as a politician but the president of a non-profit aboriginal women’s group.

Marian Horne comes back to the limelight, this time not as a politician but the president of a non-profit aboriginal women’s group.

A majority of around 23 members elected the former justice minister as the president of Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council on June 25.

Horne served as MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin from 2006 to 2011. Now retired, Horne also ran for MLA for the Whitehorse Centre riding in 2011 but lost to NDP Leader Liz Hanson.

“I never really stopped,” Horne said of her political work. She’s been part of women’s advocacy groups since her twenties, as violence against women strikes a personal chord with her.

“I had issues that happened to me that didn’t happen to other people,” she said.

She’s adamant that violence against First Nations women causes ripple effects. “Our children are raised witnessing violence at home. And the circle of violence keeps perpetuating itself,” she said.

As president, she plans on reaching out to small-town Yukon communities and training aboriginal women to set up their own non-profits. Once women’s groups exist in the communities, she said she would like to write grant proposals with them to start working on new projects.

Horned criticized the government for not providing enough money to aboriginal women’s groups. “It’s so strange that women’s issues are not important to the government,” she said, adding that the aboriginal women’s groups have historically received “very little funding.”

Currently, the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council shares a tiny office space with the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle. “All we can afford right now is a part-time office manager,” Horne said.

She would like to spend more time in the office, but said the trip from her home in Teslin to Whitehorse is difficult without sufficient funding. “I don’t get travel expenses or accommodations while I’m there (in Whitehorse),” she said.

There’s “very little” she’d like to change with the group’s programs, as the members have done “incredible” work as volunteers, she said.

Horne pointed to two major projects that occurred while she was justice minister that she says changed the way the territory deals with First Nations women.

In 2010, the Justice Department, RCMP and the Council of Yukon First Nations produced a report called “Sharing Common Ground: Review of Yukon’s Police Force.” Since then, the relationships with First Nations and the police have improved, Horne said.

She’s especially proud of the how the police now handle cases of domestic violence. “They used to charge both. The victim was victimized twice,” she said.

During her term in the Justice Department, Horne also said she worked with the Yukon College to launch a training program for teachers, service providers, social workers, investigators and law enforcement officers to foster empathetic approaches of handling people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Horne is also an active member of the Teslin Tlinglit Council. On Thursday, she helped cook for a fundraising dinner for a fellow Tlinglit woman whose home burnt down in late June. 

She credits the Yukon “community spirit” for such efforts. “We do care for each other,” she said.

Horne will be serving one year as president of the Yukon aboriginal Women’s Council.

“The louder we (aboriginal women) speak, the more we’ll be heard.”

Contact Krystle Alarcon at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision


Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read