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New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17
Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months.

In a Jan. 15 statement, the university noted that under the Yukon University Act, which came into effect in 2020 as the school was transitioning from a college to a university, the required number of board members increased from 12 to 17 “to better represent key stakeholder and rights holder groups.”

Aan Goosh oo Mark Wedge, Gàndałêch Pearl Callaghan, and Christine Mahar were the most recent appointments in November to the Yukon University Board of Governors.

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.

Wedge is also a former executive director of the then-Council of Yukon Indians (now the Council of Yukon First Nations) and has acted as a negotiator for a number of First Nations in land claim agreements. He’s also had 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.

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 Elder’s Council.

Throughout her career, Callaghan has held a number of 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, it’s noted.

Mahar is a chartered public accountant who has spent all but eight years of her life in the territory. She is currently wrapping up a 32-year career with the Yukon Government, most recently as assistant deputy minister of finance.

Jason Bilsky joined the board in September, as an elected member under a provision that allows the board to elect one member who is not a student at the school or university employee.

Bilsky is the CEO of the Yukon Hospital Corporation and former chief financial officer and vice-president of corporate services at Northwestel. He is also a board member of HealthCareCAN and president of Basketball Yukon as well as a former volunteer vice-president of sponsorship for the 2012 and 2020 Arctic Winter Games.

Dr. Joel Cubley, Erica Bourdon and Jennifer Harkes also recently joined the board as senate, faculty and staff representatives.

Cubley chairs the school of science and is a geology instructor, with Bourbon working as co-department head of the student success division and as an instructor with the school of academic and skill development. Harkes is a coordinator with continuing studies who also serves as the shop steward with the Yukon University employee’s union.

Also on the board are Jocelyn Curteanu, Carol Geddes, Judy Gingell, Maggie Matear, Vera Holmes, Tom Ulyett, Kathleen Van Bibber, David Morrison and chancellor James Allen who have been in their positions for some time.

“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,” Morrison, who chairs the board, said in a statement, going on to acknowledge the work of outgoing members Julia Salo and Shawn Allen “who both represented the interests of rural communities for many years. Their guidance and wise council have served Yukoners well during our transition journey.”

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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