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The Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council (YAWC) is a non-profit society located in Whitehorse, Yukon, that supports leadership and advancement for and by Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse peoples in the Yukon Territory and northern British Columbia.
“Empowering Indigenous Women, Advocating for Change, Celebrating Success”
Rooted in First Nation cultures and traditions, YAWC has advocated for the rights of Indigenous women in the Yukon and northern BC for more than 50 years. YAWC is now ready to create a long-term sustainable path forward into the new decade that is both comprehensive and holistic, taking into account the outside entities that work in unison with the organization to better serve its clientele.
YAWC has a history of almost 50 years! It was initially formed as the Yukon Indian Women’s Council as an opportunity to have a say in the decision-making process on issues affected by native women in Whitehorse and within Yukon. The first group of women met in Whitehorse at the Skookum Jim Friendship Center on January 21, 1974. The women were Lorraine Joe, Margaret Joe, Frances Woolsey, Josephine Muff, Patt Delaney, Kathy Rear, Pat Martin, Maxine Grant, Emma (Kaushee) Harris, and Edi Bohmer.
Please stay tuned for more on YAWC's history.
Having confidence in the fairness and reliability of a person or organization. Trust is also a value that defines our interdependence in relationships, personal or professional and having confidence in the fairness and reliability of working with YAWC.
Through mutual dependence, action, and influence we seek to listen and evolve with our partners for better outcomes; to help one another for the sake of the collective goal in supporting Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse peoples in the Yukon and Northern BC.
Using out ability to inspire others through encouragement and empowerment we strive to treat our clientele, communities and partners with compassion in order to cultivate strong relationships and partnerships for long-term success.
To give Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse peoples a sense of choice and control. YAWC through empowerment of self, seeks to build confidence and resiliency to make decisions for a cultural and enriched life. Providing the right to choose what you will do with your life and with whom you will do it and how others including YAWC can support them through the journey.
Culture and tradition provides the structure and foundation of YAWC and the women, girls and gender diverse people and their families that we serve. It is on the basis of a holistic approach, traditions, customs, protocols, values, spirituality, ceremonies, language, ways of knowing and being, connections to the land and life-sustaining resources of the land that we strive for the wellbeing of indigenous women, girls and gender diverse peoples in the Yukon and Northern BC.
YAWC is run by a Board of Directors and staff. The volunteer board comprises 7 - 10 members: 1 Youth, 2 Elders, and 5-7 Directors at large (including Officers). The Executive Committee includes the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and an Elder.
The Board meets quarterly or for additional special meetings to discuss issues affecting Indigenous women and their families in Yukon and northern BC and provide guidance to the Executive Director for actions. Contact us to connect with any of our board or staff members or to attend a meeting.
We are always looking for people who are eager to share their talents and help improve the lives of Indigenous women and their families in our service area. Check out our News page for position openings.
Terri Szabo, President
Susan Burns, Vice-President
Lorraine O’Brien, Secretary
Susan Magun, Treasurer
May Bolton, Elder (Executive)
Aggie Magun, Elder
Katelyn Wolftail-Magun, Youth
Sandra Combs, Director
Yvonne Shorty, Director
Claudia Riveros, Executive Director
Sylvia Brown, Office Administrator
Miriam Mueller, Policy and Advocacy Advisor
Bianca Ericsson, Communications Advisor
Sue Christianson, ISET Program Coordinator
Joy O’Brien, MMIWG Outreach Program Coordinator
Joyce Smarch, Elder In-Residence
Dorothy Bellerose, Elder In-Residence
Maisie Smith, Certified Counsellor In-Residence
Members of YAWC directly support the organization and receive updates through our News feed and quarterly Newsletter on YAWC developments, opportunities, and upcoming events.
To become a member or renew your membership, please choose one of the following ways to complete the Membership Form:
Annual membership runs from April 1 to March 31 and the fee is $2.
Members in good standing are eligible to vote at YAWC Annual General Meetings and Special General Meetings for the purpose of election and other business, outside of quarterly or special board meetings. Contact us if you are interested in participating in any of our meetings.