Judy Gingell has done so much to advance Aboriginal rights and governance in Yukon.
Judy was born on her grandparents’ trapline at Moose Lake, south of Whitehorse, Yukon. For more than 40 years, Judy has promoted and advanced Aboriginal rights and governance in the Yukon. Judy was part of the 1973 delegation to Ottawa that initiated the Yukon land claims negotiation process.
As Chair of the Council of Yukon First Nations (1989-1995), she was instrumental in self-governance and land claims negotiation with the Government of Canada. In 1995, Prime Minister Jean Chretien named her Commissioner for the Yukon Territory, the first native person appointed to the position.
Judy is renowned for her ability to build bridges between peoples, notably by raising awareness of First Nations culture by creating the annual Commissioner’s Potlatch. As a leader and elder of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation, she has ensured that First Nations communities are key players in the territorial economy.