Indigenous employees recognized by Premier Sandy Silver

Indigenous employees recognized by Premier Sandy Silver (Photo credit: Mark Kelly Photography)

Premier Sandy Silver presented the 2020 Indigenous Employees Award of Honour to Morgane Pennycook for her innovation, leadership and commitment to public service.

The Indigenous Employees Award of Honour was created in 2009 to recognize the accomplishments of Government of Yukon Indigenous public servants who provide excellent service to the Yukon public and their fellow employees. The other award nominees this year were Dayna Lennie, Ed Anderson, Felicia Bailey-Cashin from the Department of Health and Social Services, Pricilla Dawson from the Department of Education and Tamika Knutson from the Department of Tourism and Culture. In addition to the Indigenous Employees Award of Honour, the Naats Tláa award was given to Darcy Dewhurst. This special award is presented to a long standing public servant who has made a significant contribution toward reconciliation throughout their career in the Yukon government public service.

The human resource team from the Department of Tourism and Culture was also recognized with the Greenaway Award for their ongoing commitment in supporting the Government of Yukon’s representative public service plan, entitled Breaking Trail Together. The Greenaway Award recognizes the efforts of Yukon government departments in supporting diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Congratulations to Morgane, Darcy and all the nominees for their exceptional achievement. We pay special tribute with this award to honour and recognize the incredible contributions by Indigenous public servants. It also allows us to celebrate Indigenous and Yukon First Nation culture.

Premier Sandy Silver

These awards acknowledge Indigenous employees in the Government of Yukon’s public service who have distinguished themselves through their excellence and commitment. I am especially pleased to see the team at Tourism and Culture recognized for important work to advance Breaking Trail Together, a strategic plan developed in partnership with Yukon First Nations to ensure our government is inclusive and representative of the people it serves.

Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission Richard Mostyn

Quick facts 
  • Since the inception of these awards, there have been 128 nominees, 29 recipients, four special recognition awards and one posthumous award.

  • The Aboriginal Employees Forum was created in 2007 to support new Indigenous employees as they transition into Yukon government. As an employee network, the Forum provides members with opportunities to meet colleagues from other departments, access a cultural support system and professional development opportunities. Over the years, the group has transformed into a recruiting and retention mechanism for Indigenous employees and demonstrates Yukon government’s commitment to reconciliation.

  • Breaking Trail Together is a Government of Yukon plan to increase representation of First Nations employees in the public service. The plan was developed in collaboration with Yukon First Nations governments and addresses the Government of Yukon’s legal obligation under the Final Agreements to develop and implement a Representative Public Service Plan.


This year’s Indigenous Employees Award of Honour recipient is:

Morgane Pennycook: Morgane is a senior negotiator in the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. She is a consummate professional who is detail-focused and achieves results. She demands as much from herself as she does from those that she works with and always tries to find reasonable solutions and a balanced approach to her work. Her leadership and commitment contribute significantly to her team’s success and advancement. She effectively builds coalitions, both internally and externally. She is an innovator that pushes the boundaries of the system for the betterment of the public service and for all Yukoners.

This year’s Indigenous Employees Award of Honour, for the Naats Tláa award is:

Darcy Dewhurst: Darcy worked for the department of Highways and Public Works at the Teslin grader station for the past 26 years as a heavy equipment operator II. He recently retired this past July. He took pride in his work, and it showed. He took no shortcuts and ensured that every job was done to the best of his ability. Darcy always shared best practices, tips and tricks. He was generous in sharing his knowledge and encouraged those who were just learning. His true leadership stands out in this area.


Renee Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Aimee O’Connor
Communications, Public Service Commission

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