Indigenous public servants recognized by Premier Sandy Silver in annual Indigenous Employees Award of Honour

Left to right: Naats Tláa award recipient Vera Bossenberry, award nominees Stephanie Sullivan, Amélie Clark, Melissa Carlick, Siobhan Nally and William Thibodeau and  Shelby Blackjack. (Credit: Mark Kelly Photography)

Premier Sandy Silver presented the 2021 Indigenous Employees Award of Honour to Shelby Blackjack of the Executive Council Office for her leadership and commitment to the Yukon’s public service.

The Government of Yukon’s Indigenous Employees Award of Honour recognizes the accomplishments of Indigenous public servants who provide excellent service to the Yukon public and their fellow employees. The other award nominees this year were Amélie Clark from the Department of Health and Social Services, Siobhan Nally from the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Edna Mitander and Melissa Carlick from the Department of Highways and Public Works as well as Mandy Jack, Stephanie Sullivan and William Thibodeau from the Department of Justice.

In addition to the Indigenous Employees Award of Honour, the Naats Tláa Award was given to Vera Bossenberry from Energy, Mines and Resources. This special award is presented to a long-standing public servant who has made a significant contribution throughout their career in the Yukon government public service.


Congratulations to all the nominees for the extraordinary work and contributions they continue to make for the Government of Yukon. Indigenous employees are a vital part of the Yukon’s public service and it is important that, together, we continue to raise their profile and increase Indigenous representation in the Yukon’s workforce.  

Premier Sandy Silver

These awards acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous employees in the Government of Yukon’s public service who have distinguished themselves through their hard work and commitment. The service of all of the nominees is significant, critical and valued in their respective workplaces and in our communities.

Minister for the Public Service Commission John Streicker

Quick facts 
  • Since the inception of these awards, there have been 137 nominees, 30 recipients, five special recognition awards and one posthumous award.

  • The Indigenous Employees Forum was created in 2007 to support new Indigenous employees as they transition into the Government of Yukon. 

  • As an employee network, the Indigenous Employees 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 the Yukon government’s commitment to reconciliation. 

  • See the Background section for bios of this year’s award recipients.


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

Shelby Blackjack: Shelby is Northern Tutchone from Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation. She is the Manager of Implementation in the Implementation and Reconciliation Unit in the Executive Council Office. She has worked for the Government of Yukon for five years. Under Shelby’s leadership, the Implementation and Reconciliation Unit has advanced reconciliation and the work of implementing First Nations Final and Self-Government Agreements to the benefit of all Yukoners. Shelby is an exemplary employee who consistently goes above and beyond the line of duty.

This year’s Naats Tláa award recipient is:

Vera Bossenberry: Vera is from Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation. She is an Assistant Lands Officer for the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources and has been a dedicated public servant for 25 years. Vera demonstrates reliability in the performance of duties and commitment to her team. She is a leader and mentor to her colleagues – and a perfect example of what it means to “lead from every seat.” 


Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications


Aimee O’Connor
Communications, Public Service Commission


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