The Order of Yukon Act has now officially come into force with Yukon’s new Commissioner, Ms. Angélique Bernard, assenting to the bill this afternoon. The Order of Yukon will be the territory’s highest honour, allowing Yukoners to formally recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of Yukon society.
Commissioner Bernard will serve as the chancellor and become the first member of the Order with additional appointments to the Order to follow. The legislation also includes a first for any such order in Canada by establishing a seat on the advisory council for a First Nations representative – who will be put forward by the Council of Yukon First Nations. The advisory council will be responsible for reviewing nominations and making appointment recommendations.
I am extremely pleased to announce the assent of the Order of Yukon Act, as the territory’s highest honour. Once the nomination process opens, I encourage Yukoners to nominate inspiring individuals who have left a lasting legacy in their respective fields and whose extraordinary achievements have contributed to a better quality of life in the territory and beyond. It is very fitting for the Order to be one of the first bills assented to by our new Commissioner, Angélique Bernard. I congratulate her on becoming Yukon’s first member of the Order.
I would like to thank former Commissioner Doug Phillips for all of his influential work in creating the concept of an Order of Yukon and for his strong belief in making the Order a possibility.
Premier Sandy Silver
The Order of Yukon will be administered by the Commissioner’s Office once all of the details have been finalized. Recipients of the Order will be selected by the independent advisory council established in the Act.
In addition to the First Nations representative, the other members of the advisory council will include Yukon’s senior judge, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the President of Yukon College, the Cabinet Secretary and up to two appointees from the Commissioner’s office.
A limited number of people will be appointed to the Order each year. Once the Commissioner announces calls for the first nominations, any person may nominate individuals whom they feel are worthy of this acknowledgment and honour.
Fields of endeavour may include community leadership, First Nations governance, heritage and cultural development, environmental stewardship, business, the arts, sports, volunteer service, the support of seniors and youth and others.
The Order has been designed to be non-political and elected officials representing federal, territorial, First Nation and municipal governments are not eligible for appointment to the Order while they remain in office.