Yukon 125th anniversary medals unveiled to celebrate outstanding Yukoners

A commemorative medal celebrating Yukon's 125th year, will be distributed to deserving Yukoners who demonstrate values of reconciliation and leadership. 250 medals will be presented; 125 between First Nations and CYFN and 125 medals will be handed out bet

Today, Premier Pillai announced that the Government of Yukon is commemorating the territory’s 125th anniversary with the release of medals featuring original artwork by Violet Gatensby.

The medals will be awarded to Yukoners who embody values of leadership and reconciliation. This will include people from all walks of life and a variety of sectors, including public service, volunteerism, entrepreneurship, arts and environmental stewardship. 

Of the total 250 medals, 125 medals will be given to Yukon First Nations leadership to distribute at their discretion. A further 125 medals will be distributed based on input from Cabinet, the leaders of the Official Opposition and Third Party, the Commissioner and members of the public. The medals will be distributed based on guidance from an advisory committee, composed of Jim Butler, Victoria Fred and Deputy Ministers Justin Ferbey and Sierra van der Meer.

 The public can download a nomination form at yukon.ca/125 and submit it to yukon125@yukon.ca by March 11, 2024, to nominate a deserving Yukoner.

Recipients will be announced later this year.

The Yukon’s 125th anniversary is a significant milestone in our shared history and it is important to celebrate the people who helped make the Yukon the special place it is today. The medal will pay tribute to individuals who embody leadership and reconciliation and have left a lasting impact on the territory. I look forward to celebrating Yukoners of today as we look forward to our next 125 years.

Premier Ranj Pillai

It is important that we pause and recognize the remarkable Yukoners who are building a brighter and more resilient future. As a part of this celebration, we are very excited to highlight the work of talented Yukon artist Violet Gatensby. The design of the Yukon's 125th anniversary medal reflects the heart of this honour and we look forward to awarding these medals to recipients.

Minister of Tourism and Culture John Streicker

I am proud to have contributed artwork for this medal celebrating the Yukon’s 125th anniversary. My design, Resilient Hearts/Insightful Vision, is intended to honour the Yukoners who have brought insight in approaching the future and have rolled up their sleeves to put the hard work in, helping people heal while remembering who we are. The figure has open eyes, eager to learn and looking forward, while the outstretched open hand represents our work towards reconciliation in the past and for generations to come. The fir boughs are intended as a symbol of peace and wellbeing, traditionally used by Indigenous peoples to ward against illness.

Violet Gatensby

Quick facts 
  • Violet Gatensby’s artwork Resilient Hearts Insightful Vision medal artwork was created to honour Yukoners who have looked ahead with insight and rolled up their sleeves to put in the work to help future generations heal and thrive.

  • The final artwork was selected for its alignment with the medal themes of leadership and reconciliation and its ability to translate to the medal format and medium.

  • Ms. Gatensby presented the medal design to Yukon First Nations leadership during the Yukon Forum held in Dawson between September 26 to 27, 2023.

  • 2023 brought with it significant milestones for the Yukon, commemorating 50 years of Together Today for our Children Tomorrow, marking 125 years since joining Confederation and celebrating the anniversaries of many Self-Government Agreements with Yukon First Nations.

  • The Yukon’s anniversary is being commemorated from June 13, 2023 – 125 years from when the territory joined Confederation to June 13, 2024, rather than the calendar year of 2023.

Media contact 

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Diana Dryburgh
Communications, Executive Council Office

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