The Commissioner's New Year's Levee is held each year on January 1 in Whitehorse. The first recipients of the Order of Yukon are former commissioners, Indigenous elders, and land claim negotiators.
Commissioner Angélique Bernard announced today, January 1, 2020 the 10 inductees to the Order of Yukon at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre.
The event includes award presentations and musical performances followed by a catered reception.
The Order of the Yukon recipients for 2019 are:
- Doug Bell, former commissioner of Yukon;
- Ione Christensen, former commissioner and Yukon senator;
- Patricia Ellis, artist and author;
- Judy Gingell, former commissioner and chair of the Council for Yukon Indians;
- Percy Henry, respected elder and former Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in chief;
- Gary Hewitt, long time Arctic Winter Games volunteer and official;
- Rolf Hougen, businessman and philanthropist;
- Dave Joe, lawyer and former chief land claims negotiator for the Council of Yukon First Nations;
- Sam Johnston, former MLA and chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council; and
- Lyall Murdoch, co-founder of the Frantic Follies.
Doug Bell, Ione Christensen, Judy Gingell, Rolf Hougen, Dave Joe are already members or officers of the Order of Canada.
Sam Johnston received a Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2008.
The Order of Yukon is the territory's highest honour. Yukon was the last province or territory in Canada to create such an award. It was announced in 2016 by then Premier Darrell Pasloski.
"The awards recognize Yukoner's who have demonstrated high achievement and made an outstanding contribution to society."