College grad keynote speaker to highlight bridging cultural divides

WHITEHORSE—Yukon-born environmental scientist Nadia Joe will address the class of 2017 graduating students at Yukon College convocation this Friday. Through her work in water management and wastewater treatment Joe helps bridge cultural divides over water governance.

Joe is an inaugural Jane Glassco Fellow (2010-12) who is currently working with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations to design a culturally appropriate traditional knowledge study to assess impacts from the Aishihik Hydro project.

Joe is Nlaka'pamux on her mother's side and southern Tutchone/Tlingit—belonging to the Crow Clan of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations—on her father's side. While Joe lives in Vancouver now, she still considers Klukshu home, and visits often with her elders there.

“Nadia is a strong example of what is possible for our graduating students,” said Dr. Karen Barnes, President, Yukon College. “Supported by her family and community, Nadia has excelled in her educational pursuits, worked in Italy and Australia, and is now using her skills to assist her home community with navigating the important issue of water resource management.”

Joe will speak to roughly 150 students, graduating from 32 programs. To accommodate family and friends wishing to support and celebrate their graduates, there will be two convocation ceremonies.  

Students in Applied Arts programs will receive their credential at the 11 a.m. ceremony. Students in Applied Science and Management, Academic and Skill Development, Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining, and Yukon Native Language Centre programs will receive their credential at the 2 p.m. ceremony. Both take place in the Yukon Arts Centre, and will feature the Tsalazras Youth Drummers, drumming graduates into the venue. Doors open 30 minutes prior to each ceremony.

41 students will graduate with honours—including Franny Krivensky who will address the 11 a.m. ceremony.

Krivensky has patiently and diligently earned a diploma in Early Childhood Development over 15 years. She completed her studies at the Tr’odëk Hätr’unohtän  Zho Campus in Dawson City, while simultaneously working full-time as director of the Tr’inke Zho Day care, for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government.

“I believe in lifelong learning. Every course I have taken has strengthened my practice and benefited the children I work with every day,” said Krivensky.

Jessica Norris and Sonny Parker will address the 2 p.m. ceremony. Both Norris, originally from N.W.T., and Parker, raised in Dawson City, have completed a Renewable Resources Management Diploma. Norris also coordinated the 2017 Yukon Biodiversity Forum, with which Parker assisted. Both plan to continue on to the College’s BSc. in Northern Environmental and Conservations Science program.