Tosh Southwick appointed as associate vice president Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation

Tosh Southwick
(Photo: Alistair Maitland)

WHITEHORSE—Yukon College has promoted Tosh Southwick from executive director of First Nations Initiatives and Community, Innovation and Development to the newly-created position of associate vice president Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation. 

The new position has been created on the recommendation of an employee committee on Indigenization. Southwick will lead the reconciliation and Indigenization work at the College and strengthen relationships with Yukon First Nation governments and Indigenous partners outside the Yukon.  

Southwick belongs to the wolf moiety and is a citizen of Kluane First Nation. She joined the College in 2008 as director of First Nations Initiatives. 

“Through this new role, I am proud to support Yukon College’s continuing journey to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being into the fabric of the institution and share with other institutions how we work in partnership with Yukon First Nations, to meet their education and training needs,” said Southwick. 

Over the past year Southwick has presented to several prestigious bodies on lessons learned through Yukon College’s Indigenization journey, including: Nunavut Arctic College; Okanagan College; Colleges and Institutes Canada; the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada; and the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education.  

“Tosh’s thoughtful questions and dynamic leadership have inspired a great deal of positive change at Yukon College over the past ten years. In creating this new position, the College is committing further resources and energy to this important focus of reconciliation and Indigenization,” said Dr. Karen Barnes, president and vice chancellor. 

Southwick holds a Master of Education degree with the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Psychology from the University of Victoria. 

Prior to joining Yukon College, she worked in Governance, Education, Human Resources and Health for various First Nation Governments and organizations. Southwick has served as youth councilor and Deputy Chief for her First Nation and is an active member of Kluane First Nation Development Corporation. She is currently chair of the Yukon First Nations Education Commission. 

The First Nation Initiatives (FNI) department is a voice within Yukon College that is dedicated to integrating an understanding and awareness of the culture, traditions, and history of Yukon First Nations. The department also develops programming and associated curriculum essential to the development of education and training services that meet the needs of First Nations. FNI coordinates the President’s Advisory Council on First Nations Initiatives (PACFNI) which provides strategic direction to the College. 

The department worked in partnership with Yukon First Nations to create a core competency for all employees and students in Yukon First Nations history and culture including land claims and implementation of self-government agreements. This has been adapted into the one and two-day YFN 101 course which is delivered by FNI staff, or via online delivery, to industry and federal and Yukon government departments.

For more information, please contact:

Tosh Southwick

Associate Vice-President
Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation
First Nations Initiatives

Michael Vernon

Communications Coordinator
College and External Relations