Yukon College names Davida Wood as director of First Nations Initiatives

Davida Wood

WHITEHORSE—Yukon College has named Davida Wood as the new director of First Nations Initiatives (FNI). Wood previously held the position of manager within FNI since 2014.  

Wood is a citizen of the Teslin Tlingit Council. She belongs to the crow moiety and Kùkhhittàn clan. She first joined the College in 2011 as a facilitator in First Nations Initiatives. 

"Students, especially Yukon First Nations students, need to be inspired about the opportunities post-secondary education has to offer. In this new role, I hope to be part of creating inspiring moments for all students and connecting them to their education and life goals,” said Wood. “As well, to support Yukon First Nations in meeting their education and training needs.” 

Wood has been an integral part of the development and facilitation of the Yukon First Nations core competency at Yukon College and YFN 101 workshop—from the initial conversations with the 14 Yukon First Nations to the sought-after workshop it is now. 

“The workshop is just the starting point. The greatest potential for shifting long-held beliefs and opinions across the board is via the safe space we hold through this day for questions and conversations brought forward by participants,” said Wood. 

"Davida is a passionate educator who has proven her leadership capabilities as manager of First Nations Initiatives,” said Dr. Karen Barnes, president and vice chancellor. “She will continue the important work of strengthening the College’s relationships with Yukon First Nations and understanding and fulfilling their education and training needs. As well as expanding and deepening the training for College employees under the Yukon First Nations core competency.” 

Wood holds a Bachelor of Education from University of Regina and Yukon College. Prior to joining Yukon College, she worked for the Self Government Secretariat at the Council of Yukon First Nations. Wood currently serves as a general council member of her First Nation and as the appointed clan representative on the Teslin Education and Training committee. 

The director of FNI is a member of the Senior Executive Committee which oversees planning, policy, budget development and the day-to-day operations of Yukon College.   

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 also 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 distance delivery, to industry and federal and Yukon government departments.

For more information, please contact:

Davida Wood

Director, First Nations Initiatives
First Nations Initiatives
867.668.8879
dwood@yukoncollege.yk.ca

Michael Vernon

Communications Coordinator
College and External Relations
867.668.8786
mvernon@yukoncollege.yk.ca