Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #10-145
August 4, 2010

Carcross educator wins national literacy award

WHITEHORSE – Author, educator and consultant Eleanor Millard has won the 2010 Council of the Federation Literacy Award for her outstanding contributions to literacy.

“I would like to congratulate Eleanor Millard on for her exemplary work in adult and First Nations literacy,” Premier Dennis Fentie said. “Eleanor’s tireless efforts in literacy complement the Government of Yukon’s commitment of supporting literacy as a priority and a fundamental building block of education.”

The Council of the Federation Literacy Award is presented in each province and territory. It is an award that recognizes outstanding achievement, innovation, practice and excellence in literacy.

“Eleanor Millard has made a lasting impact in the territory through her impressive work in adult and First Nations literacy,” Education Minister Patrick Rouble said. “I congratulate Eleanor on her award and her work in promoting literacy, which has no doubt helped prepare countless Yukoners for Yukon opportunities.”

Millard has designed, implemented and delivered many adult literacy programs in Yukon.

“I am honoured to be recognized for the work I have done for adult literacy in the Yukon since starting the first literacy project in Dawson City so many years ago,” Millard said. “My commitment, particularly to First Nations literacy, continues in my work as a researcher and writer. I share this award with the many learners, volunteer tutors, and professionals with whom I have travelled on this rewarding journey.”

Debbie Parent, the Yukon Learn Society executive director said, “It was with great pleasure that the Yukon Learn Society nominated Eleanor for this award. Eleanor is a founding member of the Yukon Learn Society and a long-time literacy educator and supporter. We know first-hand that she is most deserving of the Council of Federation Literacy Award and we congratulate her for this achievement.”

Millard will be presented with the Council of the Federation Literacy Award medal at a special ceremony in Whitehorse this fall. Past Yukon award winners include Emma Sam, George Green, Rock Brisson, Patty Wiseman and Gordon Hardie.

Premier Fentie represents Yukon in the Council of the Federation, which comprises all 13 of Canada’s premiers. The Council of the Federation was created in 2003 to help the provinces and territories play a leadership role in revitalizing the Canadian federation and to build a more constructive and cooperative federal system.

For more information about the 2010 Council of the Federation Literacy award and a list of recipients visit


Backgrounder attached.

Roxanne Vallevand
Cabinet Communications
Yumimi Pang
Communications, Education

Backgrounder – Eleanor Millard’s biography and photo

Much of Eleanor Millard’s adult education work was originally in the field of adult literacy. As a founding member and president of the Yukon Literacy Council, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the first adult literacy programs in Yukon. Millard was the developer and coordinator of Project Wordpower, with the Yukon Learn Society, which has successfully operated since the program’s inception, and she has since been contracted to train volunteer tutors for them.

Millard has educated First Nations with training-on-the-job positions in social services, adult education and economic development. She has designed and developed several education and social service projects, including a flexible six-step funding proposal writing workshop which was presented in Yukon and British Columbia.

Her northern experience has given her a creative but practical approach to community-based research and education that responds realistically to unique situations. She has work experience in all three territories and has applied, and continues to apply, her education and experience to several volunteer board positions in the field of adult literacy.

Millard holds a bachelor of arts degree, as well as a master’s degree in adult literacy from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. She also holds a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language from the University of British Columbia. Both master theses were based on original research with First Nations in rural Yukon communities.

Among her many accomplishments, Millard served as a member of the legislative assembly for Ogilvie, in Dawson City, from 1974 to 1978. She has also taught English as a second language in Cuba, Costa Rica and Nicaragua on a volunteer basis.

In recent years, Millard’s spare time has been spent in creative writing. She has published a collection of short fiction, based on her experience with First Nations, and her memoirs. She is presently working on a novel based on her personal experience with adopting a child who is affected by Fatal Alcohol Syndrome disease (FASD). She has presented several readings and workshops on creative writing in Alaska, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Yukon.

For more information, visit

Photo: Eleanor Millard is the Yukon 2010 Council of the Federation Literacy Award winner.