Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #10-171
September 8, 2010

Premier presents Carcross educator with national literacy award

WHITEHORSE – Premier Dennis Fentie presented the sixth annual Council of the Federation (COF) Literacy Award to Carcross educator Eleanor Millard at today’s special ceremony that coincided with International Literacy Day.

This award is presented in each province and territory and celebrates outstanding achievement, innovation, practice and excellence in literacy.

“Eleanor’s tireless efforts in literacy complement the Government of Yukon’s commitment to supporting literacy as a priority and a fundamental building block of education,” Fentie said. “It is a privilege to recognize her outstanding work.”

“On behalf of the Department of Education, I would like to congratulate Eleanor on her impressive work in adult and First Nations literacy,” Education Minister Patrick Rouble said. “Through Eleanor’s work in promoting literacy, she has made a lasting contribution to the territory as a whole and has no doubt helped prepare countless Yukoners for Yukon opportunities.”

Premier Fentie represents Yukon on the Council of the Federation, comprising all 13 Canadian premiers. COF 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.

Past Yukon Council of the Federation Literacy Award winners include Emma Sam, George Green, Rock Brisson, Patty Wiseman and Gordon Hardie.

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


See backgrounder below.


Emily Younker
Cabinet Communications


Yumimi Pang
Communications, Education


Backgrounder: Eleanor Millard’s biography

Much of Eleanor Millard’s work as an educator was in the literacy field. 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. Ms. Millard was the developer and coordinator of Project Wordpower (Yukon Learn Society), which has successfully operated since the program’s inception and she has since been contracted by the society to train volunteer tutors.

She has trained First Nations in training-on-the-job positions in social services, adult education and economic development. Ms. Millard designed and developed several education and social service projects, including a flexible six-step workshop on writing funding proposals, presented in Yukon and B.C. Ms. Millard’s 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 continues to apply her education and experience while serving on several volunteer boards in the field of adult literacy.

Ms. Millard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as a Master’s in Adult Literacy from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. She also holds a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of B.C. Both theses for her masters’ degrees were based on original research with First Nations in rural Yukon communities.
Ms. Millard also served as MLA for the former Ogilvie (now Klondike) riding from 1974 to 1978.
Among her many accomplishments, she taught English as a second language in Cuba, Costa Rica and Nicaragua on a volunteer basis.

In recent years, Ms. Millard’s spare time has been spent on creative writing. Her collection of short fiction based on her experience with First Nations and her memoirs have been published. She is presently working on a novel based on her personal experience with adopting a child who is affected by FASD. She has presented several readings and workshops on creative writing in Alaska, NWT, B.C. and Yukon.

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