Last week, the outstanding public service of three Aboriginal employees was formally recognized at the annual Aboriginal Employee Forum. Premier Sandy Silver awarded Kim Carlick, Marie Eshleman and George Bahm with the Aboriginal Employee Award of Honour.
The Aboriginal Employees Award of Honour recognizes accomplishments of Yukon government Aboriginal public servants who provide excellent service or contributions to the Yukon government, fellow employees or to the Yukon public.
“We are very proud to have Aboriginal employees at all levels of government and are committed to supporting efforts to ensure the public service represents the people of Yukon.
“The employees recognized here today have shown leadership and accomplished something that’s had a positive impact on the government and on the lives of Yukoners.”
–Premier Sandy Silver
“This ceremony recognizes outstanding individuals in our organization who are showing great leadership, innovation and dedication. Through their valuable work they are making the Government of Yukon public service an organization that continually strives to meet the needs of all Yukon citizens.”
–Minister Responsible for the Public Service Commission Richard Mostyn
- Since the inception of the Aboriginal Employee Award of Honour in 2009, there have been 85 nominees and 21 recipients including one special recognition award.
Learn more: Aboriginal Employees Award of Honour
Communications, Public Service Commission
Recipients of the 2016 Aboriginal Employee Award of Honour
Health and Social Services
Kim has worked as a Nursing Home Attendant with continuing care since 2001. She started in the extended care unit at the Thomson Centre and is currently working in the secure dementia unit at Copper Ridge Place. The manager of resident care at Copper Ridge says “the exceptional care Kim provides is no accident. It requires an in-depth knowledge of the residents. Kim is a caring worker who exemplifies a person-centred approach that is so important when working with residents with dementia. Her gentleness puts residents at ease and increases her effectiveness. A sense of purpose and calmness radiates from her that soothes residents and engenders trust, having a calming effect in return. She continually seeks out information to support meaningful quality of living for those in her care. In all of her interactions, Kim strives to connect with the clients in a way that is both personal and meaningful. Her approach fosters teamwork and her and her mentorship has been well-received by a diverse group of employees. Kim has expanded the cultural knowledge of numerous staff through her conversational teachings in addition to her advocacy for residents of Aboriginal ancestry. She is a model of gratitude, gentleness, and wisdom.”
George is a First Nations experiential advisor with the Department of Education. He is a gentle and tireless leader in the true spirit of reconciliation, holding up and supporting non-Aboriginal colleagues, teachers and students to better understand Yukon First Nation perspectives, history, language and culture through his meaningful conversations, demonstrations, in-services and field trips. One of the many education initiatives in which George provides invaluable support is the planning and facilitation of the rural experiential model (REM). At REM, George ensures that rural students are offered a rich experience on the lands and waters of Yukon First Nations’ traditional territories. Hundreds of students have left REM with a lasting understanding of the important inextricable link between Yukon First Nations people and the land. George has made significant improvements to processes such as approvals of field trips for public schools and learning opportunities by chairing the First Nations Perspective Review Committee which provides cultural advice to schools. George is committed to ongoing learning by taking courses on the Tlingit language where he has now participated as a co-teacher. One of his students had this to say: “George is a man of passion. When he does something, it is with his heart. He has a lot of valuable knowledge that I had the pleasure of benefitting from.”
Health and Social Services
Marie is a First Nations liaison worker at Copper Ridge Place. Marie demonstrates leadership and innovation by working in partnership with Environmental Health, a local butcher, and First Nation groups to acquire donations of wild game from the community in order to serve traditional foods for the residents. She championed and developed the First Nation traditional foods program for continuing care facilities. Marie works with other members of the team to organize special gatherings such as summer solstice celebration, campfire gatherings and other culturally-related events with Copper Ridge, Macaulay Lodge and Thompson Centre residents. Marie respects the individual dignity of each resident and brings much joy and happiness to the residents by maintaining their connection to the land, family and community thus improving their quality of life. She also supports residents’ access to the community on outings and facilitates access to a First Nations healer for residents suffering from physical or emotional pain. Marie has provided leadership in the development and implementation of culturally appropriate programming to residents in these facilities. She strives to maintain and enhance the dignity of the people with whom she works. She is caring, compassionate and a great advocate for the residents.