A Bit About WAWC
Our mission is to provide all Aboriginal women in Whitehorse, regardless of their origin, with access to culturally relevant programs, projects and supports in a safe space that enrich our community through full participation in our cultures, communities, governments and economies.
Our Logo Story
Wanting an image to represent our organization, we worked with graphic designer Anna Crawford who helped us adopt this beautiful image. Adapted from beadwork by Vashti Etzel, Golden Eye Designs this logo represents the strength and fertility of Aboriginal women as life givers and caretakers of our people.
The nine large circles represent the eight Traditional Language groups in Yukon and English. The fourteen smaller circles represent our fourteen separate and distinct First Nations in Yukon.
Connection – We believe that the power of connection to family, community, language and culture fosters the wellness of Aboriginal women and strengthens their families and community.
Growth – We encourage the education and advancement of Aboriginal women and girls by providing culturally relevant supports, opportunities for growth, training and positive role modeling.
Diversity – We honour our ancestors by celebrating the diversity and unique contributions of each individual. We respect the rights and freedoms of all Indigenous women to speak their own languages and practice their own traditions and cultures.
Compassion – We practice treating each other with compassion. This includes acting with integrity and respect and showing love, care and empathy to each other.
Equality – We are inclusive and provide equal opportunities and voice to Aboriginal women, and their needs and concerns, in a fair, respectful and judgement-free environment, and equally value the roles and abilities of all genders in our communities.
The WAWC Team
Susan is a Northern Tutchone member of the Selkirk First Nation of the crow clan.
Her mother is Grace Tyerman (SFN) (Nee: Fairclough) and father is Mike Nikon, grandmother is May Fairclough (SFN) (Nee: Van Bibber) and great grandmother is Eliza Van Bibber (SFN) (Nee: Jackson).
She has been a WAWC staff member since July 2020. Attended Yukon College and took the TIOW class when she returned home to Whitehorse. Lived in Fort McMurray, AB for 18 years working in the oilfield training new hires and also lived in Chapel Arm, NL for 6 years doing home care for seniors.
Susan is married to Philip Power they have son Adam, daughter in law Kim and granddaughters Mikayla and Kassidy. Family is a huge blessing for us.
Since returning home she has enjoyed learning her culture. Participating in First Nations cultural craft circles and workshops is very rewarding.
Our family loves being on the land hunting, fishing, picking berries and enjoying nature.
Cultural Support Project Coordinator
Amber Taylor-Fisher is a Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte. She was born in Whitehorse Yukon, and spent her childhood in the communities of Carmacks and Atlin, hunting, fishing, and living on the land. Her best memories are of her summers spent on the Nakina River with her “heart family”, and she continues to spend her summers there today.
Amber’s passion is to help people on their healing journeys, and she has been a helper for people with addictions since starting her own recovery journey in 2018. She is now the Cultural Support Coordinator for the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle, helping women find access to their culture and traditional ways of life and healing.
Cultural Support Youth Apprentice
Kirsten Maides, of the Métis Nation, has always been involved in her community. Whether it be in Faro where she grew up, or her current home of Whitehorse, Kirsten prides herself in being both a leader and a helper. Kirsten has a long resume of work experiences, which are mostly related to the Social Services. Kirsten is also a proud community ambassador for the #moosehidecampaign.
Jerry L. Soltani, Athabascan/Tlingit woman was born and raised in Auk Bay, twelve miles north of Juneau, Alaska. As a Sealaska shareholder and Elder she has worked on several indigenous issues; dearest to her heart is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She spends time between Whitehorse and Juneau, sharing life to the fullest with her family and friends!
LaSänMą, Sharon Shadow is a citizen of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations in Yukon. She is Ägunda, member of the Wolf clan. Sharon has been involved in the fields of education and language for decades. She has experience as an educational advisor to Yukon Education on aboriginal education, language and culture. Currently she is the Yukon First Nation Languages Coordinator at the Department of Education, Government of Yukon. LaSänMą is a champion of Yukon First Nations language revitalization and continues to learn her own Southern Tutchone language. She believes that Yukon First Nation ways of knowing, doing and being contributes to student confidence, identity and school retention.
Michelle Friesen is proudly serving as the first Indigenous woman on Whitehorse City Council. The city rests on the Traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation and her family's First Nation, the Ta'an Kwacch'an Council. Her passion for community and the importance of representation are what inspired her to step into leadership and she looks forward to continuing to learn and connect with folks who call Whitehorse home!
Michelle serves as the Youth Representative for the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women's Circle and is the founder of ShredHERs, a mountain biking group which empowers women through sport and connects them to mental health and wellness resources. She was also a candidate in the 2021 territorial election and continues to share her experience and empower others to seek leadership through her work with 'Lead As You Are' which aims to encourage diversity and representation in leadership and political roles.
Janine Peters is a Kwakwaka'wakw F.N. woman whose family is from Wuikinuxv Nation in Rivers Inlet, on the central coast of British Columbia.
She is now a Yukoner of 25 years, who grew up primarily in the Greater Vancouver area until 1995 when she moved to Whitehorse.
She's a semi-retired softball player, and curler, sometimes golfer who has been involved as a sports volunteer/coach with Special Olympics Yukon for close to 20 years. She was on the board with Special Olympics Yukon, then hired on as Program Director for 2 years.
She now has a very rewarding job as a support worker at Teegatha' Oh Zheh.
As a community based organization, our work is completed in partnership with other non-profit organizations, First Nations Governments, the municipal and territorial governments, and national organizations.
Liard Aboriginal Women's Society (LAWS)
Phone: (867) 536-2097
Fax: (867) 536-2810
Watson Lake, YT Y0A 1C0
Yukon Aboriginal Women's Council (YAWC)
Phone: (867) 667-6162
Toll Free: 1-866-667-6162
407 Black Street
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2N2
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon (FASSY)
Phone: (867) 393-4948
205 Black Street #120, Whitehorse, YT
Yukon Women's Transition Home Society
Phone: (867) 633-7720
Fax: (867) 668-2374
PO Box 31392
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 6K8