The list of candidates for the First Nation School Board by-election will be updated as they are received.
Residing in the Yukon with her young daughter, Shelby is a citizen of the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation and member of the Wolf Clan. She holds a Diploma of Fine Arts from the Victoria College of Art, a Master of Education in Leadership from Simon Fraser University and has worked towards her PHD in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria, pausing her studies to move back north when her daughter was born. Shelby believes strongly in volunteering in the community and holds several volunteer positions within the Yukon. She currently works as the Manager of Implementation with the Government of Yukon, Aboriginal Relations division.
Shelby is a recognized artist, academic, activist and educator of Northern Tutchone and European descent. Building strong community connections and cultural programs within the areas of education, arts, governance, heritage, and cultural traditions is present in every aspect of her life.
Matsʼäsä̀na Mą Primozic
From Däkwä̀käda (Haines Junction) Matsʼäsä̀na Mą Primozic, is a member of the Agünda (Wolf Clan), from Champagne and Aishihik First Nation. Her Great- grandma was the respected Chushrùa, Marge Jackson. Matsʼäsä̀na Mą was named after her Great-Great-grandma Maggie Jim and her Grandma Margaret Primozic (nee Jackson). Matsʼäsä̀na Mą is honoured to be the first woman in 2 generations to receive this powerful name, given to her by her Great-grandma Marge.
Matsʼäsä̀na Mą is someone who thrives from the Language and Culture. In June 2021, she graduated from CAFNʼs Adult Language Immersion Program where she became an advanced-intermediate fluent speaker in her First Nation Language of Dän Kwänje (Southern Tutchone). She also has received her Certificate and Diploma in First Nation Language Proficiency from Simon Fraser University. During the course of this learning journey, she was very lucky to work alongside two amazing elders who offered their traditional knowledge and teachings throughout the program. These teachings often lined up with modern day science and research which allows for her to understand, comprehend and live in both worlds.
Matsʼäsä̀na Mą is someone who truly values our youth and helps quide them toward their culture, language, and traditions. She truly believes their paths are crucial for the future; without them, there is no hope for the next generation and generations after. Matsʼäsä̀na Mą was the Chairperson for CAFN's Youth Executive Council for 2 years, and now sits on CAFNʼs Language, Culture, Heritage Advisory committee as she is someone who knows and lives Dän kʼè (our way) and also speaks and teaches Dáwänje (our language).
Throughout the past 2 years, Matsʼäsä̀na Mą was working in a position at the Yukon Native Language Centre where she designed, created, and coordinated a full-time Youth Language Immersion Program, called Youth Today, Language Leaders Tomorrow Program. This program allowed youth to be in full-time positions where they were paid to learn, speak, and comprehend their Yukon First Nation Languages while receiving their Diploma in First Nations Language Proficiency through SFU. Another huge aspect of her program was land-based language & culture work, which includes many on-the-land immersion camps, where her and the students and elders would speak completely and immersion. Not only did she coordinate, supervise, and manage this program, she also mentored and taught the 5 (Dän kʼè) Southern Tutchone students in the program, and was also a Professor for Simon Fraser University, where she taught levels 3, 4, 5, & 6 of Dän kwänje.
There are many organizations Matsʼäsä̀na Mą is involved in, such as being a Director for the Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle Board, coaching and chaperoning 16 youth for the traditional sport of Dene Games at Arctic Winter Games 2023 & 2024, and is a Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellow alumni.
When Matsäsä̀na Mą is not busy at a meeting, coaching, performing, or sharing & practicing her language and culture, you'll be able to find her somewhere in the community helping out where she can, visiting her elders, being on the land, doing beadwork, or spending time with family.