The DRPI Yukon training took place in the context of a week-long disability rights initiative in Whitehorse called Keeping Track of Our Rights – held from December 1st – 5th 2014. The historic one-week event was attended by participants from Yukon as well as over 10 other communities in the Yukon. It was co-sponsored by the Yukon Human Rights Commission and the Yukon Council on Disabilities, with a grant from the Community Development Fund.
Training on disability rights and the monitoring of rights was held four of the five days. On Dec. 4th a Disability Rights Summit was held, which was attended by participants from the rights training workshop as well as a range of stakholders from civil society and local government, including:
- Stephanie Dixon, Paralympian Athlete and Summit Moderator
- Heather MacFadgen, Director Yukon Human Rights Commission
- Chris Blodgett, LDAY & CRPD Workshop Participant
- Rebecca Gowan, Canadian Human Rights Commission
- Gerard Tremblay, CRPD Workshop Participant
- Minister Mike Nixon, Yukon Legislative Assembly
The one week initiative concluded with Justice Minister Mike Nixon responding to the call from disability rights advocates by promising to meet with them to discuss the need for an independent monitoring mechanism so that persons with disabilities can monitor their own rights.
His commitment came in response to the call to action issued at the Disability Rights Summit. Speaking at the summit plenary, well known Yukoner Ramesh Ferris said, “We have a monumental opportunity here in the Yukon Territory to demonstrate once again how we all can be agents of change by working together to create an independent monitoring mechanism in order to ensure that human rights for people of all abilities are not only recognized but upheld.” An independent monitoring mechanism is required under the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that both Canada and the Yukon have ratified.
Heather MacFadgen, Director of Human Rights, said, “We are optimistic that we can work with Minister Nixon because he understands from his own family life the barriers faced by people with disabilities. This training project has broken down barriers in the Yukon between different groups of people with various disabilities and has culminated in a common cause — a group of people across disabilities from all over the Yukon trained, ready and willing to monitor their own rights. This is exactly what the UN Convention calls for and it is what can happen now in the Yukon.”
DRPI Yukon – People
Yukon Council on disABILITY
Contact: Jennifer Massie – email@example.com
Yukon Human Rights Commission
Contact: Tracey Wallace – Education@yhrc.yk.ca
Rose Marie Peter
Ann Maje Raider