Commission Members

Commission members are appointed by the Yukon Legislature for a term of three years. They meet regularly for business meetings, dispositions and other special meetings of the Commission.

Karen Moir: Chair

Karen Moir was appointed in May 2016. Karen moved to the Yukon in 2015 to work for the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs after a number of years abroad. Karen has experience across the United Nations system in Geneva, New York and Turin. Most recently, she was at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development for her award-nominated research on intergenerational justice and promoting rights-based social protection with the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. She has a Bachelor of Social Science in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa and a Master’s in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex, UK. As the Coordinator of the Essex Human Rights Clinic’s Corporate Accountability Program, she furthered human rights-based management of the extractive sector. Since beginning her career with the Canadian International Development Agency, she has acquired a broad perspective on inclusive and sustainable development, with a focus on socio-economic and cultural rights.

Gavin Gardiner: Deputy Chair

Gavin Gardiner was appointed in March 2018. Originally from Saskatchewan, Gardiner moved to the Yukon in 2007 and soon after began working for the Carcross/Tagish First Nation where over many years, he filled roles including Legislation/Policy Analyst and Senior Government Official (Executive Director). He holds a Law Degree from the University of Ottawa, a certificate in Mediation and Negotiation from the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts in both English and Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan.

Gardiner currently works as a lawyer with Woodward & Company providing legal advice to First Nation governments. He lives in Whitehorse and shares a cabin in Carcross where he spends as much of his free time as possible.

Russell Knutson: Past Chair

Russell Knutson was appointed in April 2015. He arrived in the Yukon as a teenager in the late 1970's and almost immediately began what would become a 32-year career with the CBC. A graduate of Grant MacEwan College's journalism program Russell held a wide range of positions with the CBC primarily as a program host and presenter. For more than 20 years he was also heavily involved in the regional and national leadership of the Canadian Media Guild, the largest union at the CBC, where he received extensive training in mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution. He has also been very active in the community leading or serving such groups as Autism Yukon, the Canadian Ski Patrol, CPR Yukon, the United Way, and Canadian Power Squadron.

Kim Derkatch: Commission Member

Kimberly was appointed as a Commission Member in December 2018. She hails from small town Saskatchewan and completed her Advanced Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in Psychology from the University of Regina before venturing North in 1991. She has been employed with Yukon Government in the human service field since 1992 and is currently working as the Landlord Engagement Specialist with Housing and Community Outreach Services (HCOS for short). Kimberly is the mother of a teenage daughter and enjoys camping, travelling and the challenges of northern gardening. She has a passion for social justice and human rights issues.

Michael Dougherty: Commission Member

Michael Dougherty was appointed in December 2018. He served six terms on the Yukon Human Rights Panel of Adjudicators. Michael has been a member of the Judicial Council of the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council since 2004. Graduate studies at McGill University in Political Sciences and Urban Planning provided academic support for his work with global/local solidarity movements from participating as a human rights observer in Chiapas, Mexico to serving as the President of the National Council of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. His refugee support work dates from 1975 to Yukon Cares currently. A founding co-chair of the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, his continued social justice involvement linked his rights based approach to the Social Work and Political Sciences courses he taught at Yukon College for over 20 years.

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We respectfully acknowledge that the Yukon Human Rights Commission office is located within the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.