Commission staff carries out the day-to-day work involved in human rights promotion, education, and the resolution of discrimination complaints.
Jessica Lott Thompson - Director
Jessica joined the Commission in January 2015. She was appointed to the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for Yukon in 2017, and is currently the president of the Yukon Branch of the Canadian Bar Association. Jessica is a former Federal Prosecutor with the Nunavut Regional Office of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, and has served as an adjudicator with the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal. She has also worked for Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Aid and the Department of Justice in Nunavut and appeared as counsel before the Nunavut Mental Health Review Board. In 2014, Jessica served as an international election observer in Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. In 2002, she held a judicial clerkship with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Jessica holds an LL.B. (UVic), an M.A. in Human Security and Peacebuilding (Royal Roads University), a LL.M. in Constitutional Law (Osgoode), and recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Justice System Administration (York University). Jessica is fluent in French and Spanish, and is an Inuktitut learner.
Vida Nelson - Legal Counsel
Vida Nelson joined the Commission in May 2018. Prior to that she worked at a local law firm practicing in the areas of personal Injury, family Law and civil litigation. Vida is a born and raised Yukoner who holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Science degree from Simon Fraser University. Vida is an active member of the Canadian Filipino Association of Yukon and is passionate about promoting diversity and access to justice. In her free time, Vida enjoys hiking with her dogs, travelling, trivia and playing board games.
Kelsey Lavoie – Human Rights Officer
Kelsey has been working to promote human rights for the past decade. Prior to living in Whitehorse, she lived on Vancouver Island where she worked at the Vancouver Human Rights Coalition helping members of the public access and navigate the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. Kelsey also provided public presentations and workshops about human rights and worked with other non-profits and government agencies to help people understand their rights and responsibilities. Kelsey’s background is sociology, governance and law. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Calgary, and her Master of Arts and her Juris Doctorate at the University of Victoria. Kelsey has presented about her work in a variety of settings including the 2017 Continuing Legal Education of BC human rights conference. Kelsey is also passionate about the role of art in building healthy communities and she can often be found at local open-mic nights as both an audience member and participant.
Public Education Coordinator – Vacant
Please check back for opportunities.
Lynn Pigage - Office Administrator
Lynn has been with the Commission since 1998. She is the person in the office who makes sure things are running smoothly and assists all staff with a variety of tasks.
Mina Connelly – Human Rights Intern
Mina joined the Commission in September 2018. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and School of International Development and Global Studies, with two bachelor degrees, and in 2017, she passed the Quebec Bar exams. From 2013 to 2018, Mina has successively held a research assistant position and a technical revisor position at the Supreme Court of Canada. Mina is fascinated by the way law can be a tool for social inclusion and change. In 2016, she worked on a sexual and reproductive health rights initiative with the Human Rights Advocacy Centre in Ghana, and represented the United Kingdom’s interests in the Human Rights Council during a Model United Nations competition held in New York City. Mina’s interest in Indigenous law grew exponentially in 2017 when she conducted research on First Nations’ customary elections. Mina is excited to learn more about specific human rights developments and issues in the Yukon.
Pro Bono Students Canada
Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is the first pro bono organization in the country and a nationally respected program that is actively supported by the bar, judiciary and academy. PBSC was founded at the University of Toronto in 1996 and today operates in 22 law schools in Canada. Each year, PBSC harnesses the talent and drive of over 1500 law students across the country to provide legal services free of charge to low-income citizens and not-for-profit organizations. Thank you to our current students (2018-2019): Marie Eve Beland (Ottawa- Common), Nishat Hoque (Ottawa- Common), Theresa James (McGill), Ana Qarri (McGill), Melanie Alcorn (UBC), Dan Cheater (UBC), Rowan MacPhail (UVic), and Kiristy Hobbs (UVic).
McGill International Human Rights Internships
Administered by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP), the International Human Rights Internships Program (IHRIP) is a fully credited course that allows students to earn six (6) credits toward the completion of the BCL/LLB degree. The Program interviews and selects law students for placements as interns with NGOS, courts, and public institutions for a period of 12 weeks over the summer. Partner organizations provide students with practical work experience in human rights investigation, monitoring, and reporting. The internships also provide exposure to the operation and implementation of human rights instruments and norms.