Commission Members

Commission members are appointed by and accountable to the Legislative Assembly of Yukon. They meet regularly for business meetings, to make decisions about whether complaints should be dismissed or continue through the complaints process, and other special meetings of the Commission.

Gavin Gardiner: Co-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: Co-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.

Karen Moir – Past Chair

Karen Moir was appointed in May 2016 and reappointed in 2019. Karen moved to the Yukon in 2015 to work for the Government of Canada 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 research on intergenerational justice and 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. 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.

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 the present. 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.