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YUKON HISTORY
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Commissioners of the Yukon:

 

James Morrow WALSH Appointed August 17, 1897. First Commissioner of the Yukon. He resigned in 1898 but remained until his successor, William Ogilvie returned to the Yukon. He rose to the rank of Superintendent of the North-West Mounted Police. Born in Prescott, Ontario on May 22, 1840. Died of a stroke at Brockville, Ontario, July 25, 1905.
William OGILVIE Appointed July 4, 1898. Resigned in the spring of 1901. A dominion land surveyor. Surveyed Dawson City for Joe Ladue. Surveyed the gold claims on Bonanza and Eldorado Creeks to straighten out a mess left by early staking. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, April 7, 1846. Died in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 13, 1912.
James Hamilton ROSS Appointed March 11, 1901. Served only until 1902. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1902, representing the Yukon as a Liberal and was appointed to the Senate in 1904. First Commissioner to reside in Government House in Dawson City. Born in London, Canada West, May 12, 1856. Died in Victoria, December 14, 1932.
H.W. NEWLAND

Acting Commissioner, February 8, 1902 until August 1902.

Zachary Taylor WOOD Appointed Acting Commissioner from 1902 -1903. Inspector and later acting Commissioner of the NWMP.
Frederick Tennyson CONGDON Appointed March 4, 1903. He resigned in 1904 to contest the Yukon seat in Parliament but was defeated. He won the seat in a 1909 by-election but lost it in 1911. He ran again in a deferred election in 1918, winning a majority in the Yukon, but lost the seat when the soldier vote was apportioned to his opponent. Born at Annapolis, Nova Scotia, November 16, 1858. Lawyer. Died in Ottawa, Ontario March 13, 1932.
Zachary Taylor WOOD Acting Commissioner, December 1904 until May 1905.
William Wallace Burns McINNES Appointed May 27, 1905. Resigned December 31, 1906. Born at Dresden, Ontario, April 8, 1871. Lawyer. Died at Vancouver, British Columbia, August 4, 1954.
Alexander HENDERSON Appointed June 17, 1907. Retired June 1, 1911. Born in Oshawa, Canada West, on March 13, 1861. Lawyer. Died in Vancouver, December 13, 1940.
George BLACK Appointed February 1, 1912, served until 1915. A leading criminal lawyer in the Yukon. He was elected to the Yukon Council in 1905, and first ran for the Canadian House of Commons in the 1908 federal election but was defeated. During World War I, Black recruited a regiment from the Yukon to fight in the war. He became the company's Captain, and was wounded in combat. Elected Yukon Member of Parliament 1921-1935 and 1940-1949. Speaker of the House of Commons 1930-1935. Born in Woodstock, New Brunswick, on April 10, 1873. Died in Vancouver, August 23, 1965.
George Norris WILLIAMS Appointed Administrator in Mr. Black's absence in 1916.

The Office of the Commissioner and Administrator were abolished March 28, 1918 by an Order In Council. The powers of these offices were vested in the Gold Commissioner. The Gold Commissioner remained the Territory's chief executive responsible to the federal Minister of the Interior until 1932.

Gold Commissioners:

George P. MacKENZIE Appointed 1918-1924.
Percy REID Appointed April 1, 1925 until his death in 1927.
Died while in office, 1927.
George Ian MacLEAN Appointed 1928 - 1932.

The positions of Gold Commissioner and Comptroller were combined in 1932 to become Comptroller. The spelling was changed to Controller in 1936.

George Allan JECKELL Appointed Comptroller June 30, 1932. Appointed Controller December 3, 1936. Retired in 1946. A teacher.
John Edward GIBBEN Appointed Controller September 18, 1947. (The Office of the Commissioner was re-established in 1947.) Appointed Commissioner July 13, 1948. Retired in 1950. A Magistrate.
Andrew Harold GIBSON Appointed Commissioner August 15, 1950. Retired in 1951.
Frederick FRASER Appointed October 15, 1951. Retired in 1952.
Wilfred George BROWN Appointed November 5, 1952. Retired in 1955.
Frederick Howard COLLINS. Appointed June 8, 1955. Retired in May 1962. F.H. Collins School is named for him.
Gordon Robertson CAMERON Appointed May 1, 1962. Retired on May 31, 1966. Former Mayor of Whitehorse 1958-1962.
James SMITH Appointed November 7, 1966. Retired June 30, 1976. Yukon business man. Former President of the Whitehorse Board of Trade, Alderman for the City of Whitehorse, and Yukon Territorial Councilor.
Dr. Arthur MacDonald PEARSON Appointed Commissioner July 1, 1976. Resigned October 31, 1978. Specialized in Grizzly Bear biology. Born in Brandon, Manitoba in 1931.
Frank FINGLAND Interim Commissioner from November 1978 until January 1979. Long time Yukoner and civil servant.
Ione Jean CHRISTENSEN First woman Commissioner appointed January 20, 1979. Resigned October 10, 1979. First woman Mayor of the City of Whitehorse, 1975-1979. Born in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, October 10, 1931 to former Northwest Mounted Police constable Gordon Irwin Cameron, and Dawson City born Martha Ballentine Cameron. Appointed to the Canadian senate in 1999.
Douglas Leslie Dewey BELL Deputy Commissioner July 18, 1977. Appointed Administrator October 9, 1979 until December 19, 1980. Appointed Commissioner December 31, 1980. Retired in March 1986. Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, in 1926. Member of the Order of Canada.
John Kenneth McKINNON Appointed Commissioner March 27, 1986. Retired in June 1995. Member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, 1961; re-elected 1967, 1970 and 1974. Yukon Administrator, Northern Pipeline Agency, 1979-1984.
Judy GINGELL First aboriginal Commissioner appointed on June 23, 1995. Retired in September 2000. Founding director of the Yukon Native Brotherhood in 1969. Chair of the Council for Yukon Indians, 1989-1995. Born in Whitehorse, 1948.
Jack CABLE Appointed October 1, 2000. Born August 17, 1934. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, August 17, 1934. He practiced law in Whitehorse. He was a Member of the Yukon Legislature serving two terms from October 1992 to April 2000.
Geraldine VAN BIBBER Commissioner of the Yukon December 2005 to present. Geraldine Van Bibber was born and raised in Dawson City, Yukon. She is the former Administrator of the Yukon Territory (2001-2005). She was integral in the formation of the Yukon First Nation Tourism Association in 1992, and has been a Board of Director of the Canadian Tourism Commission, Aboriginal Tourism Canada, the Yukon Tourism Education Council, and the Government of Yukon's Business Development Fund.

Rapid evolution of territorial government in Canada’s North in recent decades has had a profound effect on the office of commissioner. Unlike the situation fewer than 30 years ago, the Commissioner is no longer involved in the day-to-day activities of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and other federal agencies. The commissioners’ control over the administration of the governments of their respective territories has also ended. The commissioner’s role has become more like that of a lieutenant governor of a province. Generally, a Commissioner discharges the responsibilities of office by following the advice of the first minister and other ministers of the territorial government.