First Indigenous woman CRTC commissioner appointed

Claire Anderson has been appointed CRTC commissioner for British Columbia and Yukon, becoming the first Indigenous woman and Yukon resident to sit on the commission.

Claire Anderson has been appointed CRTC commissioner for British Columbia and Yukon, becoming the first Indigenous woman and Yukon resident to sit on the commission and only the second Indigenous appointee since 1968. Her five-year term will begin Aug. 26

Hailing from the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, Anderson is an associate lawyer at Lackowicz & Hoffman in Whitehorse, where her focus is commercial and residential real estate. She was called to the Yukon bar in 2014. She also sits on the board of directors for the Yukon Legal Services Society, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation Economic Partnerships, the Nacho Nyak Dun Development Corporation, and is a founding member of an Indigenous women’s collective, ReMatriate. She earned a Juris Doctor degree as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of British Columbia.

“Technology has significantly transformed our world and how we live. More than ever, we must understand the needs of our communities to help them navigate the digital age. I am confident that, as the first Indigenous woman and first Yukon resident to be appointed as the CRTC’s new Commissioner for British Columbia and Yukon, Ms. Anderson will play a pivotal role in bringing forward her region’s perspectives,” Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, said in a press release.

The appointment was made under the federal government’s new approach to Governor in Council appointments supporting open, transparent and merit-based selection processes that strive for gender parity, reflect Canada’s diversity and support ministers in making appointment recommendations for positions within their portfolio by providing them with information and referrals.

The commission’s lack of diversity has been highlighted in the past. Former chair Jean-Pierre Blais opened a March 2017 hearing on aboriginal radio stations by noting the lack of Indigenous appointees to the commission.

Ronald Williams has been the lone Indigenous appointee to the commission up until now. Williams, a former deputy cabinet minister in the Government of the Northwest Territories and former president of Mackenzie Media until its sale to Northwestel, was appointed to the CRTC by the Liberals in 1999.

Williams is one of just two first-time appointees who is a visible minority. No member of a visible minority has ever been appointed CRTC chair or vice-chair.


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