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 is an experienced northern lawyer, and a former Federal Prosecutor with the Nunavut Regional Office of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. She has served as an adjudicator on the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal, and has represented the Crown at the Nunavut Mental Health Review Board. She has also worked for Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Aid in Iqaluit, for the Nunavut Department of Justice, and has held a judicial clerkship with the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Jessica has had a lifelong interest in human rights and civil liberties. She holds an LL.B. from the University of Victoria, and a Masters of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University. She is also fluent in both French and Spanish.
Colleen Harrington: Legal Counsel
Colleen joined the Commission in September 2009. She has a B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan, with a major in Women’s and Gender Studies and an LL.B from the University of New Brunswick. She completed an international human rights internship with the League of Kenya Women Voters in Nairobi, then articled and worked as a staff lawyer at a community legal aid clinic in Hamilton, Ontario. She later worked as a staff lawyer and Acting Executive Director of the Legal Services Board of Nunavut. In September 2008 she took a position with the Yukon Legal Services Society at the Neighbourhood Law Centre where she practiced criminal, family and poverty law.
Emma Hanes: Public Education Coordinator
Emma joined the Commission in January 2017. She holds a Combined Honours in Linguistics & Spanish from Dalhousie University, and draws from her background working in language education and non-profit organizations like the Learning Disabilities Association of the Yukon to inform her approach to teaching others. Emma is a passionate literacy advocate, and was the Project and Outreach Manager for the Yukon Literacy Coalition for four years prior to joining the Commission. Emma brings a commitment to social justice and innovative pathways to learning to the role of Public Education Coordinator, and has extensive experience working cross-culturally and multilingually. Emma is fluent in Spanish and French.
Human Rights Officer: Position vacant
The Commission is looking to hire a full-time Human Rights Officer. Please see the full job posting for details.
Lynn Pigage: Intake Person/Office Administrator
Lynn joined the Commission in 1998. Lynn's extensive experience in supporting administration of the Act, providing information on human rights and her friendly, helpful manner are great assets in this front-line position. She also has in-depth knowledge of local services and organizations and is able to help many inquirers with referrals to other agencies.
Michael Harrison: Law Student
Michael joined the Commission in January 2017. He is assisting with legal research and investigative processes for a 3-month co-op term through the University of Victoria. Michael was raised in Kamloops, B.C., and graduated in 2013 from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction. He is currently a second-year law student at the University of Victoria, where he volunteers with a number of social-justice oriented organizations.
Geneviève Claveau joined the Commission in January 2017 for a 3-month internship. She is providing support to our Legal Counsel Colleen Harrington. Geneviève is from Montréal and has a Bachelor of Civil Law from the Université de Montréal and a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School. In the course of her studies, she served as a research assistant for a Plain Language non-profit organization, for professors in constitutional and Indigenous law, as well as for a judge. Geneviève will be starting a clerkship with the Québec Court of Appeal in June 2017.