Canadaland Presents: The Backbench Live in Whitehorse event image

Canadaland Presents: The Backbench Live in Whitehorse

This event took place on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 4:00 pmYukon Theatre

The Backbench is headed North!

Join host Mattea Roach and a stacked roster of Northern Backbenchers and special guests for The Backbench’s first ever live show and podcast recording North of 60. 

Often underreported or ignored by national media, the unique and complex issues facing the people who call Yukon home rarely get the attention they deserve.  This is your chance to take part in a smart, nuanced, and engaging recorded conversation centering the political and social challenges and opportunities. We will dive deep into and give national spotlight to the issues affecting you and your community such as the housing crisis, affordability, Indigenous governance and climate change.


Special Guests:

Michelle Friesen (she/her)

Michelle Friesen is proudly serving as the first Indigenous woman on council for the City of Whitehorse which rests on the Traditional Territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and her family's First Nation, the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council. When she’s not busy being a mom, she works to share her experiences to encourage diversity and representation in leadership and politics or you can find her on the trails empowering women through sport while connecting them to mental health and wellness.”



Carissa Waugh (she/her)

Carissa Waugh, also known by her Northern Tutchone name Ékè Éwe (meaning Caribou Hoof Noise after her late Great-Grandma Emma Shorty), is Kwanlin Dun First Nation belonging to the Crow Clan. Carissa is the Project Coordinator with Northern Council for Global Cooperation while they work on the UNLEASH project. She graduated from the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship in February 2023 but continues to do advocacy and work for the Fellowship. Carissa also represents the Assembly of First Nations Yukon Region in the National AFN Women’s Council where she will represent all Yukon First Nations women. Carissa runs her at-home business called Ékè Éwe Art where she sells her beadwork across Canada, using the art to bring awareness to Indigenous issues such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2 Spirit People, Every Child Matters, Reconciliation, and even Climate Change.



Tosh Southwick (she/her)

Consultant & Founding Partner, IRP inspire.reconciliation.potential
Tosh Southwick, belongs to the wolf moiety and is a Citizen of Kluane First Nation. She grew up in a small northern community and is the mother to three children and the auntie to many more. She has worked with Yukon First Nations most of her career and in many different capacities. Most recently in her previous role as the Associate Vice President of Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation at Yukon University Tosh oversaw the integration of First Nation ways of knowing and doing throughout the institution. During her 12 years there she worked with her team to ensure that Yukon University was meeting the education and training needs of the 14 Yukon First Nations. Tosh is a trained facilitator and knowledge sharer. She has worked with organizations across sectors to build and deliver relevant and culturally appropriate workshops and creating safe spaces to explore complex topics. Tosh has worked in Governance, Education, Human Resources and Health for various First Nation Governments and organizations. She has also served as youth councilor and Deputy Chief for her First Nation. Tosh acquired her B.A. with honors in Psychology from the University of Victoria and completed a Master’s in Education with the University of British Columbia.

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