Loretta Warnsby Memorial Award in Law

Loretta Isabel Warnsby (nee Barber) was born on 05 July 1946 the fourth child and second daughter of Clarence (Mike) Ruben Barber and Agnes Rose Barber (nee Simon) . She was a member of the Crow Clan and a Citizen of Trondëk Hwëchin. Her early days were spent on the White and Stewart Rivers where her family trapped and cut wood for the paddle-wheelers. Loretta attended school in Dawson and later at FH Collins in Whitehorse. She was an excellent student and her teacher encouraged her to go to college but her family couldn’t afford it so she went to the Secretarial School instead. After graduating and working several jobs around Yukon she returned to Dawson to work at the Commerce and Montreal banks.

It was in the late 60s that she met Ben Warnsby, the love of her life, and they were married in 1970 in Merritt, B.C. After marrying Ben, Loretta supported him in his many business ventures. They sometimes looked after Lorettas younger brother and sister, as needed. In 1984, she was happily surprised to welcome Benjamin Bruce her only child and as Bruce grew up, she was a stay-at-home mother for a number of years.

In the 1990s with Bruce in school, Loretta returned to work at the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program. She soon, however, took the opportunity to gain a college education by enrolling in Yukon Colleges Social Work program graduating in 1997.

After obtaining her degree, Loretta worked for many years with Yukons Healthy Family to support families in providing a safe and supportive home for their children. In retirement, Loretta was often greeted by families who she had supported.

Outside of work and her family, her passion was her well-maintained backyard and vegetable garden. She also enjoyed taking part in Elders Active programming including Carpet Bowling (for which she won medals) and singing with the Han Singers. She was actively involved in Trondëk Hwëchin as a regular attendee at meetings.  She had a love for dogs and was thinking recently of getting a new dog.

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