CAFN Mourns Passing of Executive Director Fran Asp

CAFN Mourns Passing of Executive Director Fran Asp



July 13, 2022

Dakwäkäda (Haines Junction) – Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) is mourning the loss of our Citizen and dedicated employee Frances Asp (Tth’iowa) who passed away last Saturday, July 9, at Vancouver General Hospital.

“Fran was a champion of First Nation Self-Government and dedicated her life’s work to advancing Yukon First Nations for more than 35 years,” says Kaaxnox, Dän Nätthe Äda (Chief Steve Smith).  “She epitomized dän shawthän, a good Southern Tutchone person.  Fran was a role model and mentored so many of our young people when they were brand new to our government.  Losing Fran as our most senior employee leaves a huge gap at CAFN, and deep sadness in our hearts.”

Fran began working for CAFN in the late 1990’s during the early days implementing our Final and Self-Government of Agreements.  She started out as a contractor building job descriptions and our first wage scale, and from the time she was hired permanently, helped grow the CAFN government staff from around 70 to more than 150 employees today. It was an exciting time to be involved as she helped build the government from the ground up.  During intense growth and change, Fran always offered the voice of reason. She was practical, logical and forward-looking.

From1986 on, Fran advanced from Implementation Officer, to Director of Secretariat, to Director of Capacity & Policy, and then to Executive Director in 2016.  She was a strong negotiator, dedicated to more fully implementing our Agreements. She had keen finance skills, was certified as a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager in 2000, and participated in a fellowship program with the Office of the Auditor General in 2005.

Fran also played a key role as the Director of Finance for the Council of Yukon First Nations for several years in the 1990s, and prior to that as the Accounting Supervisor for the Council for Yukon Indians in the late 80s.

During a short hiatus from CAFN, Fran also established her own company, Asp Management Consulting, specializing in projects to support First Nation and Aboriginal women’s organizations.  In her free time, Fran served as a member of the Yukon Heritage Resources Board, a Trustee for the Nacho Nyak Dun Investment Trust, and with Sally & Sisters.

A funeral service and potlatch for Fran will be held at Shadhäla (Champagne) on Sunday, July 17, at 2 p.m.

CAFN extends our deepest condolences to all Fran’s family and loved ones.

For more information:


Amy McKinnon, Strategic Communications Manager

(867) 332-1973


Jenna Henderson, Communications Officer

(867) 334-6264