"I want to give back to our community": Devin Brodhagen joins Yukon NDP race in Watson Lake

Born and raised Watson Laker Devin Brodhagen, an Aboriginal disability rights activist, is throwing his hat in the ring to win the Yukon NDP nomination for his community. A quadriplegic since age 18, Brodhagen wants to be a part of the next chapter in Watson Lake’s history – and he says that the Yukon NDP are the best choice for Watson Lakers who want to see their community thrive.

Brodhagen can trace his family lineage through his grandmother Alice Watson to her father, Frank Watson, a Klondike stampeder who settled in the Kaska territory and became the namesake of present-day Watson Lake. Brodhagen was born and raised in Watson Lake, where he grew up immersed in the natural landscape.

“When I was young, my grandmother Alice taught me how to trap and live off the land. I enjoy and respect every part of our land and territory as an avid fisherman and hunter,” said Brodhagen. “I especially enjoy photography; I love capturing Yukon’s natural beauty on camera for others to enjoy.”

In 2005, then-18-year-old Brodhagen was driving down the Alaska Highway to the Liard Hot Springs when his car struck a bison. The accident left him unable to walk – but 11 years later, at 29 years old he makes up for his young age with a wealth of life experience.

The Aurora College graduate currently works as an assistant manager for Manitoulin Transport and maintains a busy schedule by giving motivational speeches at schools in Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Brodhagen was drawn to the Yukon NDP when he learned about the party’s values: effective community health and wellness services, regional infrastructure development and stable local economies.

“I have watched Watson Lake grow my entire life, and I felt the community’s support when I had my accident. I want to give back to our community. I chose the Yukon NDP because they have a strong team that will help our community flourish,” added Brodhagen. “Watson Lake has given me so much, but it has suffered at the hands of a boom-bust economy and a government that hasn’t made local health care services a priority. I know I can make Watson Lake stronger as part of a Yukon NDP government.”

Brodhagen joins community activist Erin Labonte in the Yukon NDP’s Watson Lake nomination contest.