Tony Penikett has spent 25 years in public life, including two years at the House of Commons as chief of staff to federal New Democratic Party Leader Ed Broadbent, five terms in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, and two terms as premier of Canada's Yukon Territory. His government negotiated settlements of Yukon First Nation land claims and passed pioneering legislation in education, health, language. It also organized Yukon 2000, a unique, bottom-up economic planning process.
Between 1997 and 2001, Penikett served first as deputy minister of negotiations and later as deputy minister of labour for the British Colombia government. In 2006, Douglas & McIntyre published his book Reconciliation: First Nations Treaty Making. Penikett is also the author of two films: The Mad Trapper for BBC TV/Time Life Films and La Patrouille Perdue, for ORTF France.
As a mediator and negotiator, Penikett has worked on devolution in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. He has lectured on the history of aboriginal treaty negotiations at Simon Fraser University, Queen's University, and the University of Washington. In 2013, Penikett became Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Arctic Studies at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. In September 2014, Simon Fraser University's Public Policy School appointed him visiting professor.
Penikett serves as a mentor for the Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation's Glassco Fellows. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation appointed him a Trudeau mentor in 2016.