Yukon Weekly

Discussion at Yukon forum for Residential school examinations

The residential college site examinations, opioid crisis and management of COVID-19 were all discussed at the Oct. 29 Yukon Forum assembly that delivered collectively First Nations leaders and Yukon authorities cabinet.

The discussion board, which occurs 4 times a year, occurred at Haa Shagóon Hídi (formerly Carcross/Tagish Learning Centre).

“Today became a remarkable day, we spent a lot of time speaking about realities which might be taking place in our communities right now coping with the opioid crisis,” stated Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston, following the all-day assembly.

“We had a lot of discussions as well around COVID and the safety of our people,” he stated. “First Nations communities want to have up-to-date – not only information – but up-to-date opportunities to help hold their network safe, whether that’s rapid testing kits or the ability for us to get continued vaccinations.”

The possible examinations of the Lower Post residential college on the border with British Columbia and the Choutla residential school in Carcross have been also mentioned.

Following the invention of the remains of 215 children in an unmarked burial ground in Kamloops, the First Nation Government’s Burial Investigation Committee turned into set up to consider a comparable investigation of Yukon residential school sites.

Similar searches are underway or planned for sites throughout the country.

Johnston stated the discussion board heard from both Tlingit elder Adeline Webber and Kwanlin Dun elder Judy Gingell, who provided an update on how the committee is moving forward.

“[The elders] confused the fact that we’re already advancing these talks that need the whole community representation. Particularly on the subject of Choutla college, all countries were affected. Elders today very much wanted to make sure that not only will there be territorial assist for this initiative, but to make sure that the Nations that are suffering from this are taken very seriously,” he stated.

Johnston stated that while there are “no particular timelines” right now, the committee has important meetings coming up in November and is in close dialogue with the Tagish/Carcross First Nation in Carcross and the Dene Council in Lower Post.

He stated help from First Nations who hadn’t previously spoken before was heard at the discussion board.

He stated they’re considering physical examinations of schools, emotional support for sufferers and families and education for the general public.

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“There’s a lot of pieces moving,” he stated. “As elder Judy mentioned, there are a lot of dynamics that they’ve to consider in this regard. Because we want to create a talk, however they want to be cognizant and aware of the sensitivity of this matter, and to make sure that they do things right.”

“But we need to make sure that this – it has a lot of momentum – we don’t want to lose any of that,” he stated.

Similar searches are underway or planned for sites throughout the country.

Johnston stated the discussion board heard from both Tlingit elder Adeline Webber and Kwanlin Dun elder Judy Gingell, who provided an update on how the committee is moving forward.

“[The elders] confused the fact that we’re already advancing these talks that need the whole community representation. Particularly on the subject of Choutla college, all countries were affected. Elders today very much wanted to make sure that not only will there be territorial assist for this initiative, but to make sure that the Nations that are suffering from this are taken very seriously,” he stated.

Johnston stated that while there are “no particular timelines” right now, the committee has important meetings coming up in November and is in close dialogue with the Tagish/Carcross First Nation in Carcross and the Dene Council in Lower Post.

He stated help from First Nations who hadn’t previously spoken before was heard at the discussion board.

He stated they’re considering physical examinations of schools, emotional support for sufferers and families and education for the general public.

“There’s a lot of pieces moving,” he stated. “As elder Judy mentioned, there are a lot of dynamics that they’ve to consider in this regard. Because we want to create a talk, however they want to be cognizant and aware of the sensitivity of this matter, and to make sure that they do things right.”

“But we need to make sure that this – it has a lot of momentum – we don’t want to lose any of that,” he stated.

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