An Open Letter from AFN Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek

"Through the many challenges faced, we continue to witness incredible leadership and strength from Yukon First Nations who continue to drive community-led solutions for the creation of a brighter future. I encourage all people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to join your neighbours to draw upon truth, educate, appreciate, and celebrate the wonderful contributions and cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. It is these relationships of respect and reciprocity that will guide the next steps ahead, and I look forward to ceremonies, songs, languages, laws and our stories being shared and advanced for generations to come." - Regional Chief Kluane Adamek

 

Today and everyday, we acknowledge and celebrate the contributions and celebrate the cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

This year, the country has arrived at National Indigenous People’s Day in a different way than it has been before; we remain in the midst of a pandemic that has altered our lives considerably be it emotionally, physically and spiritually. We are grieving after the recent devastating discovery of 215 Indigenous children at the former Kamloops Residential School. In the days and weeks that have passed, more mass graves have been found, and hundreds of children have been identified. Calls for increased action to bring home the thousands of other children who remain missing continue, and I acknowledge those provinces and territories, including the Yukon, for stepping forward and committing resources to address this.

Over the past month, many of us have spent time in ceremony, reflecting and feeling the impacts of what has, of course, been a cumulative experience for decades and centuries for Indigenous people in Canada.  I reflect on stories such as the one shared by Lianne Charlie, who bravely shared what it has been like as the child of a Residential School Survivor. These stories remind us that the impacts of residential schools are intergenerational, and continue to be felt here in the Yukon and beyond to this day.

And still, we are here…

Read Regional Chief Adamek’s Full Open Letter