Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #10-012
January 26, 2010

Community Development Fund supports First Nations culture and heritage

WHITEHORSE – Thirteen community groups and organizations received over $500,000 in funding under the latest Tier 2 Community Development Fund (CDF) intake.

“The Yukon government is pleased to see a large number of community projects achieving a climate of collaboration and partnership with First Nations," Economic Development Minister Jim Kenyon said. “A significant portion of funding for this intake is supporting First Nations governments and related organizations with projects relating to cultural skills and preservation.”

The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations have been awarded $67,500 to develop and design conceptual plans for the exhibits at the new cultural centre in Haines Junction.

“Our citizens are very excited and looking forward to having this centre as a place where we can protect and preserve our heritage and culture,” Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Chief Diane Strand said. “The CDF funding will go towards exhibit planning for the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Cultural Centre. Our goal is to have the centre, with the new exhibits, ready to be opened by summer 2011.”

This CDF intake also awarded the Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle $41,500 to develop kindergarten to Grade 12 Inuit and Dene traditional games curriculum and school championships.

“We will be taking all our traditional equipment and demonstrating various games like the knuckle-hop, the high-kick and the stick-pull to physical education teachers throughout Yukon schools and we will also be creating a manual so teachers can integrate these games into their lessons for future years,” Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle executive director Greg Edgelow said. “It is fascinating to learn how these games and competitions emulate real hunting, fishing, gathering and survival techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation.”

The CDF offers three funding levels. Tier 1 funding is available for requests up to $20,000. Tier 2 funding is available for applicants requesting $20,001 to $75,000, and Tier 3 funding is available for requests over $75,000 in funding. The next intake deadline is May 14 for Tier 1 and 2 applications.

Organizations are strongly encouraged to contact the CDF office for assistance with their applications and developing project ideas.

To learn more about the CDF, visit or contact the CDF office at 867-667-8125 or 1-800-661-0408, extension 8125.


See backgrounder below.


Emily Younker
Cabinet Communications


MaryRose Metcalfe
Economic Development, Communications




Tier 2 Community Development Fund Recipients

Boys and Girls Club of Whitehorse – $21,000 – Weekday Warriors After-school program. This project will offer various affordable programs in Whitehorse for youth in Grades 3 through 6. The project will create 960 hours of employment for four people. Contact: Dave Blottner at 867-393-2824.

Carcross/Tagish First Nation – $66,528 – Totem Carving – Under the direction of a master carver, Carcross/Tagish First Nation citizens will be given the opportunity to learn cultural skills and develop further employment and economic opportunities through long-term traditional pursuits. The project will create 360 hours of employment for three people. Contact: Heather Jones at 867-821-8243.

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations – $67,500 – Cultural Centre Exhibit Planning – To develop design and conceptual plans for exhibits for the new cultural centre in Haines Junction. The project will create 210 hours of employment for three people. Contact: Alexia McKinnon at 403-609-2284. 

Friends of Yukon Archives Society – $37,500 – James Quong Photo Exhibition – To develop three separate exhibits at the partner museums that will show the breadth and quality of Yukon photographs taken by Alaska Highway Engineer and Transportation Hall of Famer James Quong, from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s. The project will create 720 hours of employment for two people. Contact: Claire Eamer at 867-332-6102. 

Great Northern Ski Society – $43,336 – Early Snow Project: Snowmaking – To assist in the establishment of an early season snowmaking program that will benefit the ski/snowboard programs and the public. It will extend the season in the fall. The project will create 2,800 hours of employment for 14 people. Contact: Guillaume Rochet at 867-332-4145.

Miles Canyon Historical Railway Society – $31,701 – Rail on the Waterfront – To undertake research with regard to the railbus and the waterfront right-of-way south of Rotary Peace Park and develop a plan for rail transportation on the waterfront. The project will create 2,800 hours of employment for 10 people. Contact: Richard Jamieson at 867-667-6355.

Skookum Jim Friendship Centre – $67,173 – Schematic Design – Skookum Jim Friendship Centre is moving forward to the schematic design stage for the addition and renovation of the centre's existing building in downtown Whitehorse. The project will create 387 hours of employment for six people. Contact: Michelle Kolla at 867-633-7687.

Teslin Historical and Museum Society – $59,370 – Teslin Air-Radio Range Repeater Station Exhibit Gallery – To install an exhibition of 1940-55 artifacts, photographs and stories on seven key topics in a restored 1941 air-radio range repeater station at Teslin's George Johnston Museum. The project will create 975 hours of employment for 12 people. Contact: Jay Dobson at 867-390-2390.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation – $25,736 – Community Garden – The project will involve the construction of garden infrastructure, a gardening course to teach residents about planting, maintaining and harvesting a garden, and planting of the community garden. The project will create 540 hours of employment for six people. Contact: Reanna Sutton at 867-966-3519.

Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle – $41,500 – Inuit and Dene Traditional Games kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum development – To develop curriculum and school championships that will enable the sharing of traditional games for generations to come. It will enable teachers to integrate the curriculum into their yearly plans without having to complete extra work developing lessons. The project will create 1,200 hours of employment for two people. Contact: Greg Edgelow at 867-668-4236.

Yukon Holistic Health Network – $21,005 – April 2010 Health Conference Better Choices, Better Health – The network will organize a conference to increase awareness of stress and its relationship to health exploring the mind/body connection with well known author Dr. Gabor Maté. The target audience is health-care workers. The project will create 450 hours of employment for one person. Contact: Barbara Drury at 867-668-1045. 

Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council – $25,000 – Youth Leadership and Professional Development Initiative – To engage and inspire First Nations youth to pursue careers in environmental and natural resource management, climate change research, renewable energy, sustainable and community development, and to encourage youth to develop and implement a specific wilderness protection education and awareness project for visitors and tourists that visit a recreational area where the youth reside. The project will create 1,040 hours employment for one person. Contact: Carl Sidney at 867-334-1207.