Government of Yukon

April 28, 2017

Four projects in Yukon benefitting the Champagne and Aishihik and Kwanlin Dün First Nations

Joint release

Modern public infrastructure is key to supporting the unique needs of northern communities. These investments help protect the environment, develop vibrant and welcoming communities, and support First Nations in sharing Northern Canada’s diverse heritage.

Today, Member of Parliament for Yukon Larry Bagnell on behalf of Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi, Yukon’s Minister of Community Services John Streicker, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Dän Nätthe ada Kaaxnox (Chief Steve Smith) and Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill announced funding of $692,463 through the federal Gas Tax Fund towards four First Nations projects in Yukon.

In Haines Junction, the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations will install wireless network infrastructure to provide more reliable, secure and cost-efficient connectivity of their buildings. To accommodate the growing community, significant upgrades and 1,140 square feet of space will be added to the Champagne Potlatch House, where important meetings, cultural events and other community gatherings are held.

In Whitehorse, the Kwanlin Dün First Nation will replace the aging furnace in their potlatch house to increase its energy efficiency. The heating system in their House of Learning will also be replaced to reliably provide students with a comfortable environment in which to learn.

Once complete, these projects will help to improve quality of life for these First Nations, whether at work, at school or together as a community.


“The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of investing in infrastructure that supports safe, cohesive, and vibrant communities. Along with our territorial partners, we are committed to making sure northern communities obtain the support they need to address local infrastructure priorities. These projects will provide modern amenities for a better quality of life, and help strengthen a sense of community, allowing traditions to be passed on to future generations.”

–Member of Parliament for Yukon Larry Bagnell on behalf of Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi, Government of Canada

“The Gas Tax Fund provides predictable funding to communities and I am excited to see these infrastructure investments, which enhance sustainability. These are great examples of local solutions to local problems."

– Minister of Community Services John Streicker, Government of Yukon

“Putting gas tax funds to work in our communities makes a big difference. The Champagne Potlatch House project will provide much-needed new space and improvements so we can host important gatherings, like our 2017 General Assembly. And our network project in Haines Junction is a wireless upgrade that will improve our government’s connectivity and efficiency.”

–Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Dän Nätthe ada Kaaxnox (Chief Steve Smith)

“Gas tax funding has supported much needed infrastructure upgrades within the McIntyre subdivision,” said Chief Doris Bill. “While these upgrades improve the government’s energy-consumption bottom line, they also improve the well-being of citizens, staff and guests who are frequent users of both Nàkwät’à Kų̀ (Potlatch House) and Kenädän Kų̀ (House of Learning).”

–Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada will provide more than $180 billion in infrastructure funding over 12 years for public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, transportation that supports trade, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • To meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities, the federal budget for 2017 proposes to invest $2 billion to support a broad range of infrastructure projects.
  • The federal budget also proposes federal funding to build and improve infrastructure in Indigenous communities through an investment of $4 billion. This investment will be delivered through the green infrastructure and social infrastructure funding.

Learn more: Government of Canada’s $180 billion+ infrastructure plan in Budget 2017, Federal infrastructure investments in YukonGas Tax Fund


Bonnie Venton Ross
Communications, Community Services

Amy McKinnon
Communications, Champagne-Aishihik First Nations
867-634-4200 ext. 237

Marie-Louise Boylan
Communications, Kwanlin Dün First Nation
867-633-7800 ext. 112

Brook Simpson
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Government of Canada

Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

News Release #17-088