Boxes filled with thousands of Arctic Winter Games sleeping bags, t-shirts and flip-flops are making their way to First Nations youth throughout the territory.
In an April 29 joint statement from the 2020 Arctic Winter Games and Council of Yukon First Nations, officials announced a partnership between the two organizations as well as Air North.
The arrangement has seen 1,000 sleeping bags, 600 pairs of flip-flops and more than 1,000 t-shirts donated to CYFN to be distributed to First Nations youth in communities throughout the territory with Air North taking on the task of getting the donations to Dawson and Old Crow.
It was announced March 7 that the games — scheduled for March 15 to 21 — were cancelled due to COVID-19.
A number of supplies and goods were already in town to be used for the event, including the sleeping bags and commemorative items.
“We wanted to make a donation, and with Yukon First Nations playing an important role in the planning of the Games, we felt the Council of Yukon First Nations would be a great fit,” Moira Lassen, the general manager of the games, said. “CYFN offered to do the leg work, coordinating distribution to Yukon First Nations youth, and we’re very happy to confirm that we will be donating nearly 1,000 sleeping bags.”
CYFN Grand Chief Peter Johnston highlighted the work of the three organizations to spread some cheer during an otherwise stressful time.
“This partnership is in keeping with the spirit of reconciliation which would have been a major focus of the event itself,” he said.
It was noted the partnership was made official April 6, exactly one year after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the AWG 2020 Host Society, CYFN and several Yukon First Nations.
Along with the donation to CYFN, AWG also donated another 500 sleeping bags to a number of community groups including the Girl Guides of Canada (Yukon), Scouts Yukon, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon (FASSY), and Blood Ties Four Directions.
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