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C/TFN declares state of emergency over drug deaths

C/TFN discussing paths forward with their citizens and calling for coordinated approach
Haa Shaa du Hen (Chief) Lynda Dickson (Skoehoeteen). (Courtesy/Carcross/Tagish First Nation)

Drug-related deaths are hurtling through Yukon.

On Jan. 12, the Carcross/Tagish First Nation (C/TFN) declared a state of emergency following three drug-related fatalities amongst their citizens within the first week of 2022.

C/TFN’s Executive Council called an emergency meeting on Jan. 7 and three days later hosted a generative discussion within their membership regarding issues and needs surrounding the drug crisis.

The ensuing dialogue echoed the concerns of other Yukon communities, and appeals of other community leaders. They heard calls for coordinated, community-led approaches, collaboration with other Yukon First Nations and orders of government, and expressed a willingness to cultivate community services and supports.

“Carcross/Tagish First Nation leaders are adding their voices to a chorus of urgent calls for action that have been issued from various entities and communities across the Yukon on this enduring and growing issue,” says an announcement issued Jan. 12.

The declaration continues: “C/TFN is calling upon Yukon government and other Yukon First Nations to come together in solidarity under the declaration and act in collaboration to address gaps identified by Yukon First Nations and communities in addressing the territory’s drug crisis.”

On Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. there will be a volunteer-led vigil at the firepit by Haa Shagoon Hidi in Carcross to coincide with other similar events in other Yukon communities.

All are welcome on this Saturday and COVID protocols for in-person gatherings will be in effect. People who wish to support those lost and those addicted, but are reluctant to gather, can light a candle in their window for the 2 p.m. for the Yukon-wide vigil.

C/TFN will be hosting other meetings with its citizens over the next few weeks.

Contact Lawrie Crawford at