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CYFN and John Howard Society to collaborate on services

The two organizations entered a formal partnership on Feb. 9
John Howard Society parking at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre on Feb. 15. The Council of Yukon First Nations and the John Howard Society have signed a partnership. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

The Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) has signed a partnership with the John Howard Society.

“The agreement formalizes the commitment … to work collaboratively to support and enhance service delivery for the benefit of Yukon First Nations,” said CYFN Grand Chief Peter Johnston.

The John Howard Society currently operates the territory’s transition home for men released from custody, located in a separate unit of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. The society took over the transition home last spring after the Adult Resource Centre closed on March 31, 2020.

According to a news release issued on Feb. 9, CYFN and the John Howard Society have issued joint submissions on several initiatives. Those include services for justice-involved women; Housing First residences; the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter; and the Preventing and Addressing Family Violence Program.

CYFN is also lending support to the society’s Supervised Housing and Reintegration Program.

The new agreement outlines five key areas of collaboration helping First Nations people with complex needs integrate into the community through “coordination, collaboration, advocacy and policy implementation”; collaborating on programming in the Yukon; creating services that are culturally safe; information-sharing challenges to providing service; and consulting on operational challenges and critical incidents.

The press release explains that the partner organizations will exchange views, information, experience and solutions related to programming for First Nations people.

“It is a welcomed partnership that affirms CYFN’s active involvement in solutions and supports that are culturally-informed and appropriate for Yukon First Nations, helping to address gaps in current service delivery models,” Johnston said.

Mark Miller, John Howard Society CEO, said he’s pleased to see the partnership formalized.

“Our collaboration with CYFN is invaluable to ensuring that we provide services which meet the needs of Yukon First Nations.

“We are honoured to have the opportunity to work alongside CYFN and learn from Yukon First Nations, and are committed to ensuring that we provide culturally-informed and appropriate services for the people and communities we serve.”

Contact Gabrielle Plonka at