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Seven Yukon organizations funded to study pandemic impact

The research will focus on things like how First Nations implemented restrictions and effects on business
Signs on the door of the Yukon Convention Centre in downtown Whitehorse June 1, 2020. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News)

The Canadian and Yukon governments have announced they will be awarding $1 million in research funding to look at the effects of COVID-19 in the territory.

“From mental health to food security; from emergency preparedness to housing and homelessness and protecting the most vulnerable, the recipients of the COVID-19 Recovery Research funding are working to ensure that Yukon and Canada are prepared for a future emergency or pandemic,” said Yukon MP Brendan Hanley, in a statement.

Seven projects, with a combined budget of $454,000, were announced on Dec. 21. A second intake is currently open and the second round of results will be announced in February.

Recipients in the first funding phase include the Selkirk First Nation, Firelight Group and Tr’ondëk Hwëchin First Nation, Council of Yukon First Nations, Yukon Status of Women Council, Lakehead University researchers Kari Johnston and Mark Andrachuk and the Queer Yukon Society.

The research program is being funded by the federal government through the department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.

Many of the research topics focus on specific groups or activities and how they have been impacted since March 2020.

Selkirk First Nation, for example, was awarded $70,300 to look at how the pandemic impacted traditional food-related pursuits. The Yukon Status of Women Council will use $75,000 to look at how COVID-19 impacted the livelihoods of women in the territory. The Queer Yukon Society will receive around $9,000 to look at housing insecurity during the pandemic.

Other projects will look at the well-being of teachers and educators and adaptation among businesses and entrepreneurs in the territory.

The Council of Yukon First Nations was awarded $75,000 to look at how emergency responses were implemented among Yukon First Nations by the COVID-19 response team, and “use lessons from the current pandemic to inform ongoing collaboration and decision-making.”

“The program will help increase our collective understanding of the various impacts of the pandemic on the lives of Yukoners while building a healthier, more resilient and prosperous North, for the benefit of all Canadians,” said federal Minister of Northern Affairs Daniel Vandal in a statement.

A number of the projects promise to offer recommendations for the future, as we eventually come out of the pandemic into recovery mode.

Project timelines range from one to two years for completion and the goal is to undertake work that looks at the social, cultural, environmental, economic and health impacts of COVID-19 in the Yukon.

Contact Haley Ritchie at