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CAFN COVID-19 Planning and Response: Bulletin 18 – Holiday Issue

Message from the Chief

Utʼàkwädínchʼe dzenų̀ nàkwä̀ ntthʼät. Nän äyų nàkwä̀ ntthʼät n-yè sàkų́thį jè.

The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) Dän nätthe dätthʼi (Council) wishes you a healthy, happy and safe Christmas and New Year.  We encourage you to stay safe and take care of one another throughout the holiday season.

It has been a tough year, and the holidays can be even tougher, but we are getting through it together.  I am proud of how our people have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and all the changes it has brought – you are dän shawthän – good people.

Though we know a vaccine is coming in the new year, we are not out of the woods yet.  We would usually get together with many family and friends during the holidays, but this year, we ask you to celebrate safely.  Please keep your in-person gatherings small, practice the Safe 6, and wear your mask when you need to.  But it is still important to connect with family and friends – get creative on ways to spend time with loved ones.  That could mean a video chat or phone call, or even a walk outdoors.

And please be sure to join one of our CAFN Christmas Connects activities.  We have many COVID-19-safe activities planned.  You can find them on our CAFN website, Facebook page, and holiday newsletter. 

A lot of news right now is focused on COVID-19 vaccines.  Now is a good time to learn more about the vaccines coming to Canada and Yukon. Please be sure to get your vaccine facts from a reliable source like Yukon.ca or Canada.ca, and be wary of misinformation on social media.

As we go through the darkest part of the winter and enter the New Year, please also be kind to yourself and others.  It only takes a small gesture, a few words of care and concern, or a listening ear to brighten someone’s day.  More than ever this year, the biggest gift you have to give is your time.

Gunałchish

Kaaxnox, Dän Nätthe Äda (Chief Steve Smith)

Yukon’s COVID-19 Vaccine
Last week the Yukon government announced that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be making its way to the Territory very soon.  All adult Yukoners who want the vaccine will have access to it for free in early 2021.  At this time a vaccine is not available for children or those who are pregnant. 
To learn more, please visit:  https://yukon.ca/en/health-and-wellness/covid-19-information/your-health-covid-19/covid-19-vaccine-strategy

What is the status of COVID-19 in the Yukon?  Please visit Yukon.ca

What is the status of COVID-19 in Canada?  Please visit Canada.ca

Council of Yukon First Nations COVID-19 information hub: CYFN.ca/covid-19

Safe Practices for the Holidays
Have family arriving from outside the Yukon?  Please self-isolate as required by the Government of Yukon.  For full details please visit: yukon.ca/en/health-and-wellness/covid-19-information/your-health-covid-19/information-self-isolation
Holding a holiday dinner?  Please keep your gatherings small and limited to your social bubble of one to two households at most.
Need help?  Please use our Holiday On-Call list to contact CAFN and other support staff.

Keep on Being a Safe 6 Champion!
1. physical distancing;
2. regular hand washing;
3. stay home when sick;
4. don’t gather in groups;
5. avoid travel to communities; and
6. self-isolate when required.                                
+ Wear a mask in all public spaces.
See the new Dän K’e video on mask wearing at youtu.be/eI5BqqJsguc
Mental Wellness During the Holidays
Kwänischiss to Yukon Health and Social Services for these mental health tips.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the frenzy of the holiday season, while managing COVID-19 restrictions? If yes, you are not alone. Here some tips to make it feel more manageable:
Distraction – Do something to keep busy, watch a fun movie, take up a new hobby, or go for a ski or walk.
Connect spiritually – Whether that is taking time in nature, talking to a spiritual healer or church leader or through spiritual practices such as smudging.
Help someone else – Sometimes it can help to have a purpose and helping someone else can make us feel better, too. You can deliver food to someone, walk their dog, etc.
Be kind to yourself – Lift yourself up like you would do for a friend, treat yourself and take time just for you.
Seek support – Call a friend or supportive family member or call Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services or private counselling or other help lines.
CAFN Community Wellness emergency on-call support will be available throughout the holidays when our offices are closed.
New Robocall System
CAFN is setting up an automated phone and text message system as a new tool to get information to Citizens quickly.  To sign up to receive robocall messages, please visit: forms.gle/iQHy2gJJJWzKFHLPA.  After you begin to receive messages, you can also “unsubscribe” at any time.  We are currently testing the system and look forward to beginning regular use in 2021. 
Current COVID-19 Safety Measures at CAFN
This December 10, Council agreed to keep the following measures in place and will reassess January 7, 2021.
– Masks are required in all CAFN common areas.
– 25% or fewer staff in CAFN offices.
– Staff travel is limited to essential services. 
– The Youth Centre is closed. 
– The Shawkwunlee Daycare continues to operate at current levels (about 50%). 
– No in-person gatherings or meetings. 
– Virtual meetings and outdoor activities will be considered. 
– Language immersion classes are virtual.
– Da Kų Cultural Centre and community halls are closed. This includes funerals.
– Bus Service continues with small numbers and safe spacing.

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