Statement from Kaaxnox, Dän Nätthe Äda on the Yukon COVID-19 State of Emergency

Statement from Kaaxnox, Dän Nätthe Äda on the Yukon COVID-19 State of Emergency

Dakwäkäda (Haines Junction, Yukon)

“Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) fully supports the State of Emergency announced last night by the Government of Yukon.  We urge all CAFN Citizens and community members to act immediately to carry out these new safety measures in your daily lives and help bring an end to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Why is this important to CAFN?

We must do all that we can to keep our dän (people) safe until the current Yukon COVID-19 outbreak is brought under control. 

Dúch’į shį – we must all do this now to keep each other and our community safe.  When it is a serious matter, we put our community’s needs ahead of our own.  This is who we are as dän

Today we know that the Delta variant is infecting and being spread by both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.  We know that vaccinated people are better protected against serious outcomes, and about half the current COVID cases now are among vaccinated Yukoners.  We are ALL still responsible for doing what we must to protect our most vulnerable.

Right now some of our most vulnerable are people who are not yet vaccinated, which includes our younger children. Our kids are our future and one of our most precious resources.  And we must also continue to look out for our Elders and people whose immunity is not strong.

What is CAFN doing now?

CAFN is watching closely and learning about the evolving COVID-19 situation in the Yukon and taking the following actions at this time:

  • All CAFN programs and events are postponed or to be held virtually until further notice. 
  • The Shawkwunlee daycare, youth centre, Da Kų Cultural Centre and all community halls are closed.
  • We are actively working to identify ways to better protect our Citizens during this outbreak. 
  • We are staying in touch with Citizens.  Please watch for more details on our CAFN response in the days to come. 
  • We are supporting our students.  With a number of students required to self-isolate, CAFN staff are available to help make sure our kids are able to get their homework so they can keep up with school.

There are currently no known active cases of COVID-19 in Dakwäkäda/Haines Junction (as of Nov 8, source Yukon Health & Social Services).  However, there has been a COVID-19 exposure at St. Elias Community School affecting 9 grades, so a number of students are currently required to self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms.  We are also aware there is widespread transmission in Whitehorse and many of our students and families there are also impacted by COVID-19 exposures.

What should everyone do now?

  • Stay home if you are sick and get tested if you have symptoms.
  • Please self-isolate or self-monitor as instructed by Yukon Communicable Disease Control.
  • Wear a mask in all indoor public settings, including at school and in class, and outdoors where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Limit your personal gatherings to 10 or less people from two households if everyone is vaccinated; stick to your own household members only if any eligible people are not vaccinated.
  • Do not travel to other communities.  Please avoid all non-essential travel between Yukon communities and Whitehorse.  Please do not visit Dakwäkäda (Haines Junction) and the CAFN Traditional Territory for non-essential reasons at this time.
  • Keep your organized gatherings small, including conferences and weddings.  Limit indoor gatherings to 25 individuals with proof of vaccination required; limit outdoor gatherings to 50 people.
  • Please practice the Safe 6 and stay up to date on new COVID-19 information at Yukon.ca.
  • Please check out full details on other new measures under the State of Emergency at: https://yukon.ca/en/news/state-emergency-declared-response-increased-spread-covid-19-yukon

Get vaccinated when you can

Vaccines are helping prevent serious illness and death due to COVID-19.  They are critical to helping bring an end to the pandemic.  We are currently more than 90% vaccinated in our eligible age groups in our traditional territory, and it is helping us now.  As we anxiously await the approval of vaccines for our children ages 5-11, we encourage everyone – adults and youth ages 12 and up – please book your 1st or 2nd dose now, or your booster if you are age 50 or older. 

We know what to do.  We have learned so much since the pandemic began, and every one of us has the tools to use now to stay safe and look out for each other.  And we have strong values that bring us together.  CAFN dän are strong and resilient because we look out for each other during hard times.”


Kaaxnox, Dän Nätthe Äda

(Steve Smith, Chief)


For more information:

Amy McKinnon, Strategic Communications Manager

(867) 332-1973