The Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship Celebrates the Launch of the Final Reconnection Vision at the Adäka Cultural Festival

Group photo of Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship participants

Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta'an Kwach'an Council Traditional Territories – The Yukon First Nation Climate Action Fellowship is hosting a Reconnection Launch Party at the Adaka Cultural Festival on Friday, June 30th in celebration of the public release of the Reconnection Vision (RV). There will be a Q&A session on July 3rd, 2023, from 12:00 to 2:00 pm at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre Longhouse. This societal shift guide and toolkit has been endorsed by First Nations in Yukon and Northern British Columbia and developed by youth throughout the region.

For the last two years, the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship - the Children of Tomorrow - have connected and collaborated on a Yukon First Nations approach to climate action, work that has culminated in the development of the Reconnection Vision and digital storytelling website. On March 17, 2023, Yukon First Nations leaders passed a resolution to formally endorse the Reconnection Vision as the unified approach to climate leadership in the Yukon and Northern B.C.

The Fellowship was formed following the Yukon First Nation Climate Change Emergency Declaration, signed in February 2020, at the direction of Yukon Chiefs to develop a Yukon First Nation Climate Vision and Action Plan. In January 2021, 13 youth were recruited to the program led by a tri-partnership steering committee with members from Yukon University, the Assembly of First Nations - Yukon Region, and the Council of Yukon First Nations, along with other members from Regenerating Indigenous Values for Earth’s Regeneration (RIVER) and the Youth Climate Lab. Over the past two years, the Fellows learned from local to international leaders and big thinkers, explored their identity as Indigenous youth, and reconnected with their own spirituality, with each other, their communities, and the land as they developed the Reconnection Vision.

The Reconnection Vision (RV) is a societal shift guide and toolkit that reframes and deepens our understanding of the climate and mental health crisis as a crisis of disconnection. The document reflects an authentic Yukon First Nation approach to climate action which aims to transform how we live and learn by outlining 10 Reconnection Seeds to confront today’s societal norms of disconnection and break down the barriers to Reconnection. The RV is intended to be a continuation of Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow through its pathway for change and vision for the future of education, housing, health, the economy, etc.

On June 30, 2023, the Children of Tomorrow will celebrate the official launch of the Reconnection Vision and digital storytelling site during the Adäka Cultural Festival. All community members, particularly youth, are invited to join the celebration and enjoy food and performances by Joey Stylez, Local Boy, and Vision Quest, who will be sharing new recordings produced with Joey Stylez. Most of all, we invite the Yukon to embark on their own journey of Reconnection with ourselves, each other, and the Land.

Celebration of the Reconnection Vision Launch:

Date: Friday, June 30, 2023
Time: Doors open at 6:30 pm
Location: Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre Longhouse
Performers: Local Boy, Vision Quest, Joey Stylez.

Journeys in Reconnection Q&A Session:

Date: Monday, July 3, 2023
Time: 12:00 to 2:00 pm
Location: Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre Longhouse
Presenters: YFN Climate Action Fellowship

“The Reconnection Vision comes from three years of leadership, determination and belief in the power of our youth. I am so proud of the Fellows in this accomplishment, not only of the plan, but of themselves. Witnessing their growth to becoming strong, confident leaders devoted to the youth coming behind them has inspired and driven my own growth and change. I could not have asked for more purpose in our shared journey in Together Today for our Children Tomorrow now to the beautiful path ofReconnection. Shäw nithan dear Fellows, I am so honoured and proud.”

Däk’äläma, Jocelyn Joe-Strack, co-lead of Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship, Indigenous Knowledge Research Chair, Yukon University.

“I am so proud of the Children of Tomorrow and the inspiring work that they have poured into this Reconnection Vision. It truly presents a Yukon First Nations-led shift in how we understand, discuss, and address the climate and mental health crises, and the young voices behind it make this work even more powerful. I look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at the Adäka Festival this year, and am hopeful for the good work that is to come from this Reconnection Vision!”

– Proxy Regional Chief Mary Jane Jim, Assembly of First Nations - Yukon Region

“Gunalcheésh to each of the Children of Tomorrow for their commitment and heart work that they have dedicated to this Reconnection Vision. I continue to be inspired by these emerging leaders who use each day to demonstrate what it means to lead from a place of values.

“The Reconnection Vision will guide us forward in a good way, and is a tool that will be used to bring us together as human beings. I raise my hands to each of the Steering Committee members, Knowledge holders, Elders and leaders who have guided the Fellows along their journeys of connection and reconnection. I look forward to celebrating the culmination of this great work, and moving forward in a good way for future generations!”

– Regional Chief Adamek, Assembly of First Nations - Yukon Region

“It has been a privilege to witness the youth of the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship rise to the challenge presented by Yukon First Nations Chiefs to set the vision when it comes to decolonization of climate action in the north. CYFN is proud to support these 13 young emerging leaders in engaging a Yukon First Nations worldview to address the complexities of climate change through this project.”

– Grand Chief Peter Johnston, Council of Yukon First Nations


The Fellows:

  • Nika Silverfox-Young: Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
  • Ryan Kyikavichik: Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
  • Kadrienne Hummel: First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun
  • Jennifer Mierau: Tr'ondëk Hwëchin First Nation
  • Jessi-John Whalen: Kwanlin Dün First Nation
  • Dustin McKenzie-Hubbard: Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
  • Mats'ä̀säna Mą Primozic: Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
  • Jewel Davies - Yekhunashîn - Khatuku: Carcross/ Tagish First Nation
  • Carissa Waugh - Ékè Éwe: Kwanlin Dün First Nation
  • Robby Dick - Nagodigá: Ross River Dena Council
  • Jared Dulac - Kamära: Kluane First Nation
  • Skaydu.û Jules: Teslin Tlingit Council
  • Shauna Yeomans-Lindstrom - Geehaadastee: Taku River Tlingit Council

Nona Whitehouse
Communications, Assembly of First Nations – Yukon Region
867 334 4969

Related content