News: Research

Communities across Northern Canada are witnessing first-hand the devastating impacts a changing climate is having across Arctic ecosystems. Livelihoods, Indigenous culture, social relations, food security, health, well-being      and a way of life, which have existed for generations are all being impacted.

Five Indigenous youth, including several Yukon high school students, will receive training and mentorship in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and Indigenous-led research approaches in partnership with researchers at the YukonU Research Centre this summer. 

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) and researchers at Yukon University are working in collaboration to address the effects of climate change thanks to a multi-year research project that will assess the vulnerability of the CAFN Traditional Territory to climate change and permafrost thaw.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, announced $429,028 in funding for the project through the Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program. He was joined by CAFN Chief Steve Smith, Dr. Lesley Brown, President and Vice-Chancellor, Yukon University, and Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon, at an event at Yukon’s NorthLight Innovation Centre.

Yukon University has received $500,000 to support the successful inclusion of clean power initiatives into the electrical power systems of both Yukon and Northwest Territories (NWT). The Electric vehicles and smart heating research project will explore the potential effects that electric vehicles and smart heating units may have on the electrical distribution networks in these territories and offer novel solutions to address these challenges. 

Yukon University has received $230,800 to research how COVID-19 has impacted the residents of Old Crow and to prepare for future emergencies. “In Their Words: COVID-19 Experiences of the Vuntut Gwitchin people of Old Crow” is a one-year project led by the Vuntut Gwitchin Government in partnership with Yukon University and funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). 

This research project addresses issues related to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities by revealing the health and wellness impacts as described by the people of Old Crow. The project will be co-created by the community and involve guided conversations and story gathering, in order to learn from this current pandemic and plan for future health crises and emergencies. 

WHITEHORSE, YT— A Two-Eyed Seeing Research Program has been established in collaboration between the Government of Yukon, University of Alberta North, and Yukon University. This program honours different ways of knowing and doing, and aims to uphold Indigenous values and practices in research, training, and knowledge sharing throughout Yukon as it braids Indigenous and western knowledge throughout the program.

The Government of Yukon is generously contributing over $700,000 to this Yukon-focused Two-Eyed Seeing Research Program which includes establishing a Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge at Yukon University, and a series of research activities conducted jointly between YukonU and UAlberta North. This four-year commitment builds on previous collaboration between the three partners.

WHITEHORSE, YT— Yukon University anthropology instructor, Norman Easton, has recently published the first ethnohistory of the Yukon Alaska borderlands in partnership with the US National Park Service. An Ethnohistory of the Chisana River Basin documents the First Nations’ use of the upper Tanana River basin based on ethnographic, archival, and archaeological research.  
 
Easton has worked in the Yukon-Alaska borderlands since 1990, documenting traditional and contemporary culture, native language, land use, and archaeology. The relationships that he cultivated with the communities of Beaver Creek, Northway, Tetlin, Tanacross, and Mentasta, among others, led to thousands of hours of interviews to support this publication. 
 

Canadians benefit from a health care system that is informed by research evidence—and by the voices of patients and caregivers. That is why it is essential that the government invest in patient-oriented research, which engages patients as partners throughout the research process.

Today, the Honourable Pauline Frost, Yukon’s Minister of Health, and the Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced a combined investment of $10.4 million in funding and in-kind contributions to establish a Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit in the Yukon.

 A research paper released this month confirmed that significant declines in boreal caribou herds over the past 30 years are due to habitat disturbance. “Boreal Caribou Can Coexist with Natural but Not Industrial Disturbances”, was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management by five co-authors including Yukon University and University of Alberta professor, Dr. Fiona Schmiegelow. The paper concludes that caribou can persist with wildfire but will continue to decline in disturbed areas as a result of cumulative industrial activities if preventative or mitigative actions are not taken. 

Yukon University welcomes Minto Explorations to the Northern Mine Remediation program’s Yukon Mining Research Consortium. Minto Explorations will be the seventh industrial partner to join the Consortium and the first member operating an active mine in the Territory.  

YukonU’s Northern Mine Remediation program is a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair program dedicated to solving northern mining challenges as identified by the local industrial partners. The Consortium has directed the Chair, Dr. Guillaume Nielsen, to focus the research program on passive water treatment technologies, mine waste management, mine revegetation, and community engagement.  

Joint news release with the Government of Yukon, Mitacs, Yukon University and the University of Alberta North

A unique opportunity to participate in COVID-19 research internships will benefit both Yukon organizations and post-secondary students.

Starting immediately, Yukon businesses, not-for profit organizations and municipalities can apply to be matched with post-secondary students who will research COVID-19’s impact on their operations and help develop plans to overcome those challenges. In return, students will gain high-quality work experience in the field of applied research.

WHITEHORSE, YT— Yukon University has launched a four-year research program to explore the revegetation of northern mine sites with native plants. In partnership with the University of Alberta, researchers will work with Yukoners to understand their vision of mine restoration and develop revegetation techniques to support this vision.