The COVID-19 pandemic brought numerous challenges to the Yukon, including a prolonged state of emergency that challenged the shared governance system in the territory. The goal of this project was to understand the experiences of Yukon First Nation governments and to explore how different governments worked together throughout the pandemic. This project was led by the Council of Yukon First Nations and a research team that includes independent facilitators and community-based and Yukon University researchers.
This research study was commissioned by the Council of Yukon First Nations on behalf of Yukon First Nations. During the 2020 Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) General Assembly, Yukon First Nation Leadership emphasized the need to understand Yukon First Nation experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to incorporate them into YG’s planned review of the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA). This was also an opportunity to gather stories and insights from Yukon First Nation leadership and their partners to ensure that future emergency planning and response incorporates the vision and values of Yukon First Nations.
The project team conducted Intra-Action Reviews with Yukon First Nation, Government of Yukon, and municipal leadership and employees focused on interjurisdictional relationships, collaboration, and communication to identify challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned. This study identified 8 key findings and 25 recommendations based on the reflections and experiences of those involved in the pandemic response. Although some aspects of these experiences were unique to COVID-19, overarching lessons learned can inform future legislative review, policy, and practice in Yukon emergency planning and management.