Joint Statement by Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council Chief Kristina Kane
April 12, 2021
Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council confirm our full support of the Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health’s mandate to keep Yukon’s border restrictions and self-isolation rules actively in place.
As COVID-19 variants are spreading quickly in other parts of Canada, our governments are concerned about increasing pressure on the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) and Government of Yukon to ease restrictions and open our borders.
Evidence has shown that Indigenous people are one of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to COVID-19 infection and our Yukon First Nations could be greatly impacted if this virus is allowed to spread.
Some COVID-19 variants—such as P.1, first identified in Brazil, and B.1.1.7, first identified in the UK—have shown themselves to be more easily transmitted and more dangerous, especially to younger people.
Yukon has done well rolling out the vaccine, but we have yet to reach herd immunity levels and too little is known about how immunization will protect against this new P.1 variant.
We know Yukon’s health care infrastructure remains limited, with just 15 ventilators in the territory, and we realize there is a risk of overburdening our system. Other jurisdictions, such as BC, may not be able to help if they are dealing with their own cases. An influx of medical transfers from the Yukon may be too much for them to accommodate.
We all must work together to act in the best interest of public health. That means continuing to follow the Safe 6 + 1 protocols and to enforce the Civil Emergency Measures Act.
Shä̀w níthän, Gùnáłchîsh, Mähsi’cho, Thank you,
“We will continue to stand by Yukoners, who have all worked very hard to keep our Territory safe. Because of this hard work, we’ve had a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases in Yukon. Now is not the time to open the Territory up to the Third Wave of COVID variants, which has the potential to be the deadliest part of the pandemic. We too look forward to the day when we can be together and hug our friends and family members. In the meantime, let’s keep supporting our local businesses, our essential workers, our Elders, our children, and each other.”
“Both Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and Kwanlin Dün First Nation see first-hand the impacts this pandemic has had on our communities. There is no doubt this virus has taken its toll on our economy and our well being, and we would like nothing more than to have everything return to normal. But we cannot ignore the science or the trends before us. We respect the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s decision to continue the restrictions at Yukon borders. It is because of these restrictions we have been able to protect our families, our neighbours, and our communities. We understand the frustrations many feel, but we need to continue to follow these guidelines. We encourage all Whitehorse residents and our neighbours to do the same.”
Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? We have answers!
Updated: February 22, 2021
Yukon will have enough doses of the Moderna vaccine to immunize 75% of adult Yukoners. Here’s what you need to know:
How do you get the vaccine?
You must make an appointment to get vaccinated. Do this:
- Online at yukon.ca/this-is-our-shot
- By calling 1-877-374-0425
You must wait until your age slot opens in order to book your appointment.
What happens if you choose to not get the Moderna vaccine?
- At present, it’s not clear what the repercussions would be.
- It may mean that you would not be able to travel to certain places or you might have to wear a mask for a longer period of time than those who are vaccinated.
- Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is involved in conversations with experts across Canada and around the world on this subject right now.
How does the vaccine work?
- It works by teaching our bodies to make antibodies for the COVID-19 virus. These antibodies help us fight the infection if the real virus does enter our body in the future.
- Specifically, it uses mRNA to instruct our cells to make a response to the “spike protein” that is found on COVID-19. mRNA technology has been used in vaccine development for more than 20 years. mRNA does not affect our own genetic DNA.
- The COVID-19 virus is not in the vaccine, so the vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.
How is the vaccine given?
- The vaccine is given by an injection into the muscle of the arm.
- You need to get 2 doses about 28 days apart.
How has the vaccine been developed and tested?
- Many scientists all over the world worked together to create this vaccine.
- Health Canada has approved the vaccine based on rigorous tests. They have made sure the Moderna vaccine is as safe, and as well tested as any other vaccine currently used.
- Thousands of people who took the vaccine in trials were monitored for at least two months after for possible side effects.
- Health Canada will continue to review all the available safety data as it becomes available.
Why should you get the vaccine?
- In order for the vaccine to work we need the majority of Yukoners – at least 75 percent – to take it. This is called “herd immunity”.
- So, by taking the vaccine you are not only protecting yourself, you’re also protecting your family and your community.
Who should NOT get the vaccine?
- People with any symptoms that could be due to COVID-19 should not go out to get vaccinated because they could spread the infection to others.
- People under 18.
- People who are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG)
- People who have had any other vaccine in the previous 14 days
If you are unsure whether you should get the vaccine, talk to your healthcare provider.
What are the side effects of taking the Moderna vaccine?
Studies show side effects are generally mild. These could include one or more of the following:
- pain, redness or swelling where the needle was given
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- nausea / vomiting
- enlarged lymph nodes (swollen glands) in the underarm
All of these symptoms are normal after any vaccine, and they are part of the body’s normal response in building immunity.
Allergic reactions can rarely occur after receiving a vaccine. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives (bumps on the skin that are often very itchy), swelling of your face, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing.
Clinic staff are prepared to manage an allergic reaction should it occur. This reaction would happen within minutes of getting a vaccine, which is why you are always asked to wait 15 minutes after any vaccine.
What do you do after you get your vaccine?
- You must continue to follow the Safe Six + 1 until the Chief Medical Officer of Health advises otherwise.
- Do not receive any other vaccines until you have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccines and at least 28 days have passed after you receive your second dose.
- Keep your Moderna Vaccine record in a safe place to be able to refer to it when needed for your second dose.
COVID-19 is not the flu, and the yearly flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19
COVID-19 is a virus that is passed through:
- droplets generated by coughing, sneezing, close talking or yelling.
- personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
You can also get it by touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Canada:
- about 1 in 13 (7%) require hospitalization,
- about 3 in 100 (3%) die.
Even people with mild symptoms may feel unwell for a long time after a COVID-19 infection.
Symptoms of COVID-19
- shortness of breath;
- runny nose;
- sore throat;
- loss of sense of taste
- or smell;
- loss of appetite;
- nausea and vomiting;
- diarrhea; and
- muscle aches.
What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms
1) Stay home and self-isolate.
2) Use the self-assessment tool at yukon.ca, if possible.
3) Phone the Natsékhi Kų̀ Health Centre at (867) 668-7289, or after hours phone the Yukon line at 811 or (867) 393-3083.
4) Follow the advice you’re given.
This information is from staff at the Natsékhi Kų̀ Health Centre, Health Canada, and the Government of Yukon. If you have more questions about the vaccine you can call Natsékhi Kų̀ at (867) 668-7289.
KDFN’s Pandemic Plan
Updated Dec 11, 2020
This document will change as guidance from Council and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health changes. See the document
KDFN Council Directive on Entering KDFN Buildings or Workplaces after travelling
Updated November 20, 2020
On November 18, Kwanlin Dün Council exercised its powers under its self-government agreement to put an emergency directive in place to keep KDFN Citizens and Staff safe.
These measures are in addition to and apart from any restrictions imposed by the Yukon Government.
You may not enter a KDFN workplace for 14 days:
- after travelling outside Yukon; or
- after having contact with a person who has travelled outside Yukon.
This means, if you’re sharing a household with other people who have travelled outside Yukon or if you have visitors from outside the Yukon, you must follow these guidelines:
- If there is a separate bathroom, cooking facilities and enough space to physical distance, then only the person who travelled must self-isolate and not enter KDFN buildings for 14 days.
- If there is a shared bathroom and cooking facilities, then EVERYONE in the household must self-isolate and not enter KDFN buildings for 14 days.
Please see the entire directive. These measures will be in place for 90 days or until rescinded by Kwanlin Dün Council.
If you have questions about this new regulation:
Call: 867- 867-633-7800 ext. 112
As we move through this pandemic, there may be additional directives issued or changes to existing protocols and procedures. Please ensure you are reading these as they come up and keeping up to date. Let’s keep ourselves, our families and our community safe.
KDFN Government Mask Protocol, Updated November 20, 2020
In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Whitehorse, the Kwanlin Dün government has adopted new protocol on wearing masks in the workplace and in KDFN buildings.
Please note that all KDFN buildings remain closed to the public, unless you have an appointment.
Effective immediately, you must wear a mask at all times when you are inside any KDFN workspace or KDFN building
For more details, read the full directive. If you have questions about this directive, you can phone (867) 633-7800, ext. 112 or email email@example.com
Thank you for your cooperation as we continue to ensure we are all safe. Now is the time to be vigilant about wearing a mask, washing our hands, using hand sanitizer and keeping at least 6 feet away from other people.
As we move through this pandemic, there may be additional directives issued or changes to existing protocols and procedures. Please ensure you are reading these as they come up and keeping up to date.
Let’s keep ourselves, our families and our community safe.
Yukon Government Self-Isolation Requirements, Updated November 19, 2020
As of November 20, 2020, EVERYONE other than critical services workers entering Yukon will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Non-essential travel is not recommended.
All Kwanlin Dün office doors are locked and closed to the public. KDFN government operations continue during regular business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Protocols are in place to ensure appropriate physical distancing among staff, citizens and clients.
Wherever possible, staff are working from home with phones call-forwarded. If you know the person or department you are trying to reach, please use the KDFN staff directory to find their contact information.
If you’re not sure what number to call, call the KDFN main phone 867-633-7800 ext. 0.
Learn about KDFN service delivery throughout the COVID-19 (coronavirus) global pandemic
Departmental contacts and updates
Administration: 867-633-7800 ext. 0
- All cheques will be mailed
- Mail can be dropped off in the mailbox beside the door
Community Services: 867-633-7833 ext. 0
- Open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closed at lunch hour.
- Garbage pick-up, chimney cleaners, snow removal and water delivery services continue on regular schedule.
- All April 2020 rent payments for KDFN housing are waived (free). March 27 Order in Council – COVID-19 April Relief Measures
Education: 867-633-8422 ext. 0
- For employment, training or education help, staff are available by phone, email or internet appointments. Please call 867-633-8422 ext. 501
- Kenädän Kų̀ House of Learning is closed to the public without an appointment.
- The after school tutoring program has been postponed until further notice
- School COVID-19 Guidance for children under 6
- Updated guidance on staying home when sick
Income Support / Pathways (SA): 867-633-8422 ext. 0
- All Income Support / SA benefit cheques are being mailed. To update your mailing address, call 867-633-8422 ext. 0
- Income Support / SA applications and blank Client Report Cards (CRC) are available outside the front door of the House of Learning
- There is a secure mail box ready to accept your recent Atco bills, wood receipts and pay stubs
- If you have questions about your Income Support Benefits Services, phone 867-633-8422 ext. 0 and ask to talk to your Income Support Worker
- Counselling and crisis support – Government of Yukon
Finance/ Human Resources: 867-633-7800 ext. 0
- All regular finance operations continue
- All cheques will be mailed
- Job interviews continuing via either phone or video chat
- To speak with a nurse, call 867-333-9550
- Natsékhi Kų̀ Health Centre Services Reduction Plan
- Coronvirus Information
- Non-insured Health Benefits Navigator: 867-334-5656
- Mental wellness or substance use counselling (Monday to Friday) : 867-456-3838
- Information about face masks
Heritage, Lands & Resources
- Most staff are working from home. Please contact who you need directly via email. Staff directory
- Land Stewards are assisting Community Safety Officers with community patrols: 867-332-9551
- Interim protocol during pandemic
- Community Safety Officers remain on patrol: 867-332-9551 **this is not a 24-hour phone line**
- KDFN Child & Family Liaison (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.): 867-334-1803
- YG Child and Family Services team available by phone: 867-667-3002 **24-hour phone line**
- Youth Recreation programming cancelled until further notice
- RCMP non-emergency: 867-667-5555
Government of Canada Information
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Canada’s Covid-19 Measures to Help Canadians
- COVID-19 Outreach Resource Links
- Government of Canada information about coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Information about physical distancing
- Information about self-isolation
- Public Health Agency of Canada Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
- Service Canada Resources
- Stricter rules in place for travelers transiting through Canada to Alaska
Government of Yukon Information
- Counselling and crisis support – Government of Yukon
- Guidelines for Contact Sports
- Information about travel
- Information for public school students and families
- New symptom criteria for staying home from school and daycares
- Summary of Yukon’s plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions
- Yukon government information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Yukon extends state of emergency
Other Helpful Resources
- CYFN information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- First People’s Wellness Circle information on mental health during COVID-19 for community,parents and children,health professionals, and Elders and seniors.
As we adapt to the rapidly changing situation presented by COVID-19, our primary concern is protecting the health of citizens, clients and staff while also doing our best to offer essential services.