Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) remembers and honours the children lost and those forever changed by their experience in residential schools.
After the grief and trauma of discovering unmarked graves at schools throughout the country, we are encouraged to see Canada name September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This answers a TRC Call to Action to honour survivors, their families and their communities. Creating space for this public commemoration, reflection and mourning is vital to our collective healing process.
We will wear orange on September 30 to honour a tradition started by Phyllis Webstad, who was just 6 years old when she was taken away from her family and sent to St. Joseph’s Mission school in BC. Her grandmother had gifted her a new orange shirt, which was taken away from her at the school. She was neglected and she felt like she didn’t matter. We will remember Phyllis’ story and the countless stories of hurt, fear and loneliness.
KDFN Council calls on every Yukoner and every Canadian to engage in healing our shared past, present, and future—to educate yourself. This is not just an Indigenous issue. This is Canada’s story and it affects us all.
Today, we are hopeful. We look to a future where our Indigenous children thrive in culturally appropriate schools. Where our children are encouraged to learn the culture, practices and languages of their ancestors. Where every child matters.
Shä̀w níthän. Gùnáłchîsh. Mähsi’cho. Merci. Thank you.
Signed, KDFN Council
Chief Doris Bill, Elder Councillor Judy Gingell, Councillors Jessie Dawson, Ray Sydney, Charlene Charlie, Charles Chief, Rosemary Waugh-Wilson, and Jesse Ryder.


Mental Wellness Supports:

☎National Indian Residential School Crisis Line
24 hours a day
Phone 1-866-925-4419
☎KDFN Counsellors, Natsékhi Kų̀ Health Centre
Mon to Fri 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone 867-668-7289
☎Rapid Access Counselling, Yukon Mental Wellness Substance Use Services
Mon to Fri 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone 867-456-3838
☎Canadian Mental Wellness Distress Number
Mon to Fri 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Phone 1-844-533-3030
☎Hope for Wellness National Help Line
24 hours a day
Phone 1-855-242-3310