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Commissioner of Yukon to present new literary prize

The BC and Yukon Book Prizes and the Office of the Commissioner of Yukon are happy to announce the first-ever literary prize for the Yukon writing and publishing community.

The Borealis Prize: The Commissioner of Yukon Award for Literary Contribution will be administered by the BC and Yukon Book Prizes and awarded annually by the Commissioner of Yukon. This award will be presented at the Dawson Daily News Print and Publishing Festival in Dawson City, Yukon which takes place each year in May or June.

The BC and Yukon Book Prizes originated in 1986 and currently administers 10 prizes for writing and publishing. Prizes include the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, the Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes and many others in categories that include fiction, children’s literature, poetry and regional writing.

I am thrilled to be working with the BC and Yukon Book Prizes to present The Borealis Prize: The Commissioner of Yukon Award for Literary Contribution. Our talented writers, publishers, editors and literary community builders deserve to be recognized for their contributions to this territory. I am looking forward to this new and exciting chapter in celebrating and recognizing Yukoners.

Commissioner of Yukon Angélique Bernard

We at the BC and Yukon Book Prizes are honoured to be working with the Commissioner of Yukon to bring this amazing prize to the writing and publishing community of Yukon. Our commitment to that community is stronger than ever and we look forward to continuing to celebrate and promote the excellent writing and publishing that’s consistently produced by the talented folks in that territory.

BC and Yukon Book Prizes Executive Director Sean Cranbury

Quick facts
  • The prize includes $500, a certificate and an original art piece.
  • The prize will be adjudicated by a jury of three prominent members of the Yukon writing and publishing community. New juries will be approved each year by the Commissioner of Yukon prior to the opening of the submission timeline.
  • Yukoners who have lived in the territory or B.C. for the past 12 months or for at least three of the past five years are eligible to apply for BC and Yukon Book Prizes.
  • The Borealis Prize is a new prize for Yukoners only and the scope of the prize encompasses not only authors but volunteers who work with/in the writing community.

 How to apply

The public is encouraged to submit nominations for individuals whose work has contributed significantly to the writing and publishing communities of Yukon.

Nominations should include a short description of the individual’s contributions to Yukon writing and publishing communities as well as a minimum of three pieces of supporting documentation.

Supporting documentation can include:

  • a bibliography;
  • links to events that the person has contributed to or organized;
  • reviews of their work;
  • a biography; or
  • other things that demonstrate their contributions.

The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2020.

The public can submit nominations through the BC and Yukon Book Prizes website.

Criteria and adjudication process

The individual must have:

  • spent significant time living and working among the writing community in Yukon; and
  • made substantial contributions to the Yukon writing and publishing community through writing, publishing, community organizing, Indigenous writing and storytelling, or in many other ways.

The judges will be determined by BC and Yukon Book Prizes in collaboration with the Office of the Commissioner of Yukon based on service to the writing community over time and in alignment with a commitment to diversity among judges.

BC and Yukon Book Prizes will work to include at least two jury members from diverse communities, such as Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+, deaf, disabled and multicultural communities.


Kerri Scholz
Private Secretary, Commissioner of Yukon


Progress on TB-elimination in Nunavut stalled due to lack of funding – CBC

Federal government has pledged to eliminate tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat by 2030

Jan 20, 2020

Nearly two years after the federal government committed to eliminating tuberculosis among Inuit by 2030, progress is stalled and the former minister who made the promise says unless tremendous political will is marshalled — including billions of dollars in new funding — Canadians will continue to die of a preventable disease.

“It would be shameful if Canada could not meet that target,” said Jane Philpott, who was the minister of Indigenous Services in 2018.

That’s when the federal government dedicated $27.5 million to fighting the disease in Inuit communities — she was not re-elected in 2019 and is no longer part of Canada’s government.

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Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency announces three-year funding to produce INVEST CANADA NORTH

January 19, 2020

Vancouver – The Yukon Mining Alliance and NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines, in partnership with the governments of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, are pleased to announce that the Government of Canada’s Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) will provide $500,000 over three years to host Invest Canada North at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention in Toronto, Canada, beginning this March 2020.

“Invest Canada North will connect global investors with the significant untapped mineral potential, strong geopolitical stability and progressive Indigenous and community partnerships found in Canada’s North,” said Anne Turner, Executive Director of the Yukon Mining Alliance. “Our unique initiatives showcase each region, through keynote presentations, panels and special sessions, highlighting the leaders in exploration, development and production both during PDAC and in the months that follow.”

Over the course of the world’s premier mineral exploration and mining four-day PDAC convention, Invest Canada North will be comprised of an exclusive networking reception complete with northern food, music and culture; a forum on mineral investment opportunities in Canada’s North hosted by sector experts and well-known mining experts; and a Media Centre featuring interview opportunities for mineral exploration and mining companies, government officials, Indigenous development corporations, Industry partners and financial and investment influencers.

“We are very grateful to have the support of the Canadian and territorial governments to showcase the competitive advantages and opportunities in Canada’s North at one of the world’s biggest annual mining conferences,” said Ken Armstrong, President of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

Partner Quotes

“Our government proudly supports Canadian business initiatives that respond to the unique needs of regions and communities. Today’s funding announcement is an investment for the future, promoting long term economic development that will help create quality jobs in the territories.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

“This project demonstrates the clear strategic advantages of partnerships and collaborations in the North among industry, governments, service sectors and indigenous development corporations to promote investment in the territories. Increased investment in the North benefits all northerners.”

– Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency)

“From strong government-to-government relationships with First Nations to world class mineral deposits and an effective regulatory regime, Yukon is a great place to invest. This strategic initiative will raise the investment profile of Canada’s North on the global stage and advance our mineral industry. Yukon is proud to partner with the Government of Canada, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut for this industry-led initiative in order to drive northern economic growth and prosperity.” – The Honourable Sandy Silver, Premier of Yukon

“Partnerships and initiatives aimed at increasing investor understanding and confidence in the North is essential to new exploration and growth. Accentuated by our rich resource potential, Invest Canada North will help us build a strong case in the global marketplace and set the stage for responsible investments in our future.”

– The Honourable Caroline Cochrane, Premier of Northwest Territories

“Nunavut is home to some of the most under-explored terrain in Canada, and our territory holds great mineral potential. The Government of Nunavut encourages investment in sustainable, responsible resource development and partnerships with Inuit-owned businesses to benefit industry and our communities. We are excited to explore new opportunities and investments across our vast territory.” – The Honourable Joe Savikataaq, Premier of Nunavut

For more information, inquiries regarding sponsorship opportunities, or to register to attend these exciting events, please visit:

Media Inquiries:

Anne Turner, Executive Director
Yukon Mining Alliance

Tom Hoefer, Executive Director
NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines

Barbara Abramchuk
Communications Advisor, Northwest Territories

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Public hearings into $1B Giant Mine remediation begin at last – CBC

‘It’s monumental,’ says project lead

Jan 20, 2020

Public hearings on the closure and remediation plan for Yellowknife’s defunct Giant Mine begin Monday.

That’s after 13 years of study, planning, assessment and discussion.

“It’s monumental,” said Natalie Plato, deputy director of the Giant Mine Remediation Project, which is leading the cleanup.

The project is seeking a water licence for a 20-year term and a land-use permit for a five-year term from the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. If all goes well, Plato anticipates her group could have those permits — along with terms and conditions — as soon as this summer, and start work on the cleanup project in 2020/2021.

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Inuit women experience racialized policing in Canada’s North, report says – Nunatsiaq News

20 January 2020

Report calls for a decolonized approach to policing in Inuit Nunangat

A new report from Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada calls for a fundamental shift in how policing is carried out in Inuit Nunangat.

The report, Addressing Gendered Violence Against Inuit Women, calls for a decolonized approach to policing.

“The way forward, therefore, is an approach to decolonizing policing that is grounded in Inuit knowledge and world views, holistic, and relationship-based. Rather than an outside force engaged in law enforcement and crime control, police are positioned as working in partnership with other social service agencies to foster community safety and well-being through problem solving and conflict resolution—all the while taking their lead from Inuit, especially Inuit women who have been harmed by gendered violence,” the report states.

The authors of the report interviewed 45 Inuit women and 40 service providers across the four regions. These interviews found that systemic racialized policing continues to occur in Inuit encounters with police officers.

Read More:

Defence expert slams Ottawa for ignoring North Warning System upgrade – Nunatsiaq News

20 January 2020

Federal government hasn’t budgeted for NWS modernization, professor says

In a scathing article published on Jan. 14, James Fergusson, a defence expert, says the federal government is dodging the need to replace the aging North Warning System, which is near the end of its lifespan.

“A failure on Canada’s part to move forward relatively quickly could prove disastrous,” said Fergusson, the deputy director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba.

He made his remarks in a commentary published by the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a think tank.

The North Warning System is a string of 47 long– and short–range radar stations that stretch across the Arctic from Labrador to Alaska. It was planned and built between 1985 and 1992 to replace the DEW line, with a lifespan that expires in 2025.

Read More:

YT Government: Owner’s Advisor contract awarded for Whistle Bend elementary school

Colliers Project Leaders has been awarded the Owner’s Advisor contract for the Whistle Bend elementary school. The contract will be awarded in four phases with the first phase worth $145,619. The total value of the contract is $765,225.

Colliers Project Leaders will work with the Government of Yukon to develop the conceptual design and tender documents for the school’s design-build contract, as well as provide technical advisory services during the detailed design, construction and warranty phases.

The elementary school is the first planned in Whitehorse in more than 20 years and will accommodate up to 425 Kindergarten to Grade 7 students from Whistle Bend and the surrounding areas.

The Whistle Bend elementary school will provide a community focal point for this vibrant young Whitehorse neighbourhood. Our government looks forward to issuing the design-build contract for this project in fall.

Minister of Highways and Public Works Richard Mostyn

Planning for the new Whistle Bend elementary school is part of our work to modernize learning spaces in Yukon schools to support flexible and hands-on learning. As we work with the Owner’s Advisor, we will continue to collaborate with partners and representatives through a Project Advisory Committee until an attendance area and council have been established for the new school.

Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee

Quick facts
  • The tender for the design-build contract for this project is anticipated to take place in fall 2020.
  • Colliers Project Leaders, operating out of Whitehorse, will advise the owner on the project for the duration of the school’s design and construction, through to the end of the warranty on the school.
  • To inform decisions as planning for the school progresses, the Government of Yukon is working with representatives from the local school communities, Yukon First Nations, the City of Whitehorse and the Whistle Bend community through a Project Advisory Committee.

Stewart Burnett
Cabinet Communications

Oshea Jephson
Communications, Highways and Public Works


Sakku School consultations in Coral Harbour

17 January 2020

The Government of Nunavut (GN) is looking for feedback on the major renovation and addition of Sakku School in Coral Harbour.

An upgrade of the existing school means the community will have access to a large gym and offer more services for young children, their parents and students with special needs. New classrooms will support future growth and more cultural programming.

Feedback from community members and organizations will help the GN build a healthy and vibrant school, that meets the needs of Coral Harbour and its residents for years to come.

The public consultation will start on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Sakku School’s gymnasium.

To find out more about the proposed changes and how to provide feedback, please contact Sakku School Principal Travis Klak at or at 867-925-9923.


Media Contact:

Troy Rhoades
Acting Manager of Communications
Department of Education


Inquest into Cynthia Blackjack’s death begins in Carmacks – CBC

Blackjack, 29, died during medevac flight to Whitehorse in 2013

Jan 20, 2020

A coroner’s inquest begins Monday into the 2013 death of Carmacks, Yukon, resident Cynthia Blackjack.

The first two days of the inquest are scheduled to happen in Carmacks at the local community centre. On Wednesday, it resumes at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse. If weather drops below -35 C, hearings in Carmacks may be rescheduled, according to a release.

Ten days have been scheduled for the proceedings. Yukon Territorial Court Judge Peter Chisholm has been appointed coroner for the inquest. Six jurors have been selected from two pools of candidates: three from Whitehorse and three from Dawson City.

Blackjack was 29 years old when she died during a medevac flight to Whitehorse in November 2013.

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Smith’s Landing First Nation asks N.W.T. to speak out against northern Alberta mine – CBC

The Teck Frontier mine could be built 110 km north of Fort McMurray in the Peace-Athabasca Delta

Jan 20, 2020

The chief of Smith’s Landing First Nation near Fort Smith, N.W.T, is calling on the territorial government to speak out against a northern Alberta mining project.

“The government of the Northwest Territories is strangely silent … on the oil sands projects,” Chief Gerry Cheezie said.

Cheezie said that N.W.T. Premier Caroline Cochrane should be hosting meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to make sure the Indigenous communities living within the Mackenzie water system will not be affected by the controversial $20.6 billion Teck Frontier mining project that is proposed for a site 110 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

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