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COVID-19 Recovery Research Program successfully completed

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by ahnationtalk on June 16, 2023101 Views


The COVID-19 Recovery Research Program concluded this week with a public Research Results Summit held in Whitehorse. The COVID-19 Recovery Research Program was launched in November 2020 by the Government of Canada and the Yukon government, with the aim of gathering the information needed to support the Yukon’s strategic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With $1 million in financial support from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, the Government of Yukon has supported 10 project teams in successfully completing research that addresses Yukon-specific research questions. The projects examined the impacts of the pandemic and pandemic response on Yukon First Nations, youth, businesses, teachers, health care professionals, and communities and explored the implications of this research for pandemic recovery and future emergency response planning.

Much of the research was partnership-based and community-led, with nine of the 10 successful projects being led by or in partnership with Yukon based governments, academics and organizations. Three of the projects were led by or in partnership with Yukon First Nations governments and organizations – showcasing the strength and value of Indigenous-led research and advancing reconciliation in research.

At the summit earlier this week, researchers shared the results of their work in a public forum and discussed how to apply the learning to programs and decisions. The projects increase understanding of the social, cultural, environmental, economic and health impacts of COVID-19, and of our response to the pandemic, and addressed gaps in research and data specific to the Yukon.

The research outcomes will support the territory’s recovery from the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic and will help the Government of Yukon, the Government of Canada, Yukon First Nations governments, and other sectors plan for future health-related emergencies.

As we navigate the aftermath of the pandemic, it is crucial that we understand the influence of COVID-19 and our joint actions during this crisis on our personal lives, businesses and communities. This understanding plays a vital role in adopting an informed approach towards recovery and emergency preparedness. Thank you to the research teams for their dedicated efforts in providing the Yukon with valuable evidence and recommendations. These insights not only guide our government but also assist other governments and sectors in collaboratively addressing the lingering effects and devising strategies for upcoming challenges and opportunities.

Premier Ranj Pillai

No matter where we found ourselves in Canada, the pandemic impacted us all, but it also exacerbated many existing challenges in communities across the North and Arctic. Now, with clear evidence and recommendations gathered through the COVID-19 Recovery Research Program, Yukon’s, and Canada’s, strategic recovery from the impacts of the pandemic will be better informed for future emergency response planning. We made sure Canadians had the immediate support they needed, and we’ve made new, long-term investments to improve the health care system, plan for future health emergencies and support research. I want to thank both the research teams for their excellent work and the Government of Yukon for its continued leadership.

Minister of Northern Affairs and the Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor Dan Vandal

As the Yukon’s former Chief Medical Health Officer, it was an honour to serve Yukoners during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move forward, I am confident that the findings of the COVID-19 Research Recovery Program will help us prepare, as we must, not just for the next pandemic but for any other public health emergency that we could face in the future.

Member of Parliament for Yukon Brendan Hanley

I am deeply appreciative of the immense effort put forth by our researchers and community leaders in advancing our understanding of the complex impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their work goes beyond statistics and figures, diving into the profound social, economic, and health implications experienced by Yukoners. Moving forward, these research outcomes will help enable us to strategize and implement recovery plans that will be both informed and sensitive to the needs of the Yukon I commend this initiative and all those who work hard every day to improve the health and wellbeing of every Yukoner.

Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee

Quick facts

  • Each project received up to approximately $91,050 in total funding.
  • The program development was guided by a leadership team comprised of a group of leaders from the Yukon government, First Nations organizations and academia. The group identified thematic priorities, program objectives, guiding principles and evaluation criteria and guided funding decisions.
  • The program’s strong focus on Indigenous-led research, Indigenous methods and Indigenous knowledge, values and perspectives support the advancement of reconciliation in research.
  • The launch of the COVID-19 Recovery Research Program supported many of the goals and objectives identified in Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, particularly those that support the inclusion of local knowledge and understanding in decision-making.
  • Launched in 2019 and co-developed with Indigenous representatives and six territorial and provincial governments, Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework is a long-term vision for the Arctic and the North which reflects the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people.The COVID-19 Recovery Research Program objectives were to:
    • provide evidence that informs decision-making and planning, and contributes to the broader COVID-19 recovery efforts in Yukon;
    • ensure Indigenous knowledge, values and perspectives, Indigenous knowledge keepers and Indigenous researchers are reflected in the governance of this program and in the funded research projects;
    • strengthen understanding of COVID-19 impacts and recovery pathways for individuals, businesses, governments and communities in Yukon;
    • enhance the capacity of Yukon’s science community by providing opportunities for local researchers, emphasizing the role of Indigenous knowledge keepers and researchers, and attracting outside expertise to Yukon; and
    • increase coordination, networking and partnerships between researchers and decision-makers.
  • The results look beyond the direct impacts of COVID-19 on our health, to reflect on the broader impacts of the pandemic, as well as of our collective response to the pandemic, on mental well-being, service provision, front-line workers, government relationships, businesses and more.
  • People interested in learning more can contact the Office of the Science Advisor at for more information.


Yukon COVID-19 Recovery Research Program – Successful Projects

  • Council of Yukon First Nations was awarded $91,050 for their project ‘Interjurisdictional dynamics amongst Yukon First Nations and non-Indigenous governments during the COVID-19 pandemic’. This research examines how Yukon First Nations and non-Indigenous governments worked together in responding to the pandemic and offers recommendations for future collaboration and emergency planning.
  • The Firelight Group, working in partnership with Tr’ondëk Hwëchin First Nation, was awarded $87,500 for their project ‘Enhancing access for rural Yukon First Nations citizens to culturally appropriate mental health supports during COVID recovery’. This research explores the impacts of the pandemic on wellness and access to appropriate services for Tr’ondëk Hwëchin Citizens and offers a number of recommendations to the Yukon government based on these findings.
  • Kari Johnston, working with co-lead Mark Andrachuk, was awarded $74,830 for their research: ‘COVID-19 and the Yukon Entrepreneur Podcast: Insights on Community, Innovation, Financial Support, and Communication’. This research offers insight into the factors and programs that supported businesses in surviving or thriving during the pandemic.
  • Lakehead University was awarded $74,800 to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and wellbeing of educators in the Yukon. This research looked at the pandemic response in Yukon schools and how the measures may have affected the day-to-day activities and wellbeing of educators. This understanding will support program and policy decisions for educator supports in recovery and in future emergency scenarios.
  • Liard First Nation working in partnership with Kermode Consulting, was awarded $91,050 for their research project ‘Assessing the Impact of the Pandemic on Mental Health for Liard First Nation Youth’. This research will inform Liard First Nation’s efforts to implement strategies and wellness programming LFN youth and offers lessons that may help other governments with similar efforts.
  • Recreation Parks Association Yukon worked with Vancouver Island University, using their funding of $86,801 to examine how the pandemic, along with existing infrastructure and community characteristics, impacted recreation activities in five Yukon communities – Beaver Creek, Carcross, Dawson City, Pelly Crossing and Tagish. The authors offer recommendations to service providers and decision makers regarding recreation service planning and delivery in rural Yukon communities.
  • Shannon Powell was awarded $90,800 to study COVID-19 Impacts on Yukon Trappers. This research offers insight into how emergency measures impacted this important social, cultural and economic activity, and explores accessibility of or barriers to government pandemic support programs.
  • Yukon Status of Women Council, in partnership with Dr. Fiona McPhail of University of Northern British Columbia, was awarded $91,050 for the study ‘The impacts of COVID-19 on the livelihoods of women in the Yukon: towards a resilient and inclusive recovery’. This research reflects on the gendered impacts of the pandemic on women’s market and non-market-based work and offers guidance for policies and programs that could mitigate these impacts.
  • Yukon Status of Women Council, working with Safe at Home Society, was awarded $91,050 for the study ‘Addressing the unintended consequences of pandemic-related housing-related policies experienced by unhoused or precariously housed women and families in Whitehorse’. Due to a change in project lead, this study was launched later than other projects – while the Yukon government funded work is complete, the final report will be issued in August. Early results offer insight into pandemic-era Yukon housing policies, and these will be complemented by findings informed by service providers and people with lived experience.
  • Yukon University received $91,000 for their study ‘The impacts of COVID-19 on Yukon’s frontline health care workers’, which will help us learn from the experiences, stressors and challenges of health care professionals during the pandemic. The results of this study will inform future emergency planning for this sector and offers learning that is applicable to broader efforts toward a sustainable health service sector.
  • Two additional projects received a small amount of funding (less than $9,000 each) to initiate research but were unable to complete their full projects due to organizational capacity challenges and/or illness.

Media contact

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Myra Nicks
Communications, Executive Council Office

Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, and the Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor

Media Relations
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada


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