WHITEHORSE – The Council of Yukon First Nations and Government of Yukon have announced the launch of a Yukon First Nations Land-Based Healing Fund.
Funded by the Government of Yukon and administered by the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN), the Land-Based Healing Fund is aimed at enhancing healing and wellness by connecting to traditional practices on the land.
Land-based healing reconnects individuals to traditional teachings, culture, and the land. By incorporating practices like hunting, fishing, trapping, and outdoor survival, land-based healing approaches empower individuals to heal and grow, and supports emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. This approach emphasizes the passing of traditional knowledge to future generations through land-based activities and nurturing wellbeing through a profound connection with the land.
This funding opportunity fulfills a recommendation under the Substance Use Health Emergency Strategy, and aims to address trauma, grief, and loss experienced by Yukon First Nations.
This initiative aligns with other key Government of Yukon strategies including Putting People First and the Yukon’s Strategy on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People+ and is part of a culturally responsive approach to support diverse land-based activities, including cultural camps and traditional environmental knowledge programs.
The Land-Based Healing Fund encompasses a total of $9M in funding over three years to March 31, 2026 and provides funding to Yukon First Nations governments and Yukon First Nations-led organizations for eligible projects. This funding initiative is designed to be low-barrier and flexible to accommodate the diverse needs of each First Nations community.
Eligibility to access funding under this initiative is open to Yukon First Nations governments and Yukon First Nations-led organizations. These groups can apply for funding to support any land-based project supporting wellness and healing, including those that expand existing initiatives or create new Yukon First Nations-led initiatives.
CYFN is staffing two positions to support Yukon First Nations in successfully accessing funding and implementing projects. In addition, CYFN will be hosting a two-day land-based summit at the end of November to collaborate with stakeholders and develop strategic initiatives. The new fund will be available to Yukon First Nations and Yukon First Nation-led organizations in early December.
The Land-Based Healing Fund represents a significant step towards supporting mental wellness, strengthening cultural connections, and empowering Yukon First Nations to heal and thrive. It serves as a powerful tool for strengthening our connection to the land and our traditional ways.
– CYFN Grand Chief Peter Johnston
The Land-Based Healing Fund represents our shared commitment to supporting the continued strength and wellbeing of Yukon First Nations communities. Through the Fund, we aim to honour and address historical challenges while paving the way for a future where cultural knowledge and healing practices are integrated into the health and wellness journeys of all Yukoners. Our government is proud to invest in initiatives that promote reconciliation and healing, which have been priorities to this government since day one.
– Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee
I’m hopeful that this initiative will empower Yukon First Nations to develop and promote recovery for all Yukoners. Access to land supports culture. It opens space for connection, relationships, spirituality and identity, all of which are all important elements of healing. I’m also grateful to the Council of Yukon First Nations for administering the Land-Based Healing Fund.
– MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin Annie Blake
For further information contact:
Communications, Council of Yukon First Nations
Health and Social Services