PAST PROJECTS

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The Yukon Indian Peoples’ Training Trust (YIPTT) has funded many successful training projects over the years, some of which are described below. Please contact us for more information on any of these projects.

Cultural Orientation Workshop

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation (TH)
Completed: March 2017

Description:

Employee orientation introduces employees to their new jobs and work environments. It helps new employees to become accustomed to their new government, department, teammates and work expectations. In a First Nation context, cultural orientation can be an important component of an employee’s orientation.

This project was designed to add a more comprehensive cultural orientation element to the First Nation’s
existing orientation package. The intent was to enhance the value of the orientation and strengthen employee appreciation and understanding for the environment they are working in.

This project had three objectives:

1.  Build a renewed 1.5-day workshop that starts to inform and educate TH staff on TH cultural values and beliefs and traditional pursuits.

2.  Offer the workshop to external community interest groups including Dawson City, Hospital, Yukon Government, SOVA, Yukon College Dawson campus, etc. It is anticipated that some minor customization may
be required for these external groups.

3.  Outline the framework for a TH Cultural Awareness Course for further development and offering to interested staff and external parties.

TH Cultural Orientation training

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Teaching & Working Farm School
Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation (TH)
Completed: March 2017

Description:

TH is working toward substantially increasing Yukon First Nations’ ability for food production. This will contribute to First Nations’ and community food security and self-sufficiency.

As part of their efforts, the First Nation has established a northern “on-the-land” Farm School program that will effectively teach applied agricultural knowledge in a practical way. In 2016, 20 students learned about the production of market crops, forage crops and livestock farming, as well as traditional food systems.

There were no academic entrance requirements at the Farm School. Instead, entrance was based on desire, displayed interest, and natural ability.

Accommodation was provided on the farm. The school created a healthy, healing, safe and rewarding
“on-the-land” environment where First Nation citizens and others learned, worked and built stronger determination in self-confidence, self-sufficiency and determination.

The Farm School program will be open to all Yukon First Nation communities. While the majority of students in the first year will be TH, there will also be students from three other Yukon First Nations.

Initially, the program will be delivered by Yukon College as a non-academic continuing education program. It will consist of approximately 430 hours of formal classroom instruction and 600 hours of paid practicum experience (i.e. field work on the farm). 

The school will also incorporate dual credit opportunities for a number of secondary school students who will be provided with on-the-land farming exposure and introduction to the importance for food security. Four secondary students will be earning credits on the farm this first summer.

Science-driven options for credit offerings will be created later in the TH Farm School’s life, as the demand and capacity presents itself.
TH Working & Teaching Farm field in Dawson
TH Working & Teaching Farm graduation ceremony - Fall 2016
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Records & Information Management (Part II) Project Lead: Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN)
Partner: Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC)
Completed: July 2016

Description:

This project was the second phase of a Records and Information Management (RIM) project by KDFN and TTC.  Phase II built on the foundation of knowledge acquired in Phase I.

Two goals of this part of the project were to improve and strengthen the partnership between the two First Nations and to share the RIM knowledge gained with the community.

Phase II included staff training and the deepening of RIM knowledge through attending two records management conferences and completing two demanding 7-week online courses offered by the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. KDFN and TTC staff deepened their knowledge about how to ensure accountable and effective management of records as their governments mature and grow.

They also learned about preparing strategically for full electronic records management down the road. TTC acquired and trained staff on a shared drive management tool that will improve the organization and findability of electronic files; KDFN learned how to assess their staffing and functional needs and developed a strategic plan to prepare for eventual acquisition of an electronic records management system.

The final part of Phase II involved hosting a RIM symposium that allowed KDFN and TTC, and other speakers,
to share their experiences and knowledge with other Yukon First Nations. This very successful event was held in April 2016 and was attended by over one hundred people.

RIM Symposium, Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

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Our Voices: Yukon First Nations Emerging Leaders Project

Project Lead: Kluane First Nation (KFN)
Partner: Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC)
Completed: March 2016

Description:

Our Voices is a group of northern Indigenous emerging leaders from Yukon, Northwest Territories and Northern British Columbia. They have joined together with a shared common vision to create “A world where northern Indigenous peoples hold up our youth and our culture.” Our Voices leaders have been working since December 2013 to identify, connect and train emerging leaders in northern Indigenous communities.

With funding from YIPTT, and through partnerships with several First Nations, other governments and sponsors, Our Voices offered three inspirational, focused leadership-training sessions in 2015/16. The sessions were led by Banff Centre’s Indigenous Leadership program and focused on the role of strategic planning, tactical planning, project management for Our Voices and organizational development.

The project also included a Youth Wellness Gathering at Jackson Lake, co-hosted with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. The project’s earlier training sessions inspired Our Voices members to practice their leadership skills at the Jackson Lake gathering as planners, speakers, and facilitators. This has carried over into the many projects and employment opportunities that each Our Voices member has been able to create in their communities and beyond.

The ongoing support and funding of our partnership with the TPC has allowed Our Voices, Yukon Emerging
Leaders, our mentors and supporters the opportunity to begin the much needed dialogue of how northern Indigenous peoples can hold each other up. The many conversations that have come from the training that the funding has provided has given Our Voices an opportunity to show each other (the youth) how we can exercise our cultural identity and build leadership skills that can be taken and implemented in our homes and for our Nations.

As a result of this project, Our Voices has helped to identify and train over 30 emerging youth leaders from virtually all communities in Yukon, northern B.C. and the NWT. Our Voices has created continuing positive conversations and connections between youth that will undoubtedly last a lifetime and contribute to the better world envisioned in Together Today for our Children Tomorrow.
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Indigenous Leadership Management Development
Project Lead: Ta'an Kwäch'än Council (TKC)
Partner: Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN)
Completed: March 2016

Description:

This project supported both leadership and resiliency training sessions for TKC and KDFN.

This project included a customized program of leadership training, facilitated by the faculty from the Banff Centre for Leadership. The goal was to align everyone’s priorities and understandings to develop a more cohesive style of government management. Fifteen people attended the three days of leadership training in April 2015. The training agenda focused on communication, strategic thinking and planning, cooperation, collaboration, measuring progress, and continuity of management styles relevant to a self-governing First Nation.

The project also included a two-day resiliency training, provided by The Affinities Group. This training was delivered in two sessions, the first to staff and junior management and the second to more senior levels of management in both organizations. The sessions covered topics like communication, making decisions, managing conflict, professionalism, lateral violence, personal empowerment, team building, and leadership.

The delivery of these workshops was met with much enthusiasm and participants reported that they acquired new tools they could use in their positions.
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Transitional Employment & Youth Personal Development
Carcross Tagish First Nation (C/TFN)
Completed: January 2016

Description:

Due to the high number of citizens/members who were either unemployed or under employed because of
personal and professional barriers, C/TFN’s Transitional Employment Unit created a program to address ‘whole health’ on the road to employment.

Participants were referred to the program by C/TFN Temporary Financial Assistance’s Outreach Workers and
the Health and Wellness Department. Although it was anticipated that eight people would participate in the adult Excellence Series, strong interest resulted in an initial 15 participants.

A youth program was also offered. This program had 10 participants, between the ages of 15-19. The participants traveled to the Youth Pursuit of Excellence training in Vancouver, BC in June 2015. In December, they presented a workshop to C/TFN leaders and staff on what they learned. This successful workshop is now being used as part of C/TFN’s orientation for new staff.

C/TFN’s Capacity Development staff continue to use the tools and concepts learned during these programs as part of their day-to-day work coordinating personal and professional career plans. Both youth and adult participants are also utilizing their supports and communication skills for better results in their lives. Citizens
are holding support study groups two times a month, without C/TFN resources, to keep their learning fresh and to work through the Excellence tools.

All of those who participated in these programs have moved on to career exploration through guiding circles and have started to be placed into government positions. These participants are vital to the on-going growth of C/TFN’s self-government.
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Language Immersion Program
Vuntut Gwitchin Government (VGG)
Completed: September 2014

Description:

The Gwich’in language is crucial to Vuntut Gwitchin culture and as such, is of paramount importance to the Vuntut Gwitchin, as identified in the VGFN Final Agreement. Language holds the key to Vuntut Gwitchin cultural knowledge which is vital to government-related responsibilities such as resource management, justice, health, and education.

Currently, the Gwich’in language is considered strong as there are many fluent speakers; however, the vast majority of fluent speakers are over 50 years old with very few fluent speakers in the coming generations. In a matter of one generation the language could be lost completely. There is a small, strong group of fluent speakers located in Old Crow who are committed to saving the language. They have identified a need for training in immersion teaching techniques as immersion is widely accepted as the most effective means of achieving fluency.

The Language Immersion Training Project offered two University of Alberta courses to fluent Gwich’in speakers interested in teaching their language. The small group of fluent speakers could not revitalize the language in isolation so, in addition to the courses in immersion techniques and material development, instructors worked
with students to apply their skills in a practical context. They conducted a community workshop that introduced immersion techniques to non-speakers and encouraged semi-fluent speakers to regain their language.

University of Alberta instructors from the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute came to the community of Old Crow for two one-week courses in addition to the community practicum. Where practical, the training was conducted out on the land in a setting identified as being conducive to working
with the Gwich’in language.

This training developed local immersion teaching skills to ensure the survival of the Gwich’in language which is integral to the development of Vuntut Gwitchin self-government.

Training Goals:
- To equip fluent speakers with current skills to pass Gwich’in to the next generation
- To conduct professional-level training in the community
- To inspire the community to achieve fluency

Learning Outcomes:
- Students will achieve skills in teaching immersion-style language activities
- Students will gain professional training
- Community members will understand immersion-style learning and immersion students will apply skills

Gwich'in language immersion program participants

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Records & Information Management (Part I)


Project Lead: Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) 
Partner: Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC)
Completed: July 2016

Description:

It is essential for self-governing First Nations (SGFNs) to create, maintain, and utilize their own government’s records in an accountable way. They are responsible for the management of all records in their custody, as there are legal implications for destroying records without the proper authority.

Following good records management practices will not only help meet legal requirements, but will improve access to information, control growth of materials taking up office space, reduce operational costs, minimize litigation risks and safeguard vital information while supporting better management when implementing government structures. Sound records management practices also allow SGFNs to make clear, concise and knowledgeable decisions which will preserve their Yukon First Nation history.

The Electronic Information & Records Management Training addressed the specific record management needs of KDFN and TTC as they implemented their self-governing agreements. This training project focused on educating employees on current information and records management systems and technologies, giving them the tools to be able to integrate and implement an accountable Record Information Management (RIM) system into their respective government functions and making them First Nation leaders in this field.

Training Goals & Learning Outcomes:
- Trained and knowledgeable staff that can implement a records management department within each partnering Yukon First Nation
- Completion of a records Classification and Retention schedule by both KDFN & TTC
- Completion of a records management policy, records management guidelines & procedures manual for KDFN & TTC
- Knowledge of a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Federal & Territorial) including potential
implications to a Yukon self-governing First Nation
- RIM boot camp certification for all relevant First Nation staff
- Organizational mentorship on-site in each participating community with the trainer
- Essentials of RIM certificate program credentials for key personnel from each First Nation
- Hands-on training & implementation mentorship by Westbank First Nation
- Completion of a staffing capacity and needs assessment to assist with future records maintenance planning for each partnering First Nation
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Land Registry Training Project

Project Lead: Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation (TH)
Partners: Champagne & Aishihik First Nations, Carcross Tagish First Nation, Kluane First Nation, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, Teslin Tlingit Council, Nacho Nyák Dun First Nation, and Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation
Completed: July 2014

Description:

Since 1995, 11 self-governing Yukon First Nations’ (SGYFNs) Final Agreement (FA) and Self Government Agreements (SGA) have come into legal effect in the Yukon. The SGAs provide the SGYFNs with the jurisdiction, powers and responsibilities to become legal entities. SGYFNs have the jurisdiction to make and enact laws with
respect to their Settlement Lands, Citizens, taxation, municipal planning and to manage lands and resources. Section 5.5.1.4 of the FA states SGYFNs can establish a system to record interests in their Settlement Lands.

In the last few years, SGYFNs have encountered demands from Citizens and third parties for the use of their Settlement Lands. Most SGYFNs do not want to sell their Settlement Lands to Citizens or third parties so they have explored the option of leasing. SGYFNs are viewing land leases as either a way to increase options for Citizen housing or economic opportunities. Settlement Land developments would beneficially change SGYFNs economic development and provide a solid financial basis for future growth.

The lending institutions require a high level of accountability in order for leases to be used as security for mortgages. They require certainty that ownership is registered and maintained by the SGYFN governments, that the lands registrar guarantees title to registered Settlement Lands and that lease ownership is transferred through registration. Trained lands staff at both the SGYFNs and the central level are crucial to this process.

SGYFNs met several times over the course of two years to determine that the best way to set up a lands registry system would be to create one based on the POLAR model being used in Nunavut. The POLAR model is a cloud-based computing model that requires no large capital investment for software and services, predictable monthly expense, and a short operational set up time.

In September 2013, YIPTT approved $241,127 in funding for eight SGYFNs to undergo training on the Land Registry System. The training has consisted of classroom lectures, participant interaction, and hands on computer learning, with an additional 12 months of online support. All training has taken place in Whitehorse and has utilized a reference handbook containing instructions on the cloud-based system and the elements necessary for the operation of the lands registry.

This training has increased the knowledge base and provided a new skill set for SGYFNs lands representatives and their lands staff members. The newly acquired skills have provided them with the ability to operate and maintain a cloud-based lands registry system and increased their knowledge of their SGYFN land titles
legislation and associated documents.

Training Goals & Learning Outcomes:
- a solid understanding of, and foundation in the Land Titles (Torrens) system to all participants
- a fast, efficient and reliable Land Titles registration system operated by qualified, confident administrators with high customer service skills
- a solid basis for the valuation of development lands
- a practical hands-on training for all documentation requiring registration
- a best practice, procedural manual for reference and practical use by all participants
- integration of theory to practice in entering registrations into the specific cloud-based registration system
- a reference system for unusual documentation, thereby ensuring uniformity of application throughout all Yukon First Nations

Land Registry training session

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Co-operative Education Program

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation (TH)
Completed: March 2013

Description:

The TH Co-operative Education program was funded by YIPTT from 2010-2013. It combined academic study with work placements. Students had the opportunity to gain valuable and relevant work experience for credit through this program. It was extremely well received by the community. After completion, TH government continued to fund it because it was seen as a necessity in assisting TH students to be directly involved in their educational pursuits and has enabled students to link their education to the potential of being employed at TH.

Project Outcomes:
-  Apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical workplace setting
-  Explore tentative career choices in a chosen field
-  Build a network with potential employers
-  Earn credits towards their degree, diploma or certificate
-  Improve interview skills and learn how to confidently promote themselves to an employer
-  Develop professional experience to add to their resume
-  Earn income to help finance their education

Co-op student, Dawn Coles working at TH

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Transitional Employment Initiative - Pursuit of Excellence
Carcross Tagish First Nation (C/TFN)
Completed: July 2013
Description:
YIPTT provided support for C/TFN citizens to learn personal development tools and skills through participation in two Pursuit of Excellence programs:  1) The Wall and 2) The Advancement of Excellence. 

The seminars focused on helping participants identify what they truly wanted out of life and giving them the tools to achieve it. They learned how to handle change with less stress and better results and to move past obstacles on the path to achieving their goals. Participants were able to identify their personality type and recognize how their particular character traits were affecting their interactions and relationships at work and in their family life. People were challenged to look at their behaviours and take 100% responsibility for their actions.

Many of the past graduates of the program were so affected by their personal progress that they volunteered to assist at the next set of seminars. This helped them to solidify the skills they learned and further define their personal goals while identifying and addressing their barriers to success.
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National Restorative Justice Symposium 
Recipients: Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Kwanlin Dün, Carcross Tagish, and Champagne Aishihik First Nations
Completed: November 2012
Description:
YIPTT supported representatives from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Kwanlin Dün, Carcross Tagish, and Champagne Aishihik First Nations to attend the 2012 National Restorative Justice Symposium in Winnipeg. This is the leading conference of its kind in Canada and its presenters included practitioners and academics from the forefront
of the restorative justice field.

The conference gave the participants the opportunity to learn new and innovative restorative justice processes,
adding to the ability of Yukon First Nations to enhance and expand their justice services. This symposium was an exceptional opportunity for Yukon representatives to meet and discuss justice practices and programs with delegates and presenters from other Canadian First Nations.

The successes, challenges, and resulting best practices which were shared served to inform and inspire Yukon’s justice initiatives. Additionally, it was an excellent opportunity for Yukon delegates to network and learn about each other’s justice initiatives; particularly, which services were being offered and how certain obstacles were
being overcome. Many of the benefits of the symposium were shared across the Yukon, allowing for a collective growth of First Nations’ capacity to engage in justice activities.

Participants at the 2012 National Restorative Justice Symposium

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Heritage Restoration Project 

Ta'an Kwäch'än Council (TKC)
Completed: April 2012

Description:
This project was an opportunity for trainees to develop skills and knowledge in the specialized techniques and practices in log cabin restoration. The Frank Slim building is located within the Ta’an Kwäch’än settlement lands and is classified as a heritage resource. The learning experience included technical carpentry skills under the guidance of Garth Stoughton and traditional knowledge that was passed on by Elder Glenn Grady.
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Yukon First Nation Human Resource Managers Training 
Recipient: Council of Yukon First Nations
Completed: October 2011

Description:
The Human Resource Managers training was funded by YIPTT. The training took place over a three-day period with representatives from all the self-governing Yukon First Nations. This was a terrific opportunity to learn about the employer obligations for managing employees within the guidelines set out by the Canada Labour Code, part 3. Participants left the training with resources and an understanding of how terminations and severance are interpreted in Canada Labour Code.
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