Find out about First Nation programs and services at Whitehorse Correctional Centre

  • First Nations programming available to inmates
  • First Nations spiritual services available to inmates
  • Learn about the First Nations liaison officer
  • Hiring and training of First Nations staff
  • Elders Advisory Group

Corrections works with Yukon First Nations to deliver correctional services and programs, incorporating Indigenous cultural heritage.

  1. First Nations programming available to inmates
    • Arts and crafts:
      • beading;
      • carving;
      • drum-making; and
      • making medicine bags
    • Traditional medicines
    • Traditional cooking
    • First Nations language classes

  2. First Nations spiritual services available to inmates
    • Talking circles
    • Storytelling
    • Smudging ceremonies
    • Elder counselling and spiritual guidance
    • Solstice gatherings and feasts
    • Healing Room
    • Outdoor Healing Area
    • Sweat Program

  3. Learn about the First Nations liaison officer

    The First Nations liaison officer works with:

    • offenders; and
    • case managers.

    The officer works to: 

    • successfully reintegrate offenders into the community;
    • identify and diminish barriers to reintegration;
    • assist with research, planning and coordination of First Nations programming; and
    • administer a First Nations Reintegration Fund.

  4. Hiring and training of First Nations staff
    • First Nation staff in corrections are hired through preferences and recruitment initiatives.
    • Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC) works with the First Nation Training Corps to recruit First Nation correctional officers.
    • Approximately 10 to 15 per cent of corrections staff self-identify as First Nation.
    • Elders deliver First Nations cultural awareness training to correctional officers.
    • All staff hired at WCC are registered with Yukon College for the Yukon First Nations 101 course. This is a mandatory requirement for hiring.

  5. Elders Advisory Group

    The Elders Advisory Group is made up of 9 Elders representing several First Nation communities.

    The group meets monthly. It advises corrections management and staff on ways to include First Nations traditions and values in programming and operations.

    The Elders contribute to the Whitehorse Correctional Centre by:

    • providing 1-on-1 counselling to offenders;
    • participating in ceremonies such as Solstice, smudges, and other spiritual services;
    • teaching offenders and staff about First Nation cultures;
    • establishing a working relationship with offenders, staff and communities.

    Elders are also involved in programming activities with inmates such as:

    • talking circles;
    • crafts;
    • drum-making workshops;
    • counselling; and
    • sweat programs.

    Do Elders get paid?

    Elders receive an honorarium. We provide Elders with their own space and lounge in the correctional centre. There, they can comfortably facilitate their work.


To find out more about First Nations programming at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, email or phone 867-455-2906.