This is joint news release between the governments of Yukon, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and Canada.
The governments of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Canada and the Yukon are pleased to announce the opening of the first assisted-living complex for Elders in Old Crow. An opening ceremony was held on May 19 in the community. This new facility means that Elders no longer have to move south to larger cities and away from their family supports to access the assisted-living care they need.
The complex, known as the Victoria Blake Memorial Elders Home, is named in memory of the Elder whose cabin occupied the current site for several decades. The recently completed building includes eight one-bedroom assisted-living units for Elders and a one-bedroom unit for a live-in caregiver. It also includes a kitchen, laundry room, and a large indoor common area to be used as a Gwich’in language hub and for family gatherings, activities and crafts. Creating this space for Elders in the community means that generations of Vuntut Gwitchin residents will be able to continue to learn from their Elders for years to come.
The Government of Canada invested $9 million in the project through Infrastructure Canada’s Rural and Northern Infrastructure Stream (RNIS) of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, which the Government of Yukon administers, and $1.7 million through targeted funding from Indigenous Services Canada for First Nations housing. The Government of the Vuntut Gwichin First Nation provided $3 million toward the project.
It is wonderful to see the completion of the Vuntut Gwitchin Elders complex and it was an honour to join the community of Vuntut Gwitchin at the opening ceremony. This home ensures Elders in Old Crow can age with a better quality of life. With the support of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, we can meet housing needs while creating spaces that put people first.
Premier of the Yukon Ranj Pillai
For millennia, our people have depended on the knowledge and guidance of our Elders to survive and thrive in our Gwich’in homeland. We have enjoyed their presence among us, just as our Elders have experienced the joys of seeing new generations of children and youth growing up in the community. Ch’anjòo goozheh Victoria Blake voozrì’ zhìt nitr’inii’aii, vanagwaandaii eenjit—the Victoria Blake Elders Home—will make it possible for our Elders to receive the care they need while remaining with our fly-in Arctic community. This is one more step toward restoring the bonds between the generations that sustained our people for countless generations.
Chief of the Vuntut Gwichin Government Pauline Frost
Everyone deserves to age with dignity. Through this investment, we are ensuring that Elders in Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation receive the care that they need, while enabling them to continue passing down their traditional knowledge to youth in the community. The grand opening of this new facility is fantastic news and I’m proud that our government played a role in making it a reality.
Member of Parliament for Yukon Dr. Brendan Hanley on behalf of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Dominic LeBlanc
The Gwich’in name for the Elders Home is Ch’anjòo goozheh Victoria Blake voozrì’ zhìt nitr’inii’aii, vanagwaandaii eenjit.
Under the Investing in Canada Plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
The Rural and Northern Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program supports projects that increase access to more efficient and reliable energy sources, improve community infrastructure, and improved internet connectivity for rural and northern communities.
Communications, Community Services
Vuntut Gwichin First Nation
867-393-2070 ext. 1002