Yukon organizations receive money to extend services for Indigenous women and children

Four Yukon based organizations will be getting $50,000 each to help prevent violence towards indigenous women and girls.

The funding is being given by the Yukon Women’s Directorate from the Prevention of Violence Against Aboriginal Women fund.

The Women’s Directorate is responsible for ensuring that gender considerations are integrated in government policy, legislature and program development.

“I think this fund and the folks doing this work show incredible results” Hillary Aitken, director of the women’s directorate tells APTN News.

The funding will extend until 2021, when all four organizations will have to apply for more funding. In the meantime women and children will have a place to feel safe.

It will benefit organizations like the Sally and Sisters meal program.

That’s where you’ll find Darlene Skookum every Monday and Friday morning washing tables and cleaning dishes in preparation for the meals.

With the funding, Sally and Sisters are able to  provide women and children with a hot meal, twice a week, in a safe environment, provide warm gloves for the winter and cleaning supplies to keep the space tidy.

The program was created after concerns were brought up around the safety of the Whitehorse emergency shelter – who also offers a meal program.

“A lot of women and children aren’t comfortable going there,” says Skookum. “We decided to start this program so that women have a safe place to go with their children”

Approximately 30 plates of food are prepared at the emergency shelter and then transported to the food bank for serving.

The funding will also go towards cleaning materials and items needed to provide a safe, clean environment.

Across town, The Victoria Faulkner Women’s Center is also the recipient of the funding.

The women’s center offers a program called A Safe Place which is open Friday to Sunday.

Its goal is to fill the gaps in service delivery for women and children in Whitehorse and offers basic essential needs and services including meals, laundry and showers.

“You also get community, you get building” A Safe Place coordinator Veronique Maggiore explains.

“People who participate can come as they are for the one interaction they’re going to have, or come back over and over again”

The two other recipients of the $50,000 is The Skookum Jim Friendship Center – Women of Wisdom and the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation – Women Circles of Connection.