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Northern Capacity Building

CAEFS created the position of Northern Regional Coordinator for the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut in response to a gap identified by the Breaking The Cycle project. With there being no membership societies in any of the three territories, CAEFS felt it was important to develop connections with First Nation, Metis, and Inuit governments and communities, Indigenous organizations, and non-profit organizations currently supporting criminalized women and gender-diverse people from the northern territories.  

Our Northern Regional Coordinator, based out of Whitehorse, is currently working on several projects with local organizations from the Yukon Territory. CAEFS has partnered with the Yukon Status of Women’s Council (YSWC) on a case study to explore the community parole options for federally sentenced Indigenous women and gender-diverse people in the Yukon. This project is being funded by the Canadian Court Challenges Program. The case study examines whether the disparity in services available to men exiting prison compared to those available to women amounts to gender-based discrimination under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. CAEFS and YSWC will be releasing their case study in conjunction with a legal memo prepared by Yukon lawyer, Vincent Larochelle.  

CAEFS is also working to unpack the community safety issues surrounding Yukon’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act (SCAN). This Act allows for community members to report alleged suspicious activities, such as sex work, drug trafficking, and bootlegging to SCAN authorities. SCAN officers can investigate and handle complaints about the alleged activity outside of the criminal justice system. Section 3(2) of the Act allows for complaints to be resolved via landlords terminating a lease or tenancy with only five days’ notice, regardless of tenancy agreements. While SCAN disproportionately impacts marginalized people, it is liked by some communities in the territory. Through this project CAEFS will meet with these communities to learn how SCAN impacts them and how our organization can support alternative community safety practices.   

CAEFS currently has three funding applications in with Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, EFry Northern Alberta, and Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society.  While COVID-19 restrictions have limited our ability to engage in in-person trust building in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut challenging, CAEFS hopes that 2022 will allow for safe community visits.