The REEES heads North (way, way north) in time for the holidays

They said they’d do it, and they did — despite broken-down vehicles and some truly bone-chilling weather. In our last post we wrote about the efforts of our Regional Partners in the Yukon to complete the Youth portion of the REEES in their region before the end of the year. Well, we’re happy to report that Nyla Klugie-Migwans, Yukon’s REEES Regional Coordinator, and her team met that goal – and with time to spare!

On December 18, Nyla and her team welcomed their REEES Field Worker back from Old Crow, Yukon, home to the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation; the most northerly First Nation community in Canada. Their worker flew into the community of 300 on November 30 where she spent more than two weeks bringing the survey to First Nations youth. For those of you experiencing the Winter Blues, consider this: the Yukon team faced an average temperature of -42°C while in Old Crow. And it’s not much warmer for the rest of the workers in the field either.

On the way to the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation the van carrying REEES Field Worker Maureen Vittrekwa and her team broke down. After being rescued from the elements, Maureen soldiered on to the town Carmacks where she carried out the Youth portion of the REEES with about a dozen teenagers. That's committment!

Carmacks, Yukon at -41°C

With the Youth portion out of the way, the Yukon Region will be working on bringing the Child and Adult portions of the REEES to the same 11 sampled communities in 2014. Congratulations (and Happy Holidays!) go out to Nyla, Helen Stappers, Alex McKenna, Brenda Carson, and the rest of the REEES team in the Yukon. It's sometimes easy to forget the amount of hard work, dedication and perseverance that our Regional Partners invest in carrying out FNIGC's surveys -- and this was a worthwile reminder.

REEES Field Worker Maureen Vittrekwa conducts the survey in Carmacks, Yukon