Daylu Dena Council & Liard First Nation
June 23, 2021
Ceremonial demolition of Lower Post residential school rescheduled for June 30, 2021
The Daylu Dena Council (DDC) and Liard First Nation (LFN) jointly announce the rescheduling of the Lower Post Gathering for the ceremonial demolition of the Lower Post Residential School for Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
The Lower Post Residential School was opened in 1951 and had students from nearly forty Indigenous communities in Yukon and BC. It was finally closed on June 30, 1975. The ceremonial demolition will take place 46 years later to the day.
DDC and LFN, and their Council of the Whole, have decided to proceed with the gathering and the healing that our community, and all those impacted by the Lower Post Residential School, have been preparing for.
A time to heal together.
Health and Wellness & COVID-19 Protocols
The health, wellness, and safety of survivors, elders, knowledge keepers, communities and guests of the gathering is a top priority. A COVID-19 safe gathering plan has been carefully created for this event in partnership with Yukon and BC health authorities to implement a thoughtful and balanced safety plan. We ask all attending to be vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and to observe the Safe 6 + 1. Please see the Lower Post Gathering: COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines below, for health and safety, as well as event details.
We understand that some who had planned to attend this event will no longer be able to due to the increased risks posed by the Yukon outbreak of COVID-19. DDC and LFN recognize the importance of being able to witness the demolition of the Lower Post Residential School and hold ceremony. For those not able to attend, on June 30, we invite communities to light a scared fire and/or safely gather to support survivors and show their community resilience and strengths. A video of the event will be created to provide an opportunity for those not able to attend to watch in their communities at a later date. Details for the video to be provided as soon as possible.
Please support one another, be kind, and be safe.
Lower Post Gathering: COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines and Event Details
The COVID-19 P1 variant is highly contagious and spreads quickly. For those planning to attend, we ask that you strictly adhere to the following in order to support our community and help to keep our Members and guests as safe as possible from exposure to the virus:
- Vaccination: We ask all attending to be vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Two vaccinations plus two weeks is recommended.
- Self-Screening: Please carefully self-screen for any COVID-19 symptoms. Individuals experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or who feel unwell are asked to please stay home. If you have been asked to self-isolate or live with someone who has been asked to self-isolate please remain at home. List of symptoms are available here: https://yukon.ca/en/find-out-about-symptoms-covid-19.
- Event Screening: All attendees will be required to complete pre-event screening before entering the community of Lower Post. Travelers arriving from north of Watson Lake are required to complete screening at the Watson Lake Recreational Centre. Shuttles to and from Lower Post will be provided for those in personal transportation. Travelers arriving from south of Lower Post are required to complete screening at the screening checkpoint near the Lower Post Gas Station and Store. Shuttles to and from Lower Post will be provided for those in personal transportation. Nations travelling by shuttle or coach are permitted to travel to the Lower Post event site check-in station. Additional instructions and support will be provided to Nations in advance. If you have any questions, please contact Anne Turner by email: email@example.com.
- Accommodation: Due to our efforts to keep our Members safe, we are not permitting any tenting or RVs in Lower Post. We ask all those attending who wish to camp to use official campgrounds in the Watson Lake area. We respectfully request that when camping and in the Kaska Traditional Territory, you maintain the Safe 6 + 1, and limit your interactions to those travelling with you, and within your bubble.
- Travel: Please be mindful and take as many precautions as possible to mitigate your risk of COVID-19 when traveling to and from Lower Post and Watson Lake. If you have traveled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, please stay at home.
- Your Visit in Lower Post: We ask those attending from outside the community of Lower Post to please only stay for the duration of the event on June 30 during the designated event times (to be released shortly). Lower Post will be in lock-down until July 1, 2021, with no visitors entering the community until the day of the Gathering. We will be asking for your support in helping us keep our community safe by please departing on June 30 by 7:00 pm latest. We are asking that any post-event gatherings take place outside of the community, that you maintain the Safe 6 + 1, and limit your interactions to those travelling with you, and within your bubble. Please help us keep our communities safe.
- While at the Gathering:
- Please stay outdoors
- Maintain the Safe 6 + 1 social distance from people outside of your household at all times
- Wear a mask when possible
- Use hand sanitizer and hand washing frequently and after using the washroom
- All attendees will be provided with a mask and hand sanitizer
- Food will be individually packaged to further minimize risk of transmission
- Frequent spot cleaning and sanitization throughout the event.
- Designated Tents for “Nation Bubbles”: In order to mitigate risks, the Daylu Dena Council and Liard First Nation have arranged for each attending Nation to have a designated tent to support their members in their own “Nation Bubble”, and help maintain distance from others, while providing a safe space for rest. If you would like to bring your own tent, we are able to provide volunteers to help set-up and tear-down, as well as chairs and tables for your members.
- Food and Refreshments: Refreshments and nutrition will be available during the event. We recommend travelling with snacks and refreshments. No alcohol will be permitted at the event.
- Ceremonial Demolition: Due to the increased numbers of expected attendees, limited space at Lower Post and to maintain safety measures the demolition will be held as a ceremonial demolition, which will include a ceremonial burning of Lower Post Residential School. The full demolition will occur after the June 30 Gathering.
- Your Delegation: We ask attending communities to confirm expected attendees from your community to help us better anticipate numbers and better prepare. Please notify Anne Turner by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We remind everyone to practice the Safe 6 + 1. Health authorities have advised us that most transmissions generally do not take place at large events, rather the transmission occurs before and after the event. Please travel safely and respect communities you may be travelling through.
Daylu Dena Council – Kaska Dena Council
Liard First Nation – Kaska Dena Council
Gathering Around the Fire – Kaska Dena Council
UPDATE: Postponed Lower Post Gathering – Kaska Dena Council
Lower Post Gathering—Demolition & Groundbreaking Event, June 21, 2021 – Kaska Dena Council
Former Canada, B.C., Daylu Dena Council Partner to Build New Cultural Centre, Demolish Former Residential School. News Release – Kaska Dena Council
Former Residential School in Lower Post Slated for Demolition: Premier. Vancouver Sun – Kaska Dena Council
Old Residential School – Interview with DDC’s Harlan Schilling. CBC Radio | As It Happens – Kaska Dena Council