Updated January 6, 2022 (April 27, 2020, Arizona USA) The Yukon 2020™ team will be most likely interacting with First Nation residents in the Yukon Territory of Canada. In Alaska, the team will be visiting select Alaska Natives’ fishing villages along the Yukon River.
Art “Karts” Huseonica of Sun City is expected to be a good representative of a professional expedition. Besides being the right thing to do, it is in his character to be accepting of and learning about all peoples’ beliefs and way of life. He’s also sensitive to being respectful to a village leader’s decision whether or not to permit the team access to their village.
Mr. Huseonica will have already met with members of the Alaska Natives peoples and received helpful information and advice. The team will also coordinate visits with the village leaders far in advance of their anticipated arrival. Before starting their expedition on May 27, weather permitting, the team will meet with First Nation representatives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory at the Council of Yukon First Nations headquarters.
They will seek from the First Nations representatives guidance about which villages to visit for the purposes of resting and making minimal resupply food purchases. Working in the other direction, Mr. Huseonica will make inquires into what items, within cost and bulk limitations they can bring with them that the villages might need.
In Alaska, the team will be working with the Alaskan state government and the Alaska Federation of Natives. As the team moves down the river they will be in satellite contact with community leaders. Contact will be determined through the prodigious use of the State of Alaska’s community database at the Community Online Database. Similar to the Yukon Territory villages, the team will make inquires into what items to bring that the villages are in desperate need of.
Except in villages, meeting people on the river will be relatively rare. When the opportunity does presents itself, interactions with others will be a unique opportunity to learn about the people and to share with them stories and information about the team’s expedition.
Mr. Huseonica will avoid interactions if he’s feeling ill or suspect others are sick. When he visits isolated towns or fishing villages, it will be impossible to avoid people so social distancing will be practiced if conditions at that time warrant it. The team will carry an amble supply of face masks, latex gloves, sanitary wipes, and hand sanitizer with them at all times.
At remote villages, the team will be an interesting distraction to residents, and most likely bring attention to themselves since they are strangers. The team has provided this Blog link to the Canadian government to help explain plans for interactions with First Nations peoples in the Yukon Territory. The link was also provided to the Council of Yukon First Nations. And also to the US State Department to demonstrate the team’s good-faith intentions regarding interactions with Alaska Natives. The team is also in communication with the Yukon Territory’s COVID-19 Enforement Information Team and the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association.
For more information about the Yukon 2020™ expedition or to donate or sponsor, obtain naming rights to the expedition’s custom canoe, please visit www.yukon2020.com.