Showcasing Our Community

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On February 13th, we were honoured to tour Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, MP Brendan Hanley, and Premier Ranj Pillai through NorthLight Innovation, along with our partners YukonU Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Tech Yukon. We were thrilled to showcase the most important part of our community: YOU!

The tour highlighted a number of Yukon entrepreneurs, makers and innovators who were able to show their work as the Prime Minister toured through the building. At NorthLight, we believe in the power of Yukon innovators to create powerful change, address pressing issues such as education, climate change and sustainable agriculture, and bring important Northern priorities to the forefront, so thank you again to everyone who took the time to share about the important work being done. 

We asked our members their thoughts on the visit, and here’s what they had to say!

Joella Hogan of The Yukon Soaps Company

“Prime Minister Trudeau  was already familiar with my business as I had met him in 2016 but also the night before he had been given one of my soaps by Mats’äsäna Mą Primozic. So when we met, I said ”I heard you were given one of my soaps yesterday”. And he said “yes the Essu grandmother soap”. He listened and remembered the words of our youth and the importance of our languages. So I used my brief time to share the importance of culturally grounded social supports rooted in our culture for mental health and addiction. We need our culture and language back. We can’t have innovation, small business or entrepreneurship without our people.”

Cedrick Vinoya, Operations Assistant

Many of our entrepreneurs were honored by his visit, and as a student, I am now more inspired to make a positive impact on our community. He visited and expressed his appreciation for the work we are doing. Thank you Yukonstruct Society and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for this wonderful experience!”

Sam Fleshman-Carlick of Simply Significants

It’s always inspiring to see individuals and communities using their skills and knowledge to not only sustain themselves but also to educate and inspire others. Traditional life skills and knowledge are an important part of our cultural heritage and it’s important to support those who are keeping these traditions alive. By sharing their experiences and expertise, they are helping to preserve these skills for future generations. It’s also a great way to learn about different cultures and ways of life. Keep up the good work!”

Maria Rose Sikyea of Caribou Woman Creations

I had the opportunity to share with PM Justin Trudeau some of the work we are doing, in hopes to heal some of the “impacts of colonization” through the reviving and thriving of our indigenous culture. Thank you to Yukonstruct for sharing this opportunity with me and for Cat Kelly supporting so many to stand up as stronger entrepreneurs throughout the Territories!

I expressed how it is important to keep our culture alive and thrive within that, to reinspire and continue the ember for the next generations and to honour the hard work of our ancestors. It was nice to have the PM hear those words, maybe feel in his heart some of the pain we have went through as indigenous peoples and the joy we feel to reclaim our cultures, one step at a timeIt was so lovely to be at a table with talented individuals who speak to the uprising importance for us as Northerners, during the potlatch week in honour of “Together Today For Our Children Tomorrow 50th anniversary” via Council of Yukon First Nations! Thanks for doing what you all do, and I feel empowered to stand tall amongst you all; helping one another uprise within this human experience of protecting our ways, the land and each other.”

Michel Duteau of YukonGrow

“What an opportunity! Thanks so much, team YukonU Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Yukonstruct. I was really glad to get a chance to highlight the importance of supporting agriculture and innovation in the Yukon, and to speak of YukonGrow’s goal to stack up the odds by optimizing the grow conditions we start with. En anglais and in French!”

Vanessa Ægirsdóttir & George Bahm of Wild Yukon Furs & V. Ægirsdóttir

George and I, among many other entrepreneurs, were invited to show some of our work and explain our business to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We were proud to speak about the goals of our businesses and the ways we’re serving our community. Now I wait with bated breath to see if his wife, Sophie is spotted wearing her wolverine fur hoops!!” ​​​​​​​​

Ziad Sahid of TechYukon

We are grateful for having the opportunity to speak with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday about our local tech sector and the work we do at Tech Yukon. We want to thank our partners Yukonstruct and YukonU Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Premier Ranj Pillai, and MP Brendan Hanley for hosting the tour. The Yukon has a thriving and diverse tech sector and we greatly appreciate the support and all those that are part of the industry and the work they do.”

Lisa Preto, Community Outreach Manager

I’m grateful that our Prime Minister came in person to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow. I’m re-reading that document now, and I encourage everyone else to check it out through this link.” 

Ashley Cummings, Social Media & Community Coordinator

Having spent time on the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, it was nice to see the Prime Minister in more of a human capacity this time around. I felt so glad that he could listen to the incredible people who do phenomenal work in and out of this building. We’ve had 50 years of Together Today for our Children Tomorrow and my heart is full knowing that many more generations of leaders are to be inspired by this groundbreaking document.”