Health care and social services

Following the decentralization of federal responsibilities, most health services are now the responsibility of the territorial government. Health care services are still clearly inadequate as the two transfer agreements between the federal and territorial governments did not provide for the development of French-language health services or the establishment of a plan to deliver these services or even global social services in French, despite the fact that Yukon Official Languages Act recognizes the obligation to serve the Francophone population in French in priority sectors, including health.

French-language services at Whitehorse General Hospital and the Health Centre are minimal. The Francophone community continues to lobby for better services. In 2003, Les EssentiElles conducted a study on behalf of AFY on the health care needs of Francophones. In this study, more than 70% recognized the importance of obtaining health services in French; the study also identified priority intervention sectors in terms of addressing the concerns of Francophones. The same year, the Government of Yukon, in partnership with AFY and the Partenariat communauté en santé, developed a five-year plan on the delivery of French-language health services, but to no avail, since the plan will not be funded.

The study and subsequent planning mostly served to help develop programs and services for Francophones as projects at the community level:
 

  • The French-language health networking initiative, thanks to the Partenariat communauté en santé (PCS), a member of the national group Société santé en français (SSF);

  • The health resources centre open to the public and health care professionals (PCS);

  • The availability of training and professional development through the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) in collaboration with the PCS and the Service d'orientation et de formation des adultes;

  • The S'aider pour mieux aider les autres [Helping yourself to better help others] initiative by the caregivers support group (PCS);

  • The Vieillir en santé [Growing old healthy] project aimed at Francophone seniors with social (Les EssentiElles) and health (PCS) components;

  • The Mamans, papas et bébés en santé project, made possible by the Canadian program on prenatal nutrition (Les EssentiElles);

  • Le Nombril, a magazine on perinatal issues (Les EssentiElles);

  • The French-language services directory, which includes a section on health (AFY and PCS).


Recent, some planning work was carried out by the Partenariat communauté en santé and its partners to develop a model for the delivery of bilingual health services and implement better practices in the area of French-language health care in Yukon. As the main representative of the Francophone community, AFY continues to lobby the governments for the full implementation of the Official Languages Act in the area of health care. This would give Francophones and visitors in Yukon access to more French-language health services in the territory.

Education and training

  • Émilie-Tremblay school became a unilingual French school in 1990 and issued its first high school diploma in June 1996. There were 162 students enrolled at the school in 2008-2009.
  • Alpha Yukon, a French literacy committee, was established in 1990 and became a literacy sector for Yukon within the Service d'orientation et de formation des adultes (SOFA) in 2000.
  • The first French school board, the Commission scolaire francophone du Yukon no 23, was created in 1995.
  • In 1996, AFY began to provide a regular adult education service.
  • In 1996, the Centre d'accès communautaire (community access centre) was created at AFY.
  • Stemming from the need for a complete, French-language daycare, the Garderie du Petit Cheval Blanc was created in 1989. In 1991, the Garderie's premises underwent renovations which increased maximum capacity from 14 to 26.
  • In 1997, the new Garderie francophone was opened on Falcon Drive next to the Émilie-Tremblay School with a maximum capacity of 33 children. In 2003, an expansion project enabled the Garderie to meet the community's increasing needs.
  • In 1998, the Partenariat communautaire en éducation (PCE) brought together Francophone community organizations active in the field of education. In 1999, the Deputy Minister of Education endorsed the creation of a joint working committee to address the issue of bilateral agreements in education. This committee was to look at the overall educational needs of Yukon Francophones from preschool to the postsecondary level.
  • In 2000, AFY established the SOFA, Service d'orientation et de formation des adultes. SOFA is a one-stop service offering various options to meet the needs of French-speaking adults in the areas of literacy, francization, skills training, personal and professional development and postsecondary education for credit.
  • In 2003, an office was opened in Dawson as a pilot project to identify and better address the education needs of this community's Francophones.
  • Émilie Tremblay School recently announced the contents of its new secondary-level program, Académie Parhélie. This original program is based on experiential learning and the integration of learning matters. Académie Parhélie has been operating since the fall of 2007 as a five-year project and is quite popular with students.

Cultural and community life

 

  • Since 1988, the folkdance group of the Émilie-Tremblay School, Les Souliers dansants, has performed all over Yukon at various cultural events. The group continues to bring together young 4th-grade students.

  • In 1995, a theatre group was created at the Émilie-Tremblay School. Les Voyageurs has presented plays in Yukon, Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba.

  • Les EssentiElles have also created a theatre group, which gained critical acclaim for its presentation of Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-Soeurs in 1998. In 1999, the group put on a collective creation named Les Époux vendables. In 2003, with the Anglophone community, they co-produced a play inspired by the Vagina Monologues and presented it in its French version: Monologues du vagin.
  • The cultural sector at the Association Franco-yukonnaise (AFY) is dedicated to ensuring access to rich and varied Francophone experiences. Support for the arts community is important, as is the development of cultural and community activities. Increasingly, the French school and other community groups such as the Francophone women's group Les Essentielles and the comité Espoir Jeunesse take an active part in the cultural life of Francophones in Yukon.
  • Every Friday evening since 1991 in Whitehorse, Cafés-rencontres held in AFY's community hall provide Francophones and Francophiles with an opportunity to relax in pleasant company.
  • The territorial library has a collection of French works.
  • Each year, several Francophone events are part of Yukon's cultural life, notably the Festival de films francophones, the Gala de la francophonie which showcases local artists and recognizes contributions by members of the community, the popular Cabane à sucre during the winter carnival, Sourdough Rendez-vous as well as the Souper à la bonne franquette featuring the Concours de talents each February, the combined Solstice and Saint-Jean-Baptiste celebrations, Canada Day, the Soirée d'Amitié France-Yukon and l'Épluchette de blé d'Inde.
  • Yukon boasts several festivals where renowned Francophone artists and musicians perform: the Frostbite Music Festival, Yukon Storytelling Festival, the Dawson City Music Festival. In addition, AFY organizes visits by French-speaking authors and artists in Yukon schools, in partnership with the Commission scolaire francophone du Yukon, Yukon Department of Education – French Programs and Émilie-Tremblay school.
  • AFY and Yukon Arts Centre are working together to offer several quality Francophone shows every year and to include Francophone artists in the annual program of exhibitions.
  • Yukon boasts several Francophone artists, especially in literature as well as visual and performing arts. Yukon is regularly enriched by new groups presenting quality cultural events:
  • In the field of literature, AFY published a historical collection in two volumes, Empreinte : La présence francophone au Yukon (1825-1950) by Caroline Boucher, in 1997. The following year, an Oblate priest and pioneer in Yukon, Jean-Paul Tanguay, published his memoirs in French, Mon petit monde. AFY also published, in 1991, Un jardin sur le toit by Cécile Girard and Renée Laroche. This historical novel presents a brief history of Francophones in Yukon. An information booklet entitled La francophonie, une richesse nordique was also published by Yann Herry in collaboration with Ruth Armson for AFY.
  • In 1992, AFY released the first edition of the board game Klondike, a bilingual trivia game about Yukon.

Communications

Newspapers and magazines


  • L'Aurore boréale, a bi-monthly newspaper, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2007. The only Francophone newspaper in Yukon, it targets both Francophones and Francophiles and covers Francophone news as well as political issues and other matters of interest in the Canadian North.

  • Since 1984, Yukon News has published the weekly column Bonjour, which covers activities in the Francophone community.

Radio


  • The radio program Rencontres has been broadcasting since 1985 on the English language network of the CBC. It is produced by AFY's cultural sector with the help of volunteer staff from the community. All technical costs are covered by CBC Yukon.

  • In 1992, the Francophone community obtained free access to Radio-Canada's French-language broadcasts from Montreal. This access was switched over to CBUF-FM Vancouver in 1997. The aforementioned program Rencontres is now simultaneously broadcast on CBUF.

  • Francophones in Yukon have access to a wide variety of television and radio stations by cable or satellite.

  • An important gain: there is now a Radio-Canada news service in Whitehourse, which means that the public broadcaster now covers community events on television and radio.

Television


  • Francophones in the Whitehorse area can access Radio-Canada's Vancouver station by antenna.
  • Both national satellite services (Bell TV and Star Choice) are present in Yukon and offer national and international French-language channels.

Major organizations

Association franco-yukonnaise


The Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY) was created in 1982 and acts both as the main representative of the Francophone community and as a community development organization. AFY fosters the maintenance of good relations between Francophones, the First Nations and all ethnic groups in Yukon. As of 2008, the staff at AFY included approximately 30 full-time and part-time employees.

AFY offers a range of services including a welcome centre for newcomers, media products and supports (for example, the weekly paper L'Aurore boréale and the radio program Rencontres), orientation and training services for adults (SOFA), a community access centre, support for businesses through the economic development sector, social, cultural and community activities as well as the Comité Espoir jeunesse (CEJ).

Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY)
302 Strickland St.
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 2K1
Phone: (867) 668-2663
Fax: (867) 668-3511
E-mail: afy@afy.yk.ca
Website: www.afy.ca

Other community associations


Commission scolaire francophone du Yukon (CSFY)
401-3106 3rd Ave.
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 5G1
Phone: (867) 667-8680
Fax: (867) 393-6946
E-mail: info@csfy.ca
Website: www.commissionscolaire.csfy.ca

Les EssentiElles
Centre de la francophonie
302 Strickland St.
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 2K1
Phone: (867) 668-2636
Fax: (867) 668-3511
E-mail: elles@yknet.yk.ca
Website: www.lesessentielles.org

La garderie du Petit cheval blanc
22 Falcon Dr.
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 6C8
Phone: (867) 633-6566
Fax: (867) 393-2628
E-mail: garderie@northwestel.net
Website: www.csfy.ca

L'école Émilie Tremblay
20, Falcon Dr.
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 6B2
Phone: (867) 667-8150
Fax: (867)393-6360
Website: www.eet.csfy.ca/fr

Partenariat communauté en santé (PCS)
Centre de la francophonie
800-302 Strickland St.
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 2K1
Phone: (867) 668-2663 poste 800
Fax: (867) 668-3511
E-mail: francosante@yknet.ca
Website: www.francosante.org

Comité Francophone Catholique Saint-Eugène-de-Mazenod
406 Steele
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 2C8
Phone: (867) 393-4791
E-mail: cfcyukon@klondiker.com
Website: www.cfcyukon.over-blog.com

Espace France-Yukon
Centre de la francophonie
302 Strickland St.
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 2K1
Phone: (867) 668-2516
E-mail: sylvie.geoffroy@gmail.com

Société des immeubles franco-Yukonnais (SIFY)
302 Strickland St.
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 2K1
Phone: (867) 668-2663
Fax: (867) 668-3511
E-mail: sify@afy.yk.ca
Website: www.afy.yk.ca/sify/accueil/bienvenue.htm

Fondation boréale
302 Strickland St.
Whitehorse,YK Y1A 2K1
Phone: (867) 668-2663
Fax: (867) 668-3511