Yukon First Nations graduating class of 2022

·1 min read
Adanchilla Pauls from Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. (Sissi De Flaviis/CBC - image credit)
Adanchilla Pauls from Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. (Sissi De Flaviis/CBC - image credit)

The sound of drumming and cheers could be heard Friday afternoon in downtown Whitehorse.

It was part of the Yukon First Nations graduation ceremony, held outside the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre.

The event opened with a graduates parade, where the regalia of the 119 grads of the Yukon First Nations grad class of 2022, was on full display, representing communities from across the territory.

Among the graduates is Nevaeh Webb of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. His father Ray Webb held back tears as he spoke about his son's accomplishment.

George Maratos/CBC
George Maratos/CBC

"To me, it's like if we've done our job as parents," he said.

"That's the most important — getting all my kids through. And, you know, he struggled through this, but in the end, he picked up the pace and he got things done and he made it, which is … the best day of our lives as parents."

Ray said Naveo wore a similar vest to the one his father has on for the occasion. It's made of moose skin and was sewn by his grandmother. He's also wearing moccasins from his great-grandmother.

George Maratos/CBC
George Maratos/CBC

Henry Gilson, a member of the Tetlit Gwich'in First Nation, came to watch his sister, nephew, friend and several other "familar faces" who are among the graduates.

"They did it, they made it past all their difficulties and whatever was holding them back. School is not an easy thing. And they're here today to celebrate their success," Gilson said.

"I'm just overzealous for them. They finished their year, and wearing masks and having to do online classes — you name it — to get through, but they pushed through it, and it's definitely a huge win."

George Maratos/CBC
George Maratos/CBC

 

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