If these names mean absolutely nothing to you, then you probably haven’t been paying attention. These are the names of the Yukon residents who, over the course of just a few weeks, have died from apparent drug and fentanyl related overdoses.
In honor of these young victims, a candlelight march and vigil was held yesterday at the Elijah Smith building on Main Street. The purpose of the event was to honor those who had passed away, and also to help erase the stigma surrounding those who use and/or are addicted to hard drugs.
Hundreds of people showed up to the event, including Mayor Dan Curtis, Grand Chief Peter Johnson and Minister of Tourism and Culture Jeanie Dendys. Kwanlin Dun Chief Doris Bill spoke in regards to the ever escalating problem, calling for Yukoners to take notice and realize that there is a problem here. One that affects all of us, not just the First Nations members of the community.
After the touching speeches by her and Peter Johnson, the vigil began. Candles were lit, but strong winds blew them out almost immediately, robbing the gathering of some tension and sadness, as most present couldn’t help but laugh at the situation.
The silence was followed by the march. Led by a police escort, the hundreds who had gathered took to the roads and marched down to the High Country Inn Convention Centre.