History of the Shãkãt Journal
Starting in the 1970s Ye Sa To Communications, a non profit organization, was the publisher of several of First Nation publications including: Yukon Indian News, the Shãkãt Journal, and Danzha. In addition Northern Native Broadcasting also operated Chon FM and NEDAA Television station at that time. Youth ran the Ye Sa To publications and Elders operated the board of directors of the organization. During this era First Nations voices were well represented in publications and news outlets across the Yukon.
The Shãkãt Journal was a special summer tourism edition that was entirely produced by local First Nations youth. This special journal was published for 11 years and shared the art, history and culture of Yukon’s First Nations people and consisted of longer editorial pieces that were researched and created by youth. It was one of the only self-sustaining publications operated by Ye Sa To Communications. The publication ran from 1980 to 1991 and was released once a year during the summer. Over the years circulation grew from 10,000 to 30,000.
When federal funding shifted Ye Sa To struggled from high overhead costs and was forced to shut its doors, taking with it the voices, reflections and opinions of our First Nations people. NEDAA TV also shut its doors in the early 2000s. Today only Northern Native Broadcasting’s Chon FM and APTN have a presence in the Yukon with some First Nations focused production from CBC radio such as the Gwitch’in Hour. While these organizations are recognized for sharing First Nations stories, perspectives and news, there is a notable lack of Youth voices in these publications.
Traditional Key To Culture
We, the people knowing that the Creator placed us here on Mother Earth as sovereign nations and seeking to live in peace, freedom and prosperity with all humanity in accordance with our own traditional laws are united in our sacred relationship with the land, air, water and resources of our ancestral territories. We are bound by common origin and history, aspiration and experience, and we are brothers and sisters, leaders and warriors of our nations.
While our Indigenous Peoples and Nations have distinct identities, cultures, languages and traditions, we have also been guided by many common purposes and beliefs, which have been shaped by many common experiences; We have all retained the inherent right to self-determination. In shaping our own destinies we will remain faithful to the time honored traditions of our ancestors and we will work to secure the greatest possible freedom, dignity and prosperity for our descendants.
Traditional Approach to Storytelling.
Our approach to developing indigenous stories in this publication will arrive from the freedoms bestowed onto our young adults. With respect to our Elders sharing their story, their wisdom, their flame and spirit, we thank you for trusting a creative generation. All political views, subjects of the stories, art styles and photographic content that are published, are the opinions and perspectives of the story teller.
RISE Advisory Council
An advisory council of past Shakat Journal directors,editors, elders, and youth will guide the purpose of the publication. The intent will be to share their experiences, wisdom, beliefs and ways of life to assist with all aspects of the content and production of the publication. There will no doubt be differences of opinions, but the opinions expressed in the publication are those of the story-teller and the creative students who will share it.
Youth and Educators
It is hoped that rural communities see the value of this project and publication and we invite you to pass your stories onto our descendants to enlighten and inspire youth to hold on strong to their traditional ways of living. Our intention is to reach out as far and to as many communities as time allows. Please pass on our intentions and contacts us if you have any leads or desires to share.