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Arctic Inspiration Prize win will mean new slaughterhouse in central Yukon

Reference: CBC News

The Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation is looking to get a long-disused slaughterhouse up and running once again at its farm in central Yukon — using Arctic Inspiration Prize money.

The First Nation's farm is home to the "Indigenous Food Sovereignty Hub," which is one of this year's Arctic Inspiration Prize winners, announced last week. The project will receive $485,000 "to reduce barriers to healthy and culturally relevant foods," according to the prize's website.

The First Nation's farm manager Teresa Samson says winning the prize is "absolutely amazing."

"It's been a great project right from the beginning," she said.

The First Nation bought the Partridge Creek Farm, near Mayo, Yukon, in 2018 and it's been operational since last spring. It's on the North Klondike Highway about 325 kilometres north of Whitehorse and 75 kilometres west of Mayo.

The farm was first built in the 1980s and has several old farm buildings on it, including an abattoir.

"This was one of the first slaughterhouses in the territory, but it hasn't been operational and it needs some equipment. So [the Arctic Inspiration Prize] is all going to be directed to getting that abattoir online," Samson said.

The First Nation has been working with management company North Star Agriculture to bring the farm into operation. North Star CEO Sonny Gray says having a functioning slaughterhouse opens up a lot of possibilities.

"We're looking at expanding it and putting in a commercial kitchen," Gray said.

"That way there we can process things like, you know, pork and beef and chickens, rabbits — but also with the commercial kitchen capabilities, which means, you know, morels or birch syrup."... Read More