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Northern residents embrace plan for unique beaded pin honouring COVID-19 workers

Last Updated Apr 3, 2020 at 12:32 pm EDT

A fireweed blossoms next to Monashka Creek as fishermen cast lines from the banks of the creek in Kodiak, Alaska on August 15, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP - Kodiak Daily Mirror, James Brooks

DAWSON CITY, Yukon — A made-in-Yukon initiative to celebrate front-line workers fighting COVID-19 is gaining momentum across the North.

An administrative assistant at a health centre in Dawson City has launched the Fireweed Heroes project.

Kyla Popadynec began making beaded lapel pins for health-care workers, but rapidly expanded the project to cover all front-line staff — from grocery store clerks to truck drivers.

She says several hundred people, including beaders from Alaska and Yellowknife, have volunteered to make the pins.

The fireweed design was chosen because the purple flower is one of the first things to flourish after a forest fire and represents strength, healing and renewal.

Popadynec is sealing and sanitizing the pins before distributing them to front-line workers across Yukon.

“The idea is that front-line workers can wear (the pins) in times of uncertainty,” she said.

“They can realize that there’s lots of community members behind them, supporting them.” (CKRW) 

This story from The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020

The Canadian Press