Betty’s Haven is now open! This is an additional 10-unit Second Stage Housing complex for Yukon Women’s Transition Home. This building is respectfully named after Betty Sjodin, a Gwich’in Elder who has worked for YWTHS for over 30 years.
Betty was born in Ross River, Yukon, and was raised in a traditional lifestyle, eating wild meat, learning to bead and sew, and speaking her language. After her own challenges Betty decided to dedicate her life to supporting women and children fleeing abuse. In 1983 she returned to the YWTHS, where she had previously stayed as a resident, this time as a Transition Home Worker. She has been involved at Kaushee’s Place ever since.
Betty, with constant humility and without fanfare, has provided the entire community with a remarkable example of leadership, compassion, and strength.
In all she does, Betty carries her distinct, consistently respectful way of working, by supporting women’s individual agency and autonomy while also quietly teaching and role-modeling her traditional cultural ways and language.
Betty’s tender, empathetic and kind nature, as well as her courage and willingness to share her own life experience, often gives other women the strength to recognize their own resistance and to continue on their journeys.
At 81 years old, Betty is still offering guidance, support and encouragement to Yukon women responding to violence and abuse. As well as her ongoing front-line involvement, Betty has left a broader legacy through the example she has given: to this day, other Transition Home workers credit Betty for creating an environment of stability, safety and respect.