For the third year in a row, the Kilrich Yukon Native Hockey Tournament has been cancelled as a result of COVID-19.
The 2022 tournament was scheduled to take place from March 25 to 28.
In a news release issued Monday morning, the Yukon First Nations Hockey Association (YFNHA) announced the decision to cancel what would've been the 44th annual tournament.
"The continued pandemic and the threat posed by the variants that are circulating have left so many variables outside of our control that our Board felt that cancelling the tournament [was] the best option given the continued uncertainty," said Michelle Dawson-Beattie, YFNHA president, in a news release.
"Although this is a difficult call to make, our focus was on protecting our communities and especially our Elders."
The annual event draws hundreds of visitors to Whitehorse as teams from across the North, B.C. and Alberta compete.
The cancellation comes as Yukon deals with an influx of COVID cases, the territory is reporting 49 active cases as of Dec. 24.
Written by Luke Carroll.