This is a joint news release between the Government of Yukon, the Council of Yukon First Nations and Yukon First Nations governments.
Premier Ranj Pillai, Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston, members of the Yukon government Cabinet and Yukon First Nations Chiefs met over two days at Äłät Nëhëjël (Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin Community Hall) in Dawson for the Yukon Forum.
On September 26, leaders discussed efforts to address ongoing efforts to combat the Substance Use Health Emergency, emergency preparedness and coordination and wildland fire resiliency.
On September 27, the leaders discussed legislative and policy priorities including the Yukon Wetlands Policy and successor minerals and lands legislation. Additionally, the leaders discussed preparations for their upcoming collaborative outreach to the federal government.
This week we are reminded that the heartbreaking legacy of residential schools continues to live on to this day. Our collaborative work through the Yukon Forum to advance reconciliation and our shared priorities remains as important as ever.
Premier Ranj Pillai
The Council of Yukon First Nation and Yukon First Nations joined Yukon government to meet on the Traditional Territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in for Yukon Forum and were presented with the preliminary findings resulting from the the ground-penetrating radar and archival research of the Yukon Residential Schools and Missing Children Project. Yukon Forum provides a space for Yukon First Nations and Yukon government to come together to address priorities including sensitive matters that impact our communities.
Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston
Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in lands have been alienated by mining for over 125 years without our consent. Today, 25 years after the effective date of our Final Agreement, and with solemn promises made to protect our way of life, our lands continue to be mined without Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in input and direction. The Yukon's antiquated mining laws are harmful to First Nations and we need interim steps to protect our lands. These interim steps must be strong enough to hold until we have new mining laws that are reflective of our values and interests. Demonstrated action is required. We need to pause mining staking and exploration of land immediately – until the Yukon has new mining laws, and a fulsome Yukon government and Yukon First Nations developed and approved Wetlands Policy that conform to our Agreements and Chapter 11 Land Use Planning has been completed.
Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Hähkè Darren Taylor
The Yukon Forum is a meeting of the political leaders of the Government of Yukon, Yukon First Nations governments and the Council of Yukon First Nations.
The goal of the Yukon Forum is to build strong government-to-government relations and collaborate on shared priorities.
Since signing the Working Together Declaration in January 2017, the Yukon Forum has met on a quarterly basis.
Communications, Aboriginal Relations
Communications, Council of Yukon First Nations
Communications, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government