What does your unit do?
Senior leadership recognized that the Yukon government needs more corporate and strategic guidance to advance reconciliation and to build positive relations with Indigenous governments and communities. The First Nations Relations Unit is one of two units in HPW that collaborates with staff to advance these important goals.
Our work focuses on four strategic areas:
- Developing partnership agreements and implementing the Yukon First Nation Procurement Policy.
- Engaging and consulting Indigenous stakeholders and partners.
- Enhancing Indigenous staff representation in the Yukon government, through initiatives such as the award-winning Indigenous Training Program for Indigenous youth.
- Educating staff and building awareness about reconciliation.
What are some examples of your work?
We're always looking for ways to collaborate with First Nations partners and communities. Our goal is to advance shared priorities, innovate together and advance reconciliation.
For example, to increase the visibility of Indigenous languages in Beaver Creek, we worked with White River First Nation to develop street signs in Upper Tanana and Northern Tutchone. The community is very happy with the results.
Another example is how we break down our 5-year capital plan by traditional territory. We meet with each of Yukon's 14 First Nations to review the plan. These face-to-face conversations identify potential partnership opportunities and often lead to broader conversations related to government programs, projects and activities in First Nation traditional territories. Our unit then liaises with other areas of government to address challenges and share information.