Land Claims in the Yukon


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Land claims agreements happen in areas of Canada where Aboriginal land rights have not been dealt with by past treaties or through other legal means. In the Yukon, a number of forward-looking modern treaties, also known as Final Agreements, were negotiated to settle these land claims.

The first step in the Yukon was the negotiation and signing of an overall framework called the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA). This framework was signed by the Governments of Canada and Yukon and the Council for Yukon Indians (now Council of Yukon First Nations) in 1993. The UFA was then used as the basis for the Final Agreements signed with individual First Nations.

The Umbrella Final Agreement provides for:

  • Yukon’s First Nations to retain Aboriginal title over 41,595 square kilometres in the Yukon;
  • $242.67 million (1989 dollars) compensation over 15 years;
  • Yukon-wide management principles and structures for heritage, wildlife, land and resources;
  • a Yukon-wide template for settlements, including provisions related to taxation, land use planning, and dispute resolution; and,
  • a commitment to negotiate Self-Government Agreements.

Final Agreements:

  • reflect the Umbrella Final Agreement along with provisions specific to the First Nation;
  • have been signed with eleven of the fourteen Yukon First Nations;
  • are signed by the Government of Canada, Government of Yukon and the First Nation;
  • are constitutionally protected under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;
  • include land called Settlement Land, which First Nations own and manage; and,
  • are accompanied by an implementation plan that identifies the activities, timeframes, resources and responsibilities for implementing the agreement.