Yukon Land Claims and Self-Government Agreements - Biennial Report 2007–2009

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Table of Contents


Introduction

The Yukon is home to 14 First Nations that represent approximately 9,500 people; 11 of these First Nations have final and self-government agreements that have been signed and are in effect.

In 1973, the Yukon Native Brotherhood and the Yukon Association of Non-Status Indians formed an umbrella organization, known as the council for Yukon Indians (CYI) — today known as the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) — to pursue a comprehensive land claim with the federal government.

In 1989, the Government of Canada, the Government of Yukon and CYI reached an agreement in principle that became the basis for the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA; see Appendix 2). Shortly thereafter, the parties agreed that rather than negotiate a single territory-wide agreement, individual final agreements would embody the provisions of the UFA while also including specific provisions that were unique to each First Nation. The UFA also provided for the negotiation of separate self-government agreements (SGAs) with each First Nation.

Representatives of CYI and the Governments of Yukon and Canada signed the UFA on May 29, 1993. On the same date, final and self-government agreements were signed by Canada, Yukon, Teslin Tlingit Council, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun.

Enabling legislation in the form of the Yukon First Nations Land Claims Settlement Act and the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act received assent on July 7, 1994. The Yukon Surface Rights Board Act, an essential companion piece of legislation, received assent on December 15, 1994. The Governor in Council established February 14, 1995 as the effective date of these acts and of the first four Yukon First Nations final and self-government agreements.

Since that time, seven other final and self-government agreements have been signed and brought into effect:

  Date of signing Effective date
Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation July 21, 1997 October 1, 1997
Selkirk First Nation July 21, 1997 October 1, 1997
Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in July 16, 1998 September 15, 1998
Ta'an Kwäch'än Council January 13, 2002 April 1, 2002
Kluane First Nation October 18, 2003 February 2, 2004
Kwanlin Dün First Nation February 19, 2005 April 1, 2005
Carcross/Tagish First Nation October 24, 2005 January 9, 2006

The 11 self-governing Yukon First Nations have almost 7,000 beneficiaries and 31,603 square kilometres of settlement land. The self-governing Yukon First Nations also receive financial compensation payments that are paid out over 15 years following the effective date of their agreement. In addition to compensation dollars, Canada also provides funding to CYFN and to various boards and committees for implementation of the land claims.

Three Yukon First Nations — White River First Nation, Liard First Nation and Ross River Dena Council — have not concluded final or self-government agreements.

This biennial report was compiled by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). Respondents were asked to provide information about their implementation achievements and challenges in the fiscal years 2007–08 and 2008–09. It includes submissions provided by each respondent group, edited for length and consistency. In cases where groups did not provide submissions, a general description of their mandate, based on their submission to the 2004–07 tri-annual report and/or information on their web site, is provided.






2007–08 Report

First Nations

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) is a self-governing people with its main community and administrative headquarters centred in Haines Junction and an office in Whitehorse. Other communities in the traditional territory include Canyon Creek, Takhini River subdivision and Champagne. Traditional villages, which are still used for seasonal activities, include Klukshu, Hutchi, Kloo Lake and Aishihik. Total CAFN membership is 1207; about 735 members reside in the Yukon, with 319 in Whitehorse.

Governance

CAFN hosted Michaëlle Jean, Governor-General of Canada, at Klukshu in June 2007. Discussions were held on CAFN language, culture, self-government and relationships with federal representatives.

CAFN and Yukon initiated discussions to develop a bilateral Intergovernmental Protocol Agreement.

The nine-year review of CAFN's Final and Self-Government Agreement was nearly completed. The Implementation Review Group (with representatives from CAFN, other self-governing First Nations, Canada, Yukon and the Council of Yukon First Nations) was unable to complete a determination with respect to funding to implement the SGAs because of the lack of a mutually acceptable methodology consistent with the principles of section 16 for measuring expenditure needs related to the responsibilities and authorities flowing from the SGAs.

CAFN and Canada completed a review of CAFN's Financial Transfer Agreement (FTA). Both Parties agreed that a methodology to measure expenditure needs that is consistent with the principles in the SGA must be developed.

As a result of these reviews, the Parties embarked on a gross expenditure base (GEB) project to develop a methodology. The GEB project should complete the funding adequacy review as part of the nine-year review and should inform the Parties as they seek mandates for renegotiation of the FTA. CAFN's FTA was extended for two years to allow the GEB project to be completed.

CAFN Chief Diane Strand, Councillor Mary Jane Jim and Secretariat Director Fran Asp attended Yukon Days in Ottawa. Other meetings were held with federal Ministers regarding the renegotiation and renewal of CAFN's FTA.

Through section 17 of CAFN's SGA, CAFN assumed responsibility for INAC's Post-Secondary Student Support Program, including the University and College Entrance Preparation Program and the INAC Indian Studies Support Program. A condition of the transfer is that CAFN shall not assume responsibility for its citizens registered with Kwanlin Dün First Nation until the two First Nations have identified those citizens affected and CAFN and Canada have an agreement in effect that increases the funding accordingly.

CAFN also assumed responsibility for Health Canada's First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) programs for Home and Community Care, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and HIV/AIDS. The branch's National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative and Maternal Child Health Programs were assumed for fiscal years 2007–08 to 2009–10; the funding for these programs is scheduled to expire in 2009–10.

CAFN negotiated an amendment to its FTA for increased funding for Canada's National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program.

CAFN has developed a draft Enrollment Policy and Beneficiary Card Policy.

Dual enrollment of citizens and reconciling lists with other First Nations remains a challenge, as does ensuring that self-governing First Nations have accurate databases and statistics.

Heritage
Cultural Centre

Work continues on the development of the cultural centre and on providing cultural programming for CAFN citizens. CAFN is developing a partnership with the Government of Yukon to build and run the facility, which will also house a Government of Yukon Visitor Information Centre. Construction will begin in the spring of 2009 and a grand opening is planned for the summer of 2010. The interim culture centre in Da Ku, the old administration building, is open and elders have helped teach traditional skills, arts, crafts, hide tanning, tool making and dance there throughout the past year. A highlight was their teaching the entire process of harvesting, tanning and sewing a traditional gopher-skin blanket.

Kwäday Dän Ts'inchì

CAFN has concluded a community DNA study and identified 17 relatives of Kwäday Dän Ts'inchì (Long Ago Person Found), five of whom were CAFN citizens from the Yukon and Alaska. Others were from the Whitehorse area, Teslin, Carcross, Carmacks, Haines and Juneau; all 17 were from the Wolf or Eagle clans. The relatives and clan representatives will meet to give direction on a memorial potlatch and distribution of belongings. CAFN also plans to bring some of the many scientists who worked on the project to the Yukon to present their findings.

Ice Patches

CAFN has worked with the Government of Yukon to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to clarify jurisdictional and management responsibility for artifacts recovered from mountain ice patches. The MOU will improve CAFN's working relationship with the Government of Yukon. The question of who owns artifacts and has ultimate management responsibility for them is unresolved.

Lands
Land Management

The Settlement Lands Policy was reviewed and updated. The Best Practices Code for the mineral industry within the traditional territory was completed and a draft Mineral Policy for Category B Settlement Land was developed.

Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Act (YESAA)

CAFN continued to provide input into environmental assessments for many projects in the traditional territory. The past year saw an increase in agricultural applications; CAFN also reviewed applications for mining activity in the Dollis Creek, Ruby Range and Aishihik areas. CAFN works with assessment offices, regulators and other First Nations to represent its concerns effectively and continues to work with the First Nations Caucus on the YESAA five-year review.

Forest Management Planning

The Timber Harvest Project Plan for Pine Lake and Canyon is near completion. The plan outlines areas and volume to be harvested and methods to be used by harvesters. CAFN is implementing the National Forest Pest Strategy Pilot Project with Natural Resources Canada and conducting summer field work, hosting workshops and developing a FireSmart pilot project.

Shäwshe Management Plan

The Shäwshe (Dalton Post) Management Plan will address the management of this traditional settlement to ensure that its historic character and heritage buildings are protected. This is an outstanding Final Agreement obligation now 11 years overdue. CAFN is conducting interviews with citizens on resource management and land use at Shäwshe and the surrounding area. Working with the Government of Yukon, CAFN will finalize and implement planning options and recommendations.

Renewable Resources
Winter Tick

In the winter and spring of 2007 the Government of Yukon confirmed that elk were carrying winter ticks. A meeting with representatives from across the Yukon determined that the government should do everything possible to eradicate these pests from the Yukon. Over the past winter the Takhini elk herd was captured and is being held in a pasture until the winter ticks fall off or until other methods to decrease their numbers are determined. There is a good chance that other wildlife species found near elk will also have winter tick.

Aishihik Wood Bison

The population of these bison has been estimated at around 1,000 animals, well above the population target of 500. Over the past year the bison technical team developed recommendations for changing bison hunting regulations. CAFN hopes that a bison hunt open to all Yukon residents will be held. Last winter CAFN held a successful registration hunt. CAFN also hosted two successful community hunts; the meat from the hunt was distributed.

Wildlife Plan

A draft wildlife management plan was completed for the Champagne and Aishihik Traditional Territory. Although the plan is not finalized, CAFN is working on some action items. The plan was developed to reflect community concerns.

Dezadeash Lake Management Plan

A draft of the plan was completed several years ago, but was never finalized. CAFN has asked the Alsek Renewable Resources Council to work with it to finalize the plan. There is concern that the lake is being overfished; fish concentrations at the mouths of cold-water creeks make them very easy to harvest.

Parks
Kluane National Park & Reserve

Funding for the Healing Broken Connections project is winding down, but CAFN is looking at ways to ensure that the positive relationships and good work continue. With its partners at Parks Canada and Kluane First Nation, CAFN is helping members reconnect with lands in the park and finding ways of using traditional knowledge to manage the park. CAFN hosted a Gopher Camp at Dalton Pass and Kluane First Nation hosted a Ka'Kon Camp.

Tatshenshini-Alsek Park

CAFN, along with B.C. Parks, is responsible for managing the park. The park board sets priorities and develops work plans. Under contract, CAFN provides two seasonal park rangers and provides all operations, maintenance and management activities in the park.

Kusawa Park

CAFN has joined a steering group with Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN), Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) and the Government of Yukon. The group is responsible for developing a management plan for the park. CAFN is also working on overlap agreements with KDFN and CTFN.



Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation

Located in Carmacks, the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN) has a membership of approximately 630 citizens.

Governance

LSCFN completed its implementation reviews and transmitted the report to the Implementation Review Group (IRG). It also completed its Financial Transfer Agreement (FTA) review. It took four years to complete the reviews.

Substantial progress was made on the gross expenditure base project. Extensive information was generated on data requests for all components and numerous reports and studies were prepared and presented on various components. A tripartite work plan for FTA renewal was developed. Data gathering exercises involved a great deal of time on the part of senior staff of various departments.

In terms of challenges, certain federal policies and practices are inconsistent with and/or impede implementation of the Final Agreement and Self-government Agreement. This makes it difficult to implement the agreements.

Land Use/Land Management

An atlas project, with detailed information on LSCFN settlement lands, neared completion. This project was sponsored by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.

LSCFN continues to work with the Government of Yukon on the reclamation of the BYG mine, which is located in its traditional territory. The First Nation continued discussions with Western Copper regarding the development of a copper mine in LSCFN traditional territory. Discussions were challenging as Western Copper went through the YESAA process.

Heritage and Culture

Negotiations continued on a Programs and Services Transfer Agreement (PSTA) for aboriginal languages. Substantive negotiations have yet to occur in other areas of heritage and culture.

Health

Negotiations were completed on PSTAs for Targeted Health Programs and Home and Community Care. An FTA amendment on the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program was completed. LSCFN continued to work in the area of Family and Children's Services. Upcoming discussions are likely to be very difficult.

Education and training

Negotiations were completed on a PSTA on post-secondary education.

A draft intergovernmental agreement on human resources and social development was being developed but hadn't been finalized by year-end.

Justice

Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, Selkirk First Nation and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun met in Pelly Crossing to discuss the Northern Tutchone Framework Agreement.

Finance

Funding levels established under the Umbrella Final Agreement implementation plan and SGA implementation plan were determined to be inadequate during the YFN FA and SGA implementation review in 2007.



Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) and Government (VGG) are based in the community of Old Crow, the only community located in the northern Yukon. Situated on the banks of the Porcupine River, Old Crow is accessible only by aircraft.

Governance

On October 19, 2006 the Vuntut Gwitchin Governance Act was passed into legislation. This further clarified the respective roles of the Vuntut Gwitchin Government (VGG), the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Trust and the Vuntut Development Corporation, including the complete transparency of all VGG financial accounts and making all accounts available to citizens and others at the VGG office and on the VGFN web site.

The VGG-Government of Yukon Intergovernmental Relations Accord continued to be a key instrument in focusing the coordinated delivery of programs in North Yukon by both governments. All three orders of government, including Canada, contributed to reviewing the implementation of the VGFN Final and Self Government Agreements and Financial Transfer Agreement. Although progress was ultimately achieved, concern was raised about the time it took for Canada to contribute to a number of issues in the reviews, which delayed the progress of the Intergovernmental Working Group.

The annual VGFN general assembly (GA) was held at Tlo Kut to facilitate a progress review for citizens and to provide direction for the future. In addition, several special GAs were held to deal with constitutional changes and other matters such as community capital infrastructure and special management area planning and commitments. A number of community meetings provided the opportunity for people to have input into various program-planning initiatives. VGG oversaw a number of capital construction projects on behalf of the Government of Yukon that were important to the community, including riverbank stabilization and airport improvements.

VGG achieved virtually 100% employment during much of the fiscal year as a result of careful multi-year capital planning, technical training and employment opportunities created for its citizens in Old Crow.

VGG attended a climate change meeting in Whitehorse hosted by Gwich'in Council International and attended by Gwich'in elders from across the north. A decision was made to establish a gathering in Arctic Village, Alaska to foster discussions on the future of traditional knowledge, the Porcupine Caribou Herd and the Gwich'in in Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Old Crow and the northern Yukon continue to be a key location for documenting climate change.

Vuntut Gwitchin leadership continued to contribute to regional and national economic development, educational and social development agencies and institutions.

The Old Crow Fire Department experienced difficulties in the absence of a committed fire chief and firefighters and ongoing problems with the fire truck. Fortunately, an Emergency Services proposal was approved in January. VGG received funding under the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program to develop a search-and-rescue plan and advanced first-aid training skills. The program will provide support to develop and maintain the Master Emergency Response Plan and train civilians in responding to emergencies.

Natural Resource Management

Land-use planning near the community has continued to guide local improvements, including housing for VG citizens. Improvements have been made to community infrastructure, including the solid waste disposal site, and local sites affected by earlier fuel spills were cleaned up. These initiatives were part of an overall plan to ensure the environmental integrity of the community.

Regional land-use planning in the northern Yukon (including the traditional territory of VGFN) is nearing completion; policy and administrative issues were dealt with collaboratively by VGG and Government of Yukon.

Over the next three years, Old Crow will accommodate scientific research crews for the International Polar Year, a massive five-year research program. Currently, seven groups of researchers are carrying out studies on hydro-geology, permafrost, moose, vegetation, muskrats, geology and traditional foods in Old Crow Flats.

VGG was granted $1.72 million to conduct climate change research in the Old Crow Flats. The research project's name is Yeendoo Nanh Nakhweenjit K'atr'ahanahtyaa ("looking after the land for the future"), or Environmental Change and Traditional Use of the Old Crow Flats in Northern Canada. Related information will be provided periodically on the VGFN web site.

Close collaboration with the North Yukon Renewable Resources Council, the Salmon Sub-committee, the Yukon River Panel and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been initiated to ensure appropriate salmon harvest practices by VG citizens on the Porcupine River, a major tributary of the Yukon River.

A private energy company was approved to conduct hydrocarbon well-testing in Eagle Plains. It will develop six gravel pits, a permanent 20-km road and a camp approximately 60 km south of the Eagle Plains Lodge.

The development of conservation measures for the Porcupine Caribou Herd continues to be a high priority among various public organizations and governments, both domestically and internationally.

Technical and policy considerations and contributions to the North Yukon Planning Commission advanced the agenda for future resource allocation and management decisions in North Yukon.

Education

Old Crow recruited a new principal and senior instructor at Yukon College.

VGG provided $2,500 to the morning snack program at Chief Zzeh Gittlit School (CZGS). The high-school snack program will also continue for VG students attending school in Whitehorse. Initial progress was made on the Student of the Month program, at both CZGS and the high school. Winners will be awarded $200 per month.

Monthly allowances and private home subsidies increased as of September 2007. VGFN students who are enrolled in a Yukon secondary school are eligible for these subsidies.

VGFN sponsored 37 high school and post-secondary students. The William Ferguson Scholarship, which pays for a three-day visit to the recipient's choice of college or university in British Columbia or Alberta, was awarded to a VGFN student for the first time.

A continual challenge is the need for VG citizens to travel by plane and arrange accommodation in order to obtain most of the available training opportunities in the Yukon. The VGG Department of Education and the Employment and Training Officer work closely with the Campus Coordinator at the Alice Frost Community College Campus to make online courses available, such as the Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. Old Crow is now able to participate in videoconferencing courses through Yukon College.

VGG employed 17 students in summer 2007. Finding meaningful work experiences for VGFN students is challenging; VGFN will work closely with its governmental departments to assess training needs, and with Yukon College and community resource professionals to explore workshops and other training opportunities that can be provided in Old Crow.

There is a shortage of persons licensed to drive vehicles within the community. Increasingly, many employment opportunities within the Yukon, including Old Crow, require licensed persons. VGG allocated Urban Youth dollars in the 2007–08 budget for youth to attend Class 5 training.

Justice

Continued progress was made in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement. In February 2008, VGG attended a workshop, sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations at the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) in Whitehorse, to educate citizens on how to deal with the settlement money they receive.

VGG has successfully diverted more than 20 clients from the Territorial Court system. In order for a person to be diverted he or she must adhere to specific conditions.

Finance

VGG upgraded its financial management administrative system and trained staff to use it. Due to ongoing high staff turnover VGG must continually train staff in the areas of program budgeting and work planning. Staff shortages have made it difficult to provide ongoing reporting to citizens or internal operational liaison between VGG departments and other orders of government.

Heritage and Culture

VGG, through the First Voices initiative, developed an interactive web site on the Gwich'in language. VGG received funding for a four-year project that will focus on researching cultural technology, the making and storage of cultural materials, and how culture should be taught to future generations. The project will utilize extensive local skills in cultural technology and will involve taking some citizens out on the land. In addition to developing educational materials, the Vuntut Gwitchin Cultural Geography Project has an extensive online atlas which will soon be accessible on the internet.

VGG is developing exhibits for the Old Crow Visitor Reception Centre in preparation for the construction of the centre in 2008–09.

Health

Several citizens attended the Red Cross Standard First Aid course in February and received their certificates. The Health and Social Department worked to secure funding from Government of Yukon for a new Family Support Councillor. Finding the right candidate for the position has proved to be challenging. In June, VGG attended the fourth National Aboriginal Hepatitis C Conference in Yellowknife, NWT. Longer-term planning was carried out for the integrated local delivery of health and social programs.






Implementing Bodies

Alsek Renewable Resources Council

The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Final Agreement created the Alsek Renewable Resources Council (ARRC) as the primary instrument for local renewable resource management in its traditional territory. The council provides a voice for local community members in managing renewable resources such as fish, wildlife and forests. ARRC began its work in 1995.

Renewable resource councils provide input into planning and regulation by territorial, federal and First Nations governments. ARRC's jurisdiction is the Champagne and Aishihik Traditional Territory (CATT), which includes the communities of Haines Junction, Canyon Creek, Takhini, Mendenhall, Silver City, Kloo Lake, Aishihik and Klukshu. The council is located in one of the more heavily utilized areas in the Yukon, and is especially active due to the wide variety of projects and processes in the traditional territory with potential impacts on fish, wildlife and habitat.

ARRC members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Paul Birckel Co-chair March 31, 2011 Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
Wade Istchenko Co-chair March 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Shane Oakley Member March 31, 2008 Government of Yukon
Boyd Campbell Member March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon
Patt Delaney Member March 31, 2009 Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
Greg Eikland Member March 31, 2010 Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
Hardy Ruf Alternate March 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Ron Chambers Alternate March 31, 2010 Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

ARRC works closely with many local people and organizations, including Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN), Government of Yukon, Kluane National Park & Reserve, Kluane Park Management Board, Village of Haines Junction, St. Elias Community School, Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, other renewable resource councils, Salmon Sub-Committee, Yukon Trapper's Association and the Yukon Fish and Game Association.

ARRC has several priorities:

  • implementation of the Strategic Forest Management Plan for the CATT;
  • consulting with the community to hear fish and wildlife concerns and drafting and implementing wildlife management plans;
  • conducting outfitter negotiations as required; and
  • meeting with the public through Open Houses, regular public meetings, and one on one in the communities.

The council remained involved with the implementation of the Strategic Forest Management Plan. ARRC's co-chair, Paul Birckel, sat as a member of the Forestry Steering Group.

The CATT Integrated Wildlife Management Plan was another priority. Full implementation was expected to begin in fall 2008.

Work on the Dezadeash Lake Management Plan was tabled due to planning partner concerns.

ARRC is represented at meetings of the Bison Technical Team. This is part of its work with bison management planning, particularly in relation to the Aishihik herd.

Trapping continued to be another important part of the council's mandate, and the council encourages partnership between concession holders and assistant trappers. The council bought some trapping equipment as part of a Youth Trapping Initiative.

ARRC met with the other renewable resource councils to discuss the outfitter quota guidelines. The council also proposed three changes to regulations under the Yukon Wildlife Act.

Council members reviewed land-use applications under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act within the traditional territory. ARRC also reviewed several water-use applications, mostly related to mining, within the traditional territory.

ARRC reviewed scientific research permits for projects within the CATT. This led to relationship-building with the Arctic Institute of North America and the Kluane red squirrel project.



Dän Keyi Renewable Resources Council

The Dän Keyi Renewable Resources Council (DKRRC) was established as a primary instrument for local renewable resource management in the territory of the Kluane First Nation (KFN). DKRRC, acting in the public interest, makes recommendations to the Minister, KFN, the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management board and the Salmon Subcommittee on any matter related to the conservation of fish and wildlife referred to in Chapter 16 of the Kluane First Nation Final Agreement. This includes conservation of fish and wildlife, forest resource management and proposed special management areas and future management plans.

DKRRC is comprised of eight council members, including two alternate members. Kluane First Nation and the Government of Yukon each nominate three members and one alternate.

DKRRC members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Louise Bouvier Co-chair September 7, 2009 Government of Yukon
Joe Bruneau Co-chair January 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Dennis Dickson Member January 31, 2010 Kluane First Nation
Pauline Sias Member January 31, 2009 Kluane First Nation
Peter Upton Member January 31, 2011 Government of Yukon
Vacant Member   Kluane First Nation
Doug MacKay Alternate January 31, 2011 Government of Yukon
Vacant Alternate   Kluane First Nation
Meetings and Workshops

All regular DKRRC meetings are open to the public. The council attempted to hold regular meetings the first Tuesday of each month. The council did not have full membership for the entire year; during April and May, the council was unable to hold meetings as there were not enough members to obtain a quorum. During the month of August there was no meeting as this is a very busy month for the members.

Sheep quotas for outfitters

DKRRC met with representatives from the Government of Yukon to discuss the numbers of sheep being harvested by outfitters in the Ruby Range area. The Government of Yukon representatives felt that there were social issues rather than biological issues to discuss. Although outfitters made agreements with KFN and Government of Yukon to limit the sheep harvest to approximately 12 per year, non-residents harvested 23 sheep in 2005 and 20 in 2006. The council will meet with KFN, Government of Yukon and the outfitters in the area to discuss this further.

Kluane First Nation

The council met with representatives from Kluane First Nation Lands and Renewable Resources departments to discuss common concerns and projects. This very productive meeting opened the door to further discussions.

Government of Yukon

Council met with the Boards and Councils Administrative Officer, Claims Implementation and Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Environment. The Government of Yukon representative spoke to DKRRC about the need to ensure that expenditures were monitored closely. She also advised council to keep its ten-year funding separate from yearly funding to ensure there would be funds to operate in the tenth year. Council has invested these funds in a Guaranteed Investment Certificate.

Planning Workshop

One member and the Executive Director attended the "Planning and Getting Organized" workshop, which was held in Haines Junction. The purpose of the three-day session was to assist participants in evaluating the aspects of a specific situation, thinking strategically about their organization and the community and determining how they fit into the picture. It also covered setting realistic and achievable objectives, and designing an effective plan for working with others.

Yukon First Nations History, Culture, Agreements and Self-Government Course

Four members and the Executive Director attended this four-day workshop. The workshop followed the oral history of Yukon First Nations culture and helped to explain their spiritual beliefs, potlatches and the clan systems and how these factors influenced contemporary Yukon land claim negotiations. The course also examined the Umbrella Final Agreement, First Nation final agreements and the implementation of self-government agreements.

Trapline criteria

Council has submitted its final draft of trapline criteria for the Kluane First Nation Traditional Territory to the Minister for his approval. DKRRC is designing a calendar for use by trappers. The calendar will enable trappers to have all the information they need when their concession is reviewed.

Ecosystem Status and Trends Expert Workshop

One member attended this workshop. The overall objective was to provide an integrated assessment of the status of emerging trends in and significant stressors on Canada's ecosystems.

Environment Forum

One representative from DKRRC, along with other RRCs, non-government organizations, federal and territorial departments and the private sector, attended the Environment Forum in Whitehorse. Information obtained at the forum will assist in planning the Department of Environment's new fish and wildlife data initiatives for wildlife management and economic development planning.

Caribou Quota Negotiations

DKRRC participated with the Alsek Renewable Resources Council in the caribou quota negotiations for a hunting zone in Haines Junction. Caribou quotas were also negotiated for two other hunting zones.

The council distributed meat supplied by Kluane Outfitters to members of the community.

Consultation

DKRRC participated in the following consultations:

  • an initiative to amend Migratory Bird Regulations;
  • general parks regulations pursuant to the Parks and Lands Certainty Act;
  • proposed amendments to the Wildlife Act to increase its consistency with First Nations final agreements;
  • a draft management strategy for elk in the Yukon;
  • a new regulatory regime for placer mining; and
  • concepts for the proposed Forest Resources Act.
Newsletter

DKRRC distributed newsletters to the community as a way of communicating with the residents of the Kluane First Nation Traditional Territory. The newsletters report on the council's current activities and encourage community input into issues that the council members are working on.

Administration

The Executive Director provided support to council to carry out its duties and responsibilities. She also supported Council by meeting budgeting, financial tracking and reporting requirements, assisting with meeting coordination, preparing minutes, research, forwarding information to members, attending various meetings and preparing written communications.

Financial Accountability

The Executive Director managed a record of all the council's financial activities in 2007–08. The council is in good financial standing and a copy of its 2007–08 audited financial statement is available.



Dawson District Renewable Resources Council

A Yukon First Nation Final Agreement provides for the establishment of a Renewable Resources Council in the First Nation's Traditional Territory. These councils are independent public-interest advisory bodies that make recommendations on matters related to the conservation of fish and wildlife, the establishment of Special Management Areas and management of forest resources. The mandate of the Dawson District Renewable Resources Council (DDRRC) is outlined in Chapter 16 of the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Final Agreement.

DDRRC members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Linda Taylor Co-chair March 31, 2008 Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in
Willy Fellers Co-chair March 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Christine Ball Member March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon
Ryan Peterson Member March 31, 2010 Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in
Rachel Hunt Member March 31, 2009 Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in
John Flynn Member March 31, 2008 Government of Yukon
Percy Henry Alternate March 31, 2008 Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in
Dan Reynolds Alternate March 31, 2008 Government of Yukon
Yukon River Restoration and Enhancement Project

The aim of this project was to restore salmon access to rearing habitat and encourage community stewardship. DDRRC received funding for the project from the Yukon River Panel's Restoration and Enhancement Fund. Two high school students were hired to assist with the field work. The project trapped and relocated almost 5,000 Chinook salmon fry in three locations in the Dawson area. Canada's Department of Fisheries and Ocean provided technical support to the staff at the beginning and end of the project, which took place in July and August.

Forestry Management Planning

DDRRC signed a contribution agreement with the Government of Yukon's Forest Management Branch to take the lead in the forestry management process. A series of meetings were held with council members and public meetings were organized to discuss the management planning process.

Porcupine Caribou Management Board

In the fall, a meeting was organized in Inuvik, NWT, to develop a framework for a harvest management plan for the herd.

Sewage Lagoon

DDRRC representatives attended a series of community meetings to discuss proposals for the location of a sewage lagoon for Dawson City.

Fortymile Caribou Herd

A Fortymile Caribou Herd working group was formed to develop a draft management plan for the herd. The council has a representative on the working group.

Dempster Highway Checkpoint Station

Through a contract with the Government of Yukon, the council provided administrative support for the management of the Dempster Highway Checkpoint Station during 2007–08. This included two full-time staff and one on-call attendant during the hunting season of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Each year the checkpoint is in place to correspond with the southern migration of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. The station provides Yukon Environment with harvest records, valuable information about harvests and harvest samples. The station also acts as a contact point for people travelling the Dempster Highway.

Yukon Queen II

The DDRRC participated in one meeting regarding the impact and future of the vessel Yukon Queen II. DDRRC is waiting for the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board to complete a full assessment.

Community-based Strategic Forest Management Plan

In January, a planning team was established to begin work on the Community-based Strategic Forest Management Plan. DDRRC sits on the planning group. Forest management planning was initiated in the Dawson area by the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and Government of Yukon's Forest Management Branch through the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in May 2006.

Personnel Policy

The council has a new Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual, which is very effective in providing clear guidelines that emphasize the rights of all DDRRC employees and council members. It establishes a policy framework to assist DDRRC in hiring staff and establishing terms and conditions for employees and council members.

Other Topics

DDRRC participated in other initiatives, including an agricultural workshop, environmental forum and Species At Risk workshop and a spruce beetle workshop.



Dispute Resolution Board and Enrollment Office

The Dispute Resolution Board (DRB) was established in April 1996. The board facilitates a comprehensive resolution process to resolve disputes arising from the interpretation, administration and implementation of settlement agreements, settlement legislation or disputes referred to it by the Parties to the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA).

In February 2005 DRB became responsible for the Enrollment Commission's records, documents and procedures as outlined in Chapter Three of the UFA. Collecting and archiving the enrollment files is an ongoing process; some Yukon First Nations continue to provide their enrollment files. The DRB enrollment archives will be required in the event of appeal or loss or inadvertent destruction of First Nations enrollment documentation.

DRB is comprised of three board members who are jointly selected by the Parties to the UFA; the members select one person to act as chair. In April 2007 the chair resigned. Despite requests from the remaining DRB members for an appointment to fill the vacancy, the position was still vacant on March 31, 2008. The loss of one member from a three-person board seriously impaired the proper operation and activities of the board.

During the fiscal year one board member moved out of the Yukon, leaving just one member resident in the Yukon. The board member who moved was reluctant to resign, due to the slow appointment process which would leave DRB with only one remaining member. The two remaining board members continued to meet via conference calls. A more responsive and effective process for replacing board members is needed.

DRB holds monthly meetings; these are carried out by conference call when members cannot attend in person. Extra meetings are held as required. Between meetings, DRB members are kept up to date through e-mails and faxes as required. The board is supported by an executive director.

The board has established mediation rules and procedures and developed a roster of mediators. An information brochure was developed and distributed to the Parties and First Nations and is available upon request.

At least one board member and/or staff member of DRB attends the Council of Yukon First Nations annual general assemblies.



Mayo District Renewable Resources Council

The Mayo District Renewable Resources Council (MDRRC) is the primary instrument for local renewable resource management in the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun Traditional Territory as mandated in the FNNND Final Agreement. MDRRC is responsible for integrating all aspects of the community's values into ensuring the conservation, preservation and enhancement of renewable resources for current and future generations.

The council partners with many organizations, including the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Village of Mayo, Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, Government of Yukon's Department of Environment, and the other RRCs. Without these partnerships, some, if not all, of MDRRC's work would be impossible.

MDRRC members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Frank Patterson Chair March 31, 2010 FNNND
Loralee Johnstone Vice-chair March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon
Scott Bolton Member March 31, 2008 Government of Yukon
Steven Buyck Member March 31, 2008 FNNND
Jimmy Johnny Member March 31, 2009 FNNND
Vacant Member   Government of Yukon
Ken Cooper Alternate March 31, 2008 FNNND
Vacant Alternate   Government of Yukon

MDRRC had a very busy year in 2007–08. Many projects passed through the council's review and new projects took shape and were presented.

Meetings and Workshops

The council holds regular meetings on the second and fourth Monday of each month in order to keep abreast of incoming projects. Special meetings are held to accommodate projects and delegations and the community at large. Council members also participate individually in numerous other meetings, workshops, conferences and presentations as MDRRC representatives.

In 2007–08 MDRRC held 16 regular meetings and six special meetings:

  • Bonnet Plume Heritage River Ten-Year Monitoring Report (Mayo) on May 28, 2007;
  • YESAB rules review (Mayo) on November 26, 2007;
  • Wernecke Winter Road project, final comments (Mayo) on December 4, 2007:
  • MDRRC 2008–09 budget (Mayo) on February 21, 2008;
  • Outdoor Pursuits and Information Fair organization (Mayo) on February 25, 2008; and
  • Bellekeno Advanced Underground Exploration application (Mayo) on March 25, 2008

The council attended 14 other meetings:

  • Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board and chairs meeting (Whitehorse) on April 25–28, 2007;
  • Northern Tutchone gathering (Pelly) on May 15–17, 2007;
  • FNNND GA (Mayo) on June 14–15, 2007;
  • Mayo Fish and Wildlife Management Plan review (Mayo) on June 24, 2007;
  • Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board (Whitehorse) on October 16–18, 2007;
  • Porcupine Caribou Management Board (Aklavik) on November 4–5, 2007;
  • Annual General Meeting (Dawson) on November 8–10, 2007;
  • Mayo Fish and Wildlife Management Plan (Mayo) on November 13, 2007;
  • Wernecke Winter Road project-Cash Minerals community presentation (Mayo) on December 3, 2007;
  • North Yukon Planning Commission community presentation (Mayo) on December 11, 2007;
  • Mayo Fish and Wildlife Management Plan community presentation (Mayo) on January 19, 2008;
  • Stewart River Habitat Protection Area meeting (Mayo) on February 18, 2008;
  • Species at Risk workshop (Whitehorse) on February 26–27, 2008; and
  • Mayo Fish and Wildlife Management Plan meeting (Mayo) on March 14–15, 2008.

Many territorial organizations seek the MDRRC's comments regarding activities and legislation affecting the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun's Traditional Territory. These include the Wildlife Act, Peel Watershed Planning Commission, Porcupine Caribou Management Board, forest resource legislation and YESAA.

Management Planning

Council members participated in various management planning sessions during the year. MDRRC members were involved in the drafting of the management plan for the Stewart River Habitat Protection Area (HPA). The community identified the area as a sensitive location for moose calving. The plan will be the first HPA written outside the Umbrella Final Agreement.

The council was also involved in redrafting the Mayo Fish and Wildlife Management Plan, which is entering its second five-year round. Council attended numerous in-house sessions and two community presentations. Community members were invited to share their ideas and concerns through canvassed questionnaires and open forum sessions. Council was pleased with the level of participation and the breadth of information and concerns that were gleaned. The plan is in its final print stages; it will be presented and work will start in fall 2008.

Special Projects

The Mayo Community Ecological Monitoring Project, initiated by the Regional Biologist for the Northern Tutchone Region, continues. He gives MDRRC regular reports on the monitoring. This project involves such factors as berry production, the effects of aspen leaf miners, numbers of small mammals, weather, traditional knowledge and local seasonal changes witnessed by the community. Local residents who spend much of their time on the land are interviewed regularly.

Other Activities

MDRRC participated in the Community Habitat Stewards program, which hired a local steward. She helped collect data for the Mayo Fish and Wildlife Management Plan, participated in FNNND activities and community events and reported on a regular basis to the MDRRC.

Council continues its interest in the moose monitoring project, which assesses hunting pressures and the success of the voluntary hunting closure in the McQuesten and Ethel lakes areas. Council also continues to maintain a trappers file. This contains information about interested qualified trappers and any traplines that are vacant, under-utilized or require assistance.

Trapping

MDRRC had no traplines to allocate this year; however, Council sponsored six new trappers with equipment after they successfully completed a trappers workshop held in Mayo. Council also sponsored an experienced trapper to attend a wolf workshop in Dawson.

Outfitting

No negotiations were held with local outfitters during the year.

Land, Mining and Water-use Applications

MDRRC reviewed more than 50 land, water, mining, scientific and forestry applications in 2007–08. All projects require scrutiny as to whether they fall within the council's mandate and any impacts they might have within the FNNND Traditional Territory. The Wernecke Winter Road-Cash Mineral project was a very controversial application through the YESAB process. Council members attended a special community meeting, met with the Cash Mineral representatives and held a special meeting to discuss the environmental impacts and their recommendations.



North Yukon Planning Commission

The regional North Yukon Planning Commission (NYPC) is a public body pursuant to the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Final Agreement (VGFNFA). The North Yukon Regional Land-Use Plan is being completed as part of the implementation of the VGFNFA. Chapter 11 of the VGFNFA provides the guiding principles for the plan.

NYPC is composed of six public members: three nominated by the VGFN and three by the Government of Yukon.

NYPC members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Shirlee Frost Chair January 17, 2010 VGFN
Dave Brekke Member    
Doug Brownlee Member    
Dennis Frost Sr. Member    
Marvin Frost Member January 17, 2010 VGFN
Jane Montgomery Member    

In March 2005, NYPC, the Peel Watershed Planning Commission (PWPC) and the Yukon Land-Use Planning Council (YLUPC) initiated an arrangement to share staff and resources that has proved very successful. The two commissions and council share office space in Whitehorse; the two commissions also share planning, GIS and financial/ administration staff. YLUPC provides human resource management and centralized financial administration service to the commissions.

The integration of the offices of YLUPC and the regional commission resulted in many jointly completed projects. For NYPC this work included hiring an editor for the production of the plan summary document and recommended land use plan; researching the consultation requirements associated with the North Yukon Land Withdrawal; and presentations on the results of ALCES assessment modeling.

Activities

Major operations of the NYPC began in fall 2004. During the 2004–05 fiscal year, the Commission focused on issues and information gathering, including Planning Phases 2 and 3 of the NYPC Precise Terms of Reference. During most of the 2005–06 fiscal period, efforts were focused on a planning region assessment and the development of land-use scenarios for computer simulation models (Planning Phase 4 of the terms of reference).

In August 2006, NYPC released its draft Resource Assessment Report. With the release of the report, Planning Phase 3: Planning Region Assessment was complete, and work on Planning Phase 4: Plan Scenarios was well underway. In 2006 and 2007, NYPC focused on Planning Phase 5 (Plan Production) and in January 2007, submitted its Preliminary Plan Components and Recommendations.

YLUPC encouraged the Parties to the North Yukon Regional Plan and the NYPC to develop agreement on most issues before submitting the recommended plan for approval. YLUPC also recommended that the regional plans contain an implementation section. Council staff assisted in writing the chapters in the NYPC draft plan that deal with plan implementation, monitoring and future changes to the plan (plan conformity, variance, amendment and review).



North Yukon Renewable Resources Council

The North Yukon Renewable Resources Council (NYRRC) is the primary instrument for renewable resource management in the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Traditional Territory. In order to achieve its mandate, NYRRC promotes open discussion and public input from the community.

NYRRC members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Robert Bruce Jr. Chair September 15, 2010 Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
Dennis Frost Sr. Vice-chair March 31, 2008 Government of Yukon
Harvey Kassi Member March 31, 2009 Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
Stanley Njootli Jr. Member March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon
Vacant Member   Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
Vacant Member   Government of Yukon
Vacant Alternate   Government of Yukon
Vacant Alternate   Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

The council office was closed to the public for nearly three months until September 2008, when a new Executive Director was hired.

Education and Training
School information sessions

NYRRC is working with staff at the Chief Zzeh Gittlit School in Old Crow to organize a monthly time for the council to come and visit the students. Council members will inform the students about renewable resource issues and share stories about the traditional way of life.

Youth Recruitment Retreat

An NYRRC retreat is planned for the coming year. The purpose of this retreat on the land is to educate young people about the council. By doing this, council members hope to spark an interest in young people in joining the board one day.

Communications

The council has a regular monthly meeting, which is open to the public. In the past fiscal year NYRRC attended and hosted many meetings in Old Crow while trying to stay informed on the ever-changing issues in the area. Council members also traveled within the Yukon to attend various meetings.

The subjects of local meetings included trapping; the Porcupine River working group; a muskox meeting with Vuntut Gwitchin Government; oil and gas; land use; International Polar Year (IPY) and Fishing Branch. The council met with a range of groups, including VGG, Parks Canada and VGG Chief and Council, the Porcupine Caribou Management Board (PCMB) and a private mining company in the course of these local meetings.

Non-local meetings included a PCMB meeting in Whitehorse; Porcupine Caribou Herd workshop in Inuvik, NWT; the RRC annual general meeting in Dawson City; a Species at Risk workshop in Whitehorse; and the Arctic Borderlands Annual Gathering in Inuvik.

Teleconference topics included Yukon River in-season management, caribou, and the federal Fisheries Act.

Planning Processes

NYRRC met with a large number of agencies over the past year to be briefed on various plans. Council members take great pride in submitting comments to help these plans achieve the best outcome for the people of Old Crow.

Porcupine Caribou Harvest Management Strategy

The council hosted and attended many Porcupine Caribou Management meetings. Caribou is the most important topic for the VGFN and council members do their best to represent Old Crow opinion as it relates to caribou conservation measures and general management.

North Richardson Sheep Management Plan

The North Richardson Sheep Management Plan is in its final stages. NYRRC has contributed to the planning process since it began in 2005. The council recommended to the Government of Yukon that sheep-hunting permits be withheld for the 2007 and 2008 hunting seasons while the plan was being finalized. The Government of Yukon accepted this recommendation.

North Yukon Land-Use Plan

NYRRC met with the North Yukon Planning Commission in December 2007 for final consultation on the plan and provided comments. Council members have contributed to the planning process from the beginning and are happy to see it being finalized.

Parks Canada

A Visitor Reception Centre was constructed in Old Crow; Parks Canada will relocate there. Each year NYRRC meets with Parks Canada to discuss the cooperative agreement for Vuntut National Park and go over goals and duties for the coming year. In 2007–08 NYRRC also met with Parks Canada to be briefed on the Regulations Amending the National Parks Wilderness Area Declaration Regulations.

Species at Risk Act

NYRRC attended a workshop in Whitehorse on assessment of species at risk.

Fishing Branch

In winter 2008 NYRRC met twice with the management Committee for Fishing Branch Ni'iinlii Njik Park. The main discussion topic was access to Fishing Branch and Bear Cave Mountain for scientific researchers.

Chum Salmon Mark and Recapture Project

NYRRC assisted the project in September 2007. When community members caught a fish with a tag they brought it to the council office, where they were paid five dollars per tag. NYRRC managed the funds and gathered information on where the fish were caught.

Caribou body conditioning study

Hunters go to the NYRRC office to receive information on collecting samples and a freezer has been installed there to keep the samples until they are picked up by the regional biologist. NYRRC, on behalf of the Government of Yukon, administers the payments to hunters of fifty dollars per sample.

Vuntut Hunters and Trappers Association

NYRRC board members are the hiring committee for the Vuntut Hunters and Trappers Association (VHTA). NYRRC assists the VHTA coordinator in planning for meetings and projects for the trapping season.

Career Day Trade Show

This event is held each spring. NYRRC sets up a booth and provides information about current issues and the board.

Big Caribou Days

Big Caribou Days, which is held annually in Old Crow, did not take place in 2007 due to the first Fiddle Festival. The event is expected to be relaunched in 2008.

IPY Muskrat Study

As part of a study by McGill University, the council administered payments to local trappers who supplied muskrat carcasses and samples. The study will continue over the next two years; NYRRC will continue to assist the study team.



Peel Watershed Planning Commission

The Peel Watershed Planning Commission (PWPC) is responsible for developing and recommending a draft regional land-use plan for the Peel watershed planning region. Achieving this goal requires managing development at a pace and scale that maintains ecological integrity. The long-term objective is to return all lands to their natural state as development activities are completed.

The commission is composed of six members. Members are nominated by First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, the Gwich'in Tribal Council, Government of Yukon/Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Government of Yukon/Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and Government of Yukon (two nominees).

PWPC members as of March 31, 2008
    Nominated By
Albert Genier Chair First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun
Marvin Frost Member Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
Ray Hayes Member Government of Yukon
Peter J. Kaye Member Gwich'in Tribal Council
Dave Loeks Member Government of Yukon
Steve Taylor Member Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in

The integration of the offices of the Yukon Land Use Planning Council and the regional bodies (North Yukon Planning Commission and PWPC) resulted in many jointly completed projects. For PWPC, this included assistance with the creation of the map series for resource assessment reports; participation in the Technical Working Group; and training and orientation of new staff.

Commission Operations

In 2004–05, nominations for commission members were accepted. From October 2004 to February 2005, the commission focused on start-up activities and organizational matters. Major commission operations began in spring 2005. In 2005–06, the Issues and Interests Report was released, with a request for comments. In 2006–07, the Commission released a Statement of Intent that reflected its guiding principles and vision for the Peel watershed, and carried out information gathering.

The commission is well on its way to developing the second regional plan in the Yukon. PWPC faces a complex set of planning challenges; it must build consensus among four First Nations and government and the region has a high public profile. The commission had its most productive year to date, completing its resource collection and analysis. Much has been learned about production scheduling and planning product expectations that can be applied to future regional planning processes. A draft regional plan is expected for PWPC by December 31, 2008.



Salmon Sub-Committee

The Salmon Sub-Committee (SSC) of the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board was created in 1993 under the UFA. It is funded by an annual contribution from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The sub-committee was established as the main instrument of salmon management in the Yukon. It may make recommendations to the Minister and to Yukon First Nations on all matters related to salmon, their habitats and management, including legislation, research, policies and programs.

SSC members come from all parts of the Yukon and represent both First Nations and non-First Nations people. The composition of the committee is structured to ensure diversity and balance. Its members represent the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, DFO and the First Nations of the Alsek, Porcupine and Yukon rivers drainage basins.



Selkirk Renewable Resources Council

The Selkirk Renewable Resources Council (SRRC) was established in 1998 as the primary instrument for local renewable resource management in the territory of the Selkirk First Nation. SRRC Meetings are open to the public.

SRRC members as of March 31, 2008
Name   Term Ends Appointed By
Jerry Kruse Co-chair March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon
Roger Alfred Co-chair March 31, 2009 Selkirk First Nation
David Conley Member March 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Robert Van Bibber Member May 24, 2008 Selkirk First Nation
Linch Curry Member December 1, 2008 Government of Yukon
Kevin McGinty Member March 31, 2010 Selkirk First Nation
Lena Joe Alternate May 24, 2008 Selkirk First Nation
Vacant Alternate   Government of Yukon

Council members attended three meetings regarding elk tick and gave a presentation on their recommendations. SRRC attended an Open House on the Faro mine closure. Council members participated in the field trip to the Minto power line with SFN, Yukon Electric and Yukon Energy Corporation. Council members were given a tour of the Sherwood Mine operation.

The council hosted an Open House on the sewage disposal site and garbage dump. A decision was made, in consultation with SFN, to relocate the site. SRRC met with SFN and Yukon Environment to discuss new sites.

At the annual May Gathering, issues relating to management and habitat of fish and wildlife were discussed.

Council members held one of their regular monthly meetings during a cross-cultural trip on the Macmillan River to visit the proposed habitat protection area (HPA). A proposal to create the HPA was presented to government in February 2007; a decision is pending.

SRRC hosted meetings with community members and students from Eliza Van Bibber school regarding an application for an agricultural lease at 6 Mile Meadow, an area with great environmental importance. It is used for berry-picking and is a calving ground for moose and a migration route for caribou. The Government of Yukon agreed with SRRC and did not approve the application.

Due to environmental concerns, SRRC recommended that the application of Carmacks Western Copper to the Yukon Territory Water Board be denied. Council also sent letters of opposition to YESAB regarding the application.

Five council members attended the annual general meeting of RRCs, held in Dawson City. Chairs of all the RRCs later met with the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board to discuss issues that rose at the AGM.

SRRC hired a college student and two local high school students to carry out monitoring of creeks, rivers and lakes and record observations of waterfowl and beaver dams. They also measured and weighed salmon and carried out a sheep survey with the regional biologist.

The council was also involved in the Chum salmon tag project, which is funded by the Yukon River Panel.



Teslin Renewable Resources Council

The Teslin Renewable Resources Council (TRRC) was established as the primary instrument for local renewable resource management in the Teslin Tlingit Council Traditional Territory as set out in the Final Agreement. The TRRC is comprised of ten members: one nominee from each of the five clans of the Teslin Tlingit Council and five nominees of the Minister of Environment.

The council, acting in the public interest and consistent with Chapter 16 of the Umbrella Final Agreement, may make recommendations to the Minister, the Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC), The Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, and the Salmon Sub-Committee on any matter related to the conservation of fish and wildlife and forest management.

TRRC members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Appointed By
Sandy Smarch Chair March 31, 2010 TTC - Ishkìtàn Clan
Adam Grinde Vice-chair March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon
John Martychuk Member March 31, 2010 TTC - Kùkhhittàn Clan
Stan Stewart Member March 31, 2008 TTC - Dèshitàn Clan
Tim Dewhurst Member March 31, 2009 TTC - Dakhl'awèdí Clan
Mike Gergel Member March 31, 2009 TTC - Yanyèdi Clan
Frank Johnstone Member March 31, 2008 Government of Yukon
Jim Lamberton Member March 31, 2011 Government of Yukon
Neil Johnson Member March 31, 2008 Government of Yukon
Vacant Member March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon

To fulfill its mandate, the council operates with an emphasis on several objectives:

  • outward vision;
  • encouraging a diversity of viewpoints;
  • strategic leadership;
  • clear distinction of council and executive roles;
  • collective decisions;
  • being proactive;
  • using past knowledge to guide future decisions; and
  • incorporating traditional and local knowledge into decision-making processes.
Meetings and Workshops 2007–08

TRRC held 11 regular council meetings and two budget meetings. Council members met with a wide range of groups, including the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, Salmon Sub-Committee and the Yukon River Working Group, and discussed a number of different issues, including the Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area, Wildlife Act regulation changes and climate change. The council also gave presentations to several groups.

Council members attended several workshops, including the RRC chairs annual meeting, the annual general meeting of the Yukon Trappers Association, the Climate Change Action Plan workshop, the RRC Annual General Meeting in Dawson City and a Species at Risk workshop in Whitehorse.

Fish and Wildlife Management Plan

The Fish and Wildlife Management Plan for 2007–12 was finalized in early 2007. Plan partners include the TRRC, Teslin Tlingit Council and the Department of Environment. The final plan has yet to be printed. The Government of Yukon is reviewing all management plans to clarify their intended application and purpose. Once this has been completed the document will be printed for distribution. The lack of a printed plan did not prevent the TRRC from utilizing the plan as a reference document or beginning work on a number of action items.

Teslin's Integrated Fish and Wildlife Management Plan is an important tool for governments to work with to ensure the health and conservation of fish and wildlife for generations to come.

Public Information Session and Community Barbecue

As per the Integrated Fish and Wildlife Management Plan, the TRRC organized and sponsored a public information session in early June. Teslin's Conservation Officer and Deputy Officer provided an information session to the Teslin School students and other interested members of the public. Given the increased concern over bears in the Yukon, the subject of the presentation was bear awareness and safety. Before the students came to the park, the Conservation Officer chatted with the children at the day care about bear safety. The little ones were very pleased with the posters he gave them.

A community barbeque lunch cooked by members of the TRRC followed the sessions. All residents and visitors to the community were invited to the Teslin Friendship Park to have lunch and meet with Council members. Although the weather wasn't perfect many people still attended. Luckily, the rain held off until everyone went home. The employees of the Village of Teslin graciously set up the park area for the barbecue and TRRC would like to thank them for the great job. This is the fifth year in a row for this community event and the council members intend to hold it every year.

The students were awarded a number of prizes for participating in the session. Some very nice prizes were donated by the Department of Environment and the TRRC. The TRRC extends a big thank you to the Conservation Officer and Deputy Officer for their help in making the day a great success.

Proposed Change to Hunting Regulations

In 2007 TRRC submitted a proposal to change hunting regulations to enhance wolf-hunting opportunities. The proposal was to increase the bag limit from three wolves to seven for Yukon residents, and from two wolves to four for non-residents. The council also proposed that the wolf-hunting season be extended from March 31 to April 30.

The proposals were put forward because it was felt that if hunters were provided the opportunity to legally harvest a greater number of wolves at least some of them would consider investing more time and effort in doing so. Further, it was thought that if hunters were provided the opportunity to harvest wolves later in the spring they would continue to hunt. The warmer weather and spring snow pack would allow hunters more access into remote areas that they could not reach during the winter months.

The proposal was accepted in part by the Department of Environment: although the season extension to April 30 was not accepted and the bag limit for non-residents was not increased, the bag limit for Yukon residents was increased as requested. The new regulations will be implemented during the 2008–09 hunting season.

Trapping

A number of students from Teslin School took part in the trapper education program and were certified in spring 2008. The Fish and Wildlife Officer for the TTC organized the program and was one of the instructors. Students were able to get out on the land and learn from hands-on experience.

Aerial Surveys

The TRRC participated in a number of aerial moose surveys during the fall and winter 2007–08. In November 2007, Council members accompanied the biologists on aerial flights in the western part of the South Canol area. The survey was part of ongoing efforts to monitor high-priority moose populations throughout the region. The main purpose of the survey was to estimate their abundance, distribution and age and sex composition.

A second aerial survey took place across the lake from Teslin in an area known as the Teslin Burn. The area encompasses the area between Teslin Lake, the Alaska Highway to Jakes Corner, the Atlin Road and the B.C./Yukon Border. The first flight took place in December 2007; since very few moose were observed, a second flight took place in March 2008.

Again, very few moose were seen. TRRC and TTC will review the information from these surveys and prepare a plan of action in the coming years. The area is also being studied by the Southern Lakes Wildlife Coordinating Committee.

A third aerial survey encompassed the mountain ranges bordering the east and west parts of the Nisutlin River from the South Canol Road down to the Nisutlin Delta. The information gathered will be compared to data collected over the past number of years. A short reconnaissance of the Deadman Creek sheep population was also included in the survey. It has been suggested that allocating more time to surveying this herd could help provide annual estimates of lamb survival.

In early spring 2008, some Teslin residents were given an opportunity to take part in helicopter surveys of the Red Mountain area and the Nisutlin Delta region. TTC Chief Eric Morris and Lands and Resources Manager Tracy Boyes flew over the Red Mountain area; they also flew over the Deadman Creek area to view sheep in their winter range.

Teslin Moose Habitat Utilization Study

In cooperation with the TRRC and the Teslin Tlingit Council, the Department of Environment conducted a moose collaring project in the traditional territory. The project took place in a new survey area called South Canol West that was identified as an area of concern in the Teslin Fish and Wildlife Management Plan. It also covers portions of the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council Traditional Territory. It is bounded by the Teslin River to the west, the South Canol Road to the east and a series of watershed drainages and height of land to the north.

The work will proceed with the support and participation of TTC and its staff and a graduate student of UNBC. During February and March 2008 a total of 27 moose were captured in the study area and fitted with GPS tracking collars. A total of 18 cows and 9 bulls were collared.

The study is being undertaken to gain a better understanding of moose habitat use and movement patterns, and to look at the effect of access through different habitat types on moose harvest and predation rates. The study will run from 2008 to 2010.

Teslin Lake Bird-Banding Station

The Teslin Lake Bird-Banding Station operated again during the 2007 spring migration. The station received financial support from TRRC, TTC, Department of Environment and the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Trust Fund. The station is located near Ten Mile Creek along the shores of Teslin Lake. It can be reached through the Teslin Lake public campground at Mile 810 of the Alaska Highway.

Public education is an important aspect of the banding station. Interested individuals, groups, community members, visitors to the area, and local school children are invited to the banding station for a tour and learning experience. Each year more and more visitors come to the station.

Volunteers will also be needed on an ongoing basis to help with the success of the project. It is hoped that interested persons can eventually be trained to operate the banding station.

Copies of the final report for the 2007 spring season are available upon request from the TRRC office. Photos from the banding station can be viewed at www.picasaweb.google.com/yukonbanding.

Teslin Forest Management Plan

In 2007 the Teslin Tlingit Council and the Government of Yukon approved the Teslin Strategic Forest Management Plan. An implementation team was formed to put the strategic plan into operation. One of the team's main goals is to establish an opportunity for an integrated community-based forest industry. The implementation team provides leadership and direction to working groups for specific projects.

One such project is a five-year harvest development plan. A timber harvest working group has been formed to undertake this work. The working group will consist of two members: one from TTC and one from the Government of Yukon's Forest Management Branch. The working group will consult with TTC citizens and elders, industry, community members and other interest groups. The implementation team's input will be sought regarding consultation issues. Communication with the public on the harvest development plan is key to the plan's success. The implementation team will lead public communication events; working group members will be available to present information and answer technical questions regarding the plan.

Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area

As partners of the Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area Management Plan, TRRC and TTC continue to work with the Canadian Wildlife Service on matters related to the delta. During fall and winter 2007–08 a Vegetation Analysis Change Study of the region was conducted. The purpose of the study was to help the partners understand why the vegetation in the area has changed so much; over the past ten years it has been reported that willows have expanded into delta areas formerly occupied by grasses and sedges.

During the study, members of the community who frequently use the region were interviewed, as were elders who remember the area from many years back. Some members of the TRRC traveled to the area by snow machine in the winter. A copy of the final report was scheduled to be available to the partners by early fall 2008.



Training Policy Committee

The Training Policy Committee (TPC) and the Yukon Indian Peoples Training Trust (YIPTT) were established under Chapter 28 of the Umbrella Final Agreement to build the capacity of Yukon First Nations to implement their agreements. TPC members and staff work to establish training programs for Yukon First Nations people, assist Yukon First Nations to develop training plans, and establish coordination between governments and Yukon First Nations to ensure that new and existing programs support this training.

All Yukon First Nations have allocation funds in the YIPTT and may apply to the committee to obtain them.

TPC members as of March 31, 2008

  • Tammy Taylor
  • Sharon A. Peter
  • Karen Wienberg
  • Shandell Kearns (McCarthy)
  • Pamela Hine
Log Cabin Training Project

The First Nation Forestry Program, in conjunction with all Yukon First Nations, applied for funding from the Yukon Indian People Training Trust, as well as a number of other sources, for a project to train First Nation members to build log homes. The two-year project training program had several goals:

  • to provide students with skills related to economic development opportunities;
  • to raise self-confidence and awareness of students' abilities;
  • to assist with capacity development and possibly support long-term careers in log home building; and
  • to provide specific skills, including industrial safety certification; scribing logs for construction; identification and safe use of log-building tools; identification, selection, cutting and hauling trees suitable for building logs; and working in remote camps.


Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) is responsible for implementation of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA) and its regulations. An independent entity, YESAB conducts assessments to ensure that projects are undertaken in a way that results in responsible development without undermining the environmental and social systems of individuals and communities. This is done by mitigating or eliminating significant adverse environmental and socio-economic effects, and by ensuring that sustainability is incorporated in project planning and development.

The board is comprised of a three-person Executive Committee, one of whose members is the chair, and four other board members. All board members are appointed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. One member of the Executive Committee is nominated by CYFN and one is appointed by the federal minister after consultation with the territorial minister. The chair is appointed after the federal minister consults with the other two Executive Committee members. Two of the four remaining board members are nominated by CYFN, one is nominated by the territorial minister, and the fourth is a direct appointment by the federal minister. One board member position is vacant.

YESAB members as of March 31, 2008
Ken McKinnon Chair and Executive Committee member
Simon Mason-Wood Executive Committee member
Stephen Mills Executive Committee member
Tara Christie  
David Keenan  
Ross Leef  
Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act

Chapter 12 of the UFA calls for the establishment, through federal legislation, of an assessment process that would apply to all Yukon land: federal, territorial, First Nation and private. CYFN and the Government of Yukon worked with the Government of Canada to establish a development assessment process for the Yukon. The federal legislation establishing this process — the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act, or YESAA —replaced previous assessment processes. YESAA was given Parliamentary Royal Assent on May 13, 2003.

YESAA provides for a single assessment process that applies throughout the Yukon to all projects, and to federal, territorial and First Nation governments.

The process is designed to be transparent and there are guaranteed opportunities for participation by the public and by First Nations. The Act incorporates broad consideration of socio-economic factors as well as traditional and local knowledge. The legislation is intended to provide increased certainty and mandatory timelines for both assessment and decision-making.

Depending on the type, size and complexity of a proposed project, an assessment can take place at one of three levels:

  • Designated Office — most assessments are conducted in one of the six community-based Designated Offices;
  • Executive Committee — the committee assesses larger projects that are submitted to it directly, or are referred by a Designated Office; or
  • Panel of the board — this may be established to assess projects which have potential significant adverse effects, are likely to cause significant public concern, or involve the use of controversial technology.
Five-year Review of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act

The five-year review of YESAA being conducted by the Government of Canada, the Government of Yukon and CYFN is underway. The review will have three phases: information gathering, issues analysis and response. The final review report will include a schedule for implementation and follow-up.

Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline

Interest continues in the construction of an Alaska Highway gas pipeline from Alaska through the Yukon and into Alberta. In anticipation of this project moving forward over the next decade, YESAB meets regularly with a federal interdepartmental working group. These meetings will continue throughout 2008–09.

Designated Offices

Activity within the Designated Offices remained steady; staff assessed 227 projects throughout the year. The Executive Committee completed its first Screening and Recommendation under YESAA for the Carmacks- Stewart/Minto Spur Transmission Line Project, and continues to work on the proposed Carmacks Copper Project. Other notable projects included assessment by the Mayo Designated Office of the Wernecke Winter Road Access Project in the Wind River area. This project garnered a considerable amount of public interest around the world and received an unprecedented 242 comments during its assessment.

As of March 2008, YESAB had 27 permanent staff positions and three term positions in seven offices throughout the territory.

Review of Rules for Designated Offices

YESAB staff and board met with various groups and organizations, held public information sessions about the Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, and gathered valuable input. This will result in changes to the rules.

Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative

As part of his review of the northern assessment and regulatory regime, the Special Representative of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development met with YESAB staff and board to see how the YESAA process was working in the Yukon.

Improvements to the YESAB Online Registry

Working closely with registry administrators, staff identified areas for improvements within YESAB's internal and external sites and launched improved versions of both.

General Assembly, Council of Yukon First Nations

Board members attended the GA and were available to answer questions and listen to issues and concerns related to YESAA.

Project Statistics

Two projects were submitted at the Executive Committee level: the Carmacks-Stewart/Minto Spur Transmission Line Project, and the Carmacks Copper Project. In addition, 227 projects were submitted to Designated Offices:

  Number of Project Proposal Submissions
Dawson City 62
Haines Junction 27
Mayo 38
Teslin 19
Watson Lake 32
Whitehorse 49


Project decisions
Recommendations Accepted by Decision Body Recommendations Varied by Decision Body Recommendations Rejected by Decision Body Total Project Decision Documents Issued
98 82 1 181


Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board

The Yukon Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA) created several public bodies that bring together First Nations and non-First Nations people to manage Yukon lands and resources. Chapter 16 of the UFA recognizes the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board (YFWMB) as "the primary instrument of Fish and Wildlife management in the Yukon."

YFWMB deals with conservation and management of fish, wildlife, habitat and wildlife users throughout the territory. The board is an advisory body consisting of 12 members appointed by the Minister of Environment: six members are nominated by the Council of Yukon First Nations and six by the Government of Yukon. Members are individuals with a demonstrated commitment to conservation and sustainable use of the territory's fish and wildlife resources. Appointments to the board are for a five-year term.

YFWMB members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Dan McDiarmid Chair February 13, 2009 Government of Yukon
Georgina Sydney Vice-chair April 11, 2010 CYFN
Art Johns Member April 11, 2010 CYFN
Randall Tetlichi Member February 13, 2009 CYFN
Shirley Ford Member February 13, 2009 Government of Yukon
Don Hutton Member March 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Rebecca Bradford-Andrew Member March 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Stan Njootli Member February 13, 2009 CYFN
Jim Haney Member February 13, 2013 Government of Yukon
Terry Wilkinson Member February 13, 2013 Government of Yukon
Vacant Member   CYFN
Vacant Member   CYFN

Since its responsibility lies with issues that affect the entire Yukon, the board focuses its efforts on territorial policies, legislation and other measures to help guide the management of fish and wildlife, conserve habitat and enhance the renewable resource economy. The board influences management decisions through public education and by making recommendations to territorial, federal and First Nation governments. Recommendations and positions are based on the best technical, traditional and local information available.

In order to develop an understanding of issues and form recommendations, the board works in partnership with federal, territorial and First Nation governments and with renewable resource councils (RRCs) and other UFA boards and councils. The board relies on its partners and the public for technical information, advice and local or traditional knowledge.

RRCs are local management bodies established in areas where individual land claim agreements are signed, and are responsible for dealing with fish, wildlife, habitat and forestry matters specific to their traditional territory. They also provide an important advisory function to the board by raising awareness of specific issues and providing local and traditional information.

Activities

Education through community stewardship was a focus for the board, as an informed public is essential to ensuring participation in the co-management structure envisioned by land claim agreements. In 2002 the YFWMB became the delivery agent of the former Habitat Stewardship Program, a project of Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Salmon Sub-Committee.

In 2007–08, the board's Yukon Community Stewardship Program (YCSP) continued to promote and implement stewardship initiatives in the Yukon. Community Stewards in several regions advocated and supported the conservation of salmon, freshwater fish, wildlife and their habitat through participation in locally-driven projects. The program was managed, coordinated and administered by YFWMB staff with guidance and technical advice from the YFWMB YCSP Steering Committee and Yukon River Panel. It was funded externally by 14 funding agencies and community partners. Community Stewards facilitated communication between federal, territorial and First Nation governments, public consultative bodies such as the YFWMB and renewable resource councils, non-governmental agencies and interested individuals. Stewards invested time in outreach to communities (especially youth) and created several employment and volunteer opportunities.

Due to an increase in community capacity resulting from the delivery of many successful educational programs, communities were empowered to apply for their own respective stewardship grants through the Yukon River Panel. As a result, the Community Stewardship Program lost its major funder (the Yukon River Panel). The closing months of fiscal year 2008 were devoted to wrapping up this highly successful program.

One of the principal functions of the board is to provide public input on legislation or regulations that affect fish and wildlife resources. The board provides comments to governments based on information from public consultations and research. Each year, changes are made to regulations under the Yukon Wildlife Act in response to public or management concerns. Governments, renewable resource councils, special interest groups and individual citizens can all propose changes to regulations. YFWMB presents these proposed changes to the public each fall to obtain comments and hear concerns. Once the public consultation is complete, the board reviews all information and provides recommendations to the Minister of Renewable Resources. The Minister then accepts, varies or sets aside the board's recommendations. If proposals are accepted, the new regulations are put into effect the following year. In 2007–08, YFWMB made recommendations on changes to a wide range of regulations, including permit hunting for elk; adaptive management for Yukon Wood bison; additional deer permits for youth hunters; specially guided sheep permits for non-residents; and enhanced wolf-hunting opportunities through changes to bag limits and seasons.



Yukon Geographical Place Names Board

In 1986, the responsibility for naming geographical features in the Yukon was transferred from Canada's Department of Indian and Northern Affairs to the Government of Yukon, putting geographical naming in the hands of Yukon residents for the first time. The following year, as part of this transfer, the Government of Yukon established the Yukon Geographical Names Board (YGNB) to undertake the job of researching and approving geographical names. In 1995, under the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA), the Yukon Geographical Names Board was replaced by the Yukon Geographical Place Names Board (YGPNB).

YGPNB is constituted under the UFA. The board's primary function is to consider and recommend the naming or renaming of places or features located within the Yukon with special reference to Chapter 13, Section 11 of the UFA. The board's mandate does not include the naming or renaming of features or sites within municipal boundaries or of transportation corridors (highways and bridges).

The board is comprised of six Yukoners who share a common interest in developing place-name policies that address all Yukoners. Three members are nominated by the Government of Yukon, three by CYFN; all serve three-year terms.

YGPNB members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Robert Lee Jackson Co-chair May 31, 2010 CYFN
John Ritter Co-chair May 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Monty Alford Member May 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Paul Birckel Member May 31, 2010 CYFN
Tracy Rispin Member May 31, 2010 CYFN
Polly Thorp Member May 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Place Name Review Process

Initially, place-name applications are submitted to the Government of Yukon's Heritage Resources Unit, a component of the Cultural Services Branch within the Department of Tourism and Culture. Once a place-name application has been received, the Yukon toponymist is assigned with the task of establishing the correct location of proposed place-name sites, ensuring that the correct spelling has been recorded on the application and verifying the reasons for the request. Once the information provided on applications has been confirmed by Government of Yukon staff, the applications are forwarded to YGPNB for review and consideration in the naming or renaming process. If the applications are considered to have merit, they are recommended to the Minister of Tourism and Culture for approval.

Processing place name applications in a timely manner is a priority of the board. The speed with which place-name applications are processed depends on a number of factors:

  • the completeness of the applications when initially submitted to the Heritage Resources unit;
  • whether the place name site is on First Nation traditional or settlement lands, or on federal or territorial land;
  • whether the site identified is located within a park;
  • whether the location of the site has been accurately determined; and
  • whether historical or cultural background information has been given.
Activities

YGPNB held board meetings on April 20, 2007 and February 15, 2008 in Whitehorse. At its April 20, 2007 meeting, the board reviewed a number of place-name submissions put forward by Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation. Most of the proposed names, which were all in Northern Tutchone, were for features along or near the Yukon River from Hootalinqua to Little Salmon village. The board was assisted in its deliberations by well-known elder Gertie Tom, a fluent speaker and writer of Northern Tutchone. Fluent speakers of Yukon First Nations languages provide invaluable information on place-names, including pronunciations, translations and cultural background. The board recommended 14 submissions, which were sent to the Minister for final review and approval.

At its meeting on February 15, 2008, the board reviewed a number of submissions by Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. All the names submitted were for features in the area near Kusuwa Lake and Mendenhall River. Elder Paddy Jim assisted the board in reviewing these Southern Tutchone names and made a follow-up visit to the Yukon Native language Centre in April 2008 to record the pronunciation of each place name. The board recommended six submissions, which were sent to the Minister for final review and approval.

The board authorized an aerial photo shoot, which took place on July 15, 2007. The flight originated in Whitehorse and included sections of the Teslin, Yukon and Pelly rivers. The resulting several hundred digital and film images were later labeled and indexed.

The board's goal is to compile a complete set of information for each place name it approves, including pronunciation, meaning and historical/cultural significance and visual documentation.



Yukon Heritage Resources Board

Established in 1995 in accordance with Chapter 13 of Yukon First Nation Final Agreements, the Yukon Heritage Resources Board (YHRB) comprises ten members from throughout the Yukon who operate in the public interest on issues related to Yukon heritage. CYFN nominates five appointees and the Government of Yukon nominates five, with the concurrence of the government of Canada for one of the selections. All members are appointed by the Yukon Minister of Tourism and Culture for three-year terms.

YHRB members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Claire Festel Chair May 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Sharon Peter Vice-chair May 9, 2010 CYFN
William Asp Member May 9, 2010 CYFN
Ron Chambers Member May 9, 2010 CYFN
Missy Follwell Member May 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Nancy Huston Member May 9, 2011 Government of Yukon
Anne Leckie Member May 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Alexia McKinnon Member June 6, 2010 CYFN
Bill Pringle Member May 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Testloa Smith Member May 9, 2010 CYFN

YHRB's duties and responsibilities are outlined primarily in Chapter 13 of the Yukon First Nations Final Agreements and the Historic Resources Act. Under the final agreements, the board may make recommendations to the Minister and to Yukon First Nations regarding the management of Moveable Heritage Resources and Heritage Sites. YHRB may also be asked to make determinations pursuant to Chapter 13 section 13.3.2.1 (ownership of contested heritage resources) and 13.3.6 (management of ethnographic objects and palaeontological or archaeological objects).

Under the Historic Resources Act, the board is to advise the Minister on appropriate policies and guidelines for the designation of Yukon historic sites and appropriate policies, guidelines and standards for the care and custody of historic objects, making regulations under the Act and on the use of the Yukon Historic Resources Fund. YHRB's mandate is to provide advice to governments on issues that affect the territory's heritage resources. Board members work with a variety of groups and individuals across the Yukon and the country to fulfil this mandate.

Governance

Five board meetings were held during the year. YHRB developed the Draft Rules of Procedure for Determining Ownership of Heritage Resources under Chapter 13 of Yukon First Nation Final Agreements and associated informational materials. The board hired a heritage consultant with extensive experience in board development and strategic planning to provide a one-day board development workshop. Board members also worked with a contractor to develop and refine a strategic action plan for the board.

The board continued outreach efforts to the Parties and the wider heritage community by extending invitations to and attending heritage-related functions. YHRB hosted other UFA boards and heritage colleagues in the federal and territorial governments. The board also hosted heritage organizations at an orientation to Chapter 13 of Yukon First Nation Final Agreements and the role of the YHRB under Chapter 13, provided by a legal advisor with extensive experience with Yukon First Nation Final Agreements.

Board members attended a wide variety of training opportunities and presentations related to the board's mandate. It also partnered with governments and heritage organizations on heritage issues important to the Yukon people. YHRB worked with Government of Yukon representatives to better understand its historical and contemporary roles in heritage resource management

The Government of Yukon provided presentations to the board on Yukon land claims, the Historic Resources Act and historic resource designation in the Yukon.

Capacity issues continue due to the board having only a single staff member. In addition, YHRB has insufficient funds, resources, and capacity if called upon to adjudicate disputes over ownership of heritage resources between Yukon First Nations or between Yukon First Nations and government. This is a mandated role for which the board has prepared by drafting rules of procedure for dispute resolution.

Heritage and Culture

The Yukon Minister of Tourism and Culture approved the YHRB recommendation that seven projects be supported under the Yukon Historic Resources Fund. YHRB extended invitations to heritage colleagues to attend a presentation by Canadian Heritage staff on the history and general aims of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

YHRB sent a letter to the federal and territorial governments reconfirming its commitment to the aboriginal component of the Historic Places Initiative and restating the need for progress on this initiative.

The Government of Yukon provided a presentation to the board on the "Searching for Our Heritage" database of museum collections related to Yukon First Nations. The board received regular updates on the activities of the Government of Yukon's Cultural Services Branch.

The web site was updated to include events and activities of interest to the heritage community.

Board members attended the Yukon First Nations History, Culture, Agreements and Self-Government workshop as a component of board training in cross-cultural awareness and increased understanding of the Yukon First Nation Final Agreements.

YHRB provided input to the draft North Yukon Regional Land-Use Plan with regard to ensuring protection of heritage resources. The board chair sat as an ex-officio member of the Museums Advisory Committee.

The Executive Director attended the October Built Heritage Leadership forum on behalf of the board and gave a presentation on the heritage resource designation process in the Yukon.

In 2007, YHRB co-sponsored the tenth annual regional Historica Fair in Whitehorse. It also recommended seven projects for funding under the Yukon Historic Resources Fund.

Developing the overall capacity to support designation, promotion and interpretation of Yukon heritage resources is a challenge.

Finances

YHRB continued to meet the financial obligations set out in its Contribution Agreement with the Government of Yukon, including timely submission of budgets and audited financial statements. Meeting financial demands related to preparing draft rules of procedure for adjudicating disputes over ownership of heritage resources between Yukon First Nations or between Yukon First Nations and government is a challenge, however.

Board Appointments

The board did not have a full complement of ten members during the 2007–08 fiscal year.



Yukon Land-Use Planning Council

The Yukon Land-Use Planning Council advocates land-use planning as a comprehensive means of addressing cultural, social, economic and environmental sustainability. The council promotes an open, fair and public process that involves all Yukoners, as set out in Yukon First Nation Final Agreements. The YLUPC and the regional planning commissions continue to make progress in implementing Chapter 11 of the Final Agreements.

YLUPC members as of March 31, 2008
    Nominated By
Doug Phillips Chair Government of Yukon
Steven Buyck Member CYFN
Ian Robertson Member Government of Canada

YLUPC was very active in 2007–08, assisting two planning commissions and the signatories to the land claim agreements as they implemented Chapter 11. There were two active regional planning commissions in the territory: the North Yukon Planning Commission (NYPC) neared completion of its plan and the Peel Watershed Planning Commission (PWPC) made substantive progress in its planning process. Advancements were also made on the creation of the Dawson Regional Planning Commission, but boundary issues prevented the recommendation of its Terms of Reference.

The council encouraged the Parties to the North Yukon Regional Plan and the North Yukon Planning Commission (NYPC) to develop agreement on most issues before submitting the recommended plan for approval. To that end, YLUPC wrote the Government of Yukon about the inclusion of First Nations (Gwich'in Tribal Council, Inuvialuit and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation) in discussions on the future of the North Yukon Land Withdrawal.

YLUPC also recommended that the regional plans contain an implementation section. Council staff assisted in writing chapters in the North Yukon's draft plan that dealt with plan implementation, monitoring and future changes to the plan (plan conformity, variance, amendment and review). It also recommended that a regional database be created and be maintained through the Yukon Planning Atlas.

In March, 2008, the North Yukon Planning Commission (NYPC) submitted a Recommended Plan to the Yukon and the Vuntut Gwitchin governments for approval. YLUPC views this as the most important implementation success of 2007–08; it represents a milestone in the implementation of the land claim agreements. The Peel Watershed Planning Commission (PWPC) is well on its way to developing the second regional plan in the Yukon. PWPC faces a different and more complex set of planning challenges than the NYPC, as it must build consensus among four First Nations and government and the region has a high public profile. PWPC had its most productive year to date, completing its resource collection and analysis. Much has been learned about production timelines and planning product expectations that can be applied to future regional planning processes. A draft regional plan is expected for PWPC by December 31, 2008.

Implementation Review Group

In October 2007, the council received a copy of the reviews of Yukon First Nation Final and Self-government Agreements by the Implementation Review Group (IRG). As much of the report reflected YLUPC's previous submissions, the council was pleased with its content and did not feel the need to make further comment. YLUPC did request that senior land claim implementation personnel from the Government of Yukon attend a council meeting in December, 2007. Meeting participants discussed the role of planning commissions after the submission of a regional plan and the challenges of managing commission/council funding under the terms of the land claim agreements and associated implementation plans.

A series of meetings involving the Government of Yukon and YLUPC personal took place in February and March, 2008, to examine interpretation issues associated with Chapter 11. In addition, the Draft North Yukon Plan outlined in detail a post-plan role for the NYPC. The Parties to the NYPC plan (Government of Yukon and VGFN) indicated that the IRG had considered the role of commissions after completion of a plan and that YLUPC and NYPC would hear back from the negotiating table once the recommendations of the ten-year review were dealt with at the political level.

Yukon Planning Atlas

YLUPC received funds to assist in the creation of a land-use planning atlas. The atlas will provide a regional planning context and perspective for resource and cultural information produced by planning commissions. It also provides access to information in Government of Yukon and First Nations data bases or contributed by other data providers. The atlas will provide a web site to support wider and easier distribution of land-use planning documents. The atlas is intended to be an important part of the information base of regional land-use plans after they are complete.

The atlas has other short-term benefits. It supports decision-making by presenting data in a comprehensive, consistent and current framework, and provides the ability to use the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure to leverage existing data and reduce the effort required to obtain new data. Its potential long-term benefits include support for future land-use scenario modeling and for assessing cumulative impacts on regional resources.

In June 2007, YLUPC hosted a user workshop to provide a hands-on experience using the atlas for 25 participants from Yukon First Nations and the Government of Yukon. Presentations on the atlas were made on several occasions including the first International Circumpolar Conference on Geospatial Science and Applications in Yellowknife; the Free Open Source Software for Geospatial Conference in Victoria; and the Arctic Climate Workshop in Whitehorse.

Source Book

The council is producing a source book to help capture the experience of creating the first land-use plan in the Yukon based on First Nation land claim agreements. Commission members are intended to be the primary audience for the Source Book, but it should also be of interest to members of the public and external agencies. The source book is intended to be completed by the time the Dawson Regional Planning Commission starts work. The sections of the book that focus on plan approval and implementation will be affected by decisions that are currently before the Parties with respect to the work of a planning commission after the submission of a recommended plan. Publication of the book is being delayed until these sections are complete.

Future Planning Commissions

In November 2005, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in (TH) requested that a commission be formed for the Dawson region. YLUPC developed criteria for evaluating the readiness of a region to begin a regional planning exercise and evaluated two regions (Dawson and the Dakh-Ka). Based on these assessments, the council hosted a series of meetings with Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and the Government of Yukon that examined the challenges associated with establishing a planning commission for the Dawson region.

On May 1, 2007 the council's staff met with staff members from TH, VGFN and the Government of Yukon to review progress against the action plan developed in 2006 for the establishment of the Dawson Regional Planning Commission. Detailed follow-up work occurred to clarify the definition of terms used in the Terms of Reference ( June 15, 2007) and to develop a budget and work plan for the Commission ( June 28 and 29, 2007, Dawson). In October, YLUPC staff made a presentation to the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in General Assembly on the progress being made and identified the outstanding issues. This highlighted the need for boundary resolution in the area where traditional territory overlaps that of VGFN. In December 2007 the council contacted the VGFN chief requesting that this topic be given priority in order to allow the council to recommend the Terms of Reference. In January 2008 the council sent a letter to Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in asking that they contact the Vuntut Gwitchin to develop an agreement on the planning boundary. YLUPC will continue to seek this consensus before it recommends the establishment of the Dawson Regional Planning Commission.

Ta'an Kwäch'än Council also requested land-use planning in their traditional territory and the council offered to provide Chief and Council with a briefing. Teslin Tlingit Council also notified the Government of Yukon that they wanted to complete the Teslin Regional Plan.

Assistance to Existing Planning Commissions

The integration of the offices of the Yukon Land Use Planning Council and the regional commissions resulted in many jointly completed projects. For the North Yukon Planning Commission this work included hiring an editor for the production of the plan summary document and recommended land use plan; researching the consultation requirements associated with the North Yukon land withdrawal; and presentations on the results of ALCES assessment modeling.

For the Peel Watershed Planning Commission, this included assistance with the creation of the map series for resource assessment reports; participation in the technical working group; and training and orientation of new staff.

YLUPC also organized and funded a two-day training session,"Communication, Consultation and Media Relations," in September 2007. The objective of the workshop was to prepare staff and commission members for the extensive consultation effort associated with the public release of a draft plan.

Other Activities

YLUPC had a display booth at the Dawson International Gold Show on May 19, 2007, and Council staff attended the CYFN General Assembly at Moosehide in July, 2007. The council reviewed a new financial transfer payment agreement with the Government of Yukon in February/March 2008. YLUPC also reviewed and made recommendations on the annual work plans and budgets of the PWPC and NYPC.



Yukon Surface Rights Board

The primary role of the Yukon Surface Rights Board (YSRB) is to resolve access disputes between people who own or have an interest in land and those with access rights to the land. The board gets involved in disputes when the parties are unable to reach an agreement, and a party applies to it.

The board's jurisdiction derives from several statutes, principally the federal Yukon Surface Rights Board Act, which came into force on February 14, 1995. The Act was drafted to reflect the principles established in Chapter 8 of the Umbrella Final Agreement. Pursuant to this Act the board can hear and render binding decisions regarding surface rights disputes that fall within its jurisdiction.

The board offers mediation and, failing mediation, conducts formal hearings on disputes related to several subjects, including access to or across First Nation Settlement Lands for personal, commercial and other purposes and compensation for activities occurring on quartz and placer claims.

The board's other responsibilities are set out in other laws and agreements, including the Quartz Mining Act (Yukon), the Placer Mining Act (Yukon), the Expropriation Act (Canada), the Radiocommunication Act (Canada) and individual Yukon First Nation Final Agreements.

The Act provides for up to ten members and a chairperson. Half the board members are nominated by CYFN, half by the federal government. The chairperson, on the recommendation of the board members, is appointed by the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Since the Act came into force the board has had a maximum of five members and a chairperson.

YSRB members as of March 31, 2008
    Term Ends Nominated By
Vacant Chair   Government of Canada
Bruce Underhill Acting Chair June 2, 2010 Government of Canada
Brian MacDonald Member November 11, 2010 CYFN
Vacant Member   Government of Canada
Luke Johnson Member January 27, 2011 CYFN
Types of Disputes

Surface rights refer to the rights and/or interests associated with the surface of the land:

  • rights of land owners ("fee simple" title);
  • rights of those with an interest in the surface of the land (i.e., lease holders); and
  • rights to have access to or use of the surface of land (i.e., trappers and other commercial and non-commercial users of land).

Subsurface rights refer to the rights associated with resources, such as minerals and oil and gas, which lie below the surface of the land. Most private land-owners have fee simple title to their land which typically does not include subsurface rights.

First Nations have both surface and subsurface rights on Category A Settlement Lands. On Category B Settlement Lands, they have only surface rights; subsurface rights on Category B lands belong to the Crown.

Activities
Applications to the Board

Two board application files were closed by the board; the Parties to the dispute pursued resolutions through private negotiations. One application file was a dispute, pursuant to Section 42(1) of the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act respecting the access to mineral claims issued pursuant to the Yukon Placer Mining Act. The second application file was an appeal, pursuant to Section 18(2) of the Yukon Placer Mining Act, to the decision of the mining recorder respecting the amount of security required to be posted in relation to mineral claims issued pursuant to the Act.

Training

Board members deal with complex issues and require a broad understanding of a wide range of issues:

  • the Umbrella Final Agreement, First Nation Final Agreements and their respective implementation plans;
  • administrative law and the principles of natural justice;
  • dispute resolution;
  • mining and land-use legislation; and
  • land-use issues.

Board staff and members participate in relevant training and conferences in an effort to maintain and develop capacity.

Communications

Members of the public can obtain listings of the board's public records, the Act and Rules of Procedure, application form and other related material, such as applicable federal and territorial statutes relating to the board's jurisdiction, from the board's office or its web site (www.yukonsurfacerights.com). The board's office, located in Whitehorse, is equipped with a reading room with its public records and reference material.

Public Relations

The board maintained an office in Whitehorse, updated its web site, produced and distributed its annual report, and attended public functions and meetings.

Industry Relations

The board endeavored to keep industry informed in several ways:

  • attending industry events pertaining to the board's jurisdiction such as pipeline and railroad information forums, Yukon Geoscience Forum, Dawson City Gold Show and the B.C. and Yukon Chamber of Mines' Cordilleran Round-up;
  • communicating its mandate, jurisdiction and procedures via conference and forum program guides and by hosting a display booth; and
  • ensuring that Yukon industry associations are included on its consultation mail-out list.
First Nations

The board was available upon request to visit First Nations to provide information about its legislation and procedures. The board normally plans for one visit to each self-governing First Nation. A visit is made only if the First Nation requests it. Each year the board provides each Yukon First Nation and all UFA boards and councils with a copy of its annual report. All Yukon First Nations and UFA boards and councils are included on the board's consultation mail-out list.

Government Relations

The board keeps in contact with First Nations, territorial, federal and municipal governments. This includes attending workshops with the various governments when invited. The board also filed obligatory reports to its federal funding department and the federal Access to Information and Privacy Commission.

Related Initiatives

During the 2007–08 fiscal year the board also participated in other initiatives:

  • assisting with the ongoing training development for tribunals in the Yukon in conjunction with Yukon College; and
  • maintaining an active membership in the Canadian Council for Administrative Tribunals and the British Columbia Council for Administrative Tribunals.





Government of Yukon

Department of Community Services

Community Development Division
Community Affairs Branch

The branch absorbed the cost of a Community Advisor who facilitated, advised and assisted self-governing First Nations and municipalities in developing formal agreements and protocols to support shared service delivery for common areas of jurisdiction. The absence of implementation funds was a challenge.

Community Infrastructure Branch

In some cases, projects trigger Yukon Asset Construction Agreements or are partially funded through federal sources such as the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, which often has First Nations partners.

Community and Land Planning Branch

A one-year term position to March 31, 2008 for a land-use planner was supported by capital funding.

A joint planning structure in respect of the settlement land described in Appendix A of the Final Agreement and adjacent Non-Settlement Land was developed with Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in in West Dawson, Carcross/Tagish First Nation in Carcross and with Kwanlin Dün First Nation in the Marsh Lake area.

Provisions of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation Self-Government Agreement were implemented with respect to C consultation requirements for rezoning specific parcels of land in the Carcross area.

Property Assessment and Taxation Branch

The Assessment and Taxation Branch applies for funding each year based on work related to implementation. Under Chapter 21 of First Nation final agreements and Chapter 14 of the self-government agreement, all lands after Final Agreements are assessed (through identification, valuation, reconciliation, set up/input and production of assessment roll and annual maintenance costs). Property taxes are calculated — through identification of property-tax forgiveness, reconciliation, set-up of taxable/exempt status, development of Home Owner Grant (HOG) status, estimation of taxes net HOG, production of a tax roll and annual maintenance — and the properties are placed on the assessment roll.

Consumer and Protective Services Division
Department of Economic Development

A regional planning process for economic development and economic opportunities commenced for Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in (TH), as outlined in Chapter 22 of the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Final Agreement. This included development of a project charter, project statement of work and detailed work plan. It also included forming committees for project oversight and project management. The City of Dawson is an ex-officio member of the oversight committee.

Work was completed on the first two phases: a high-level social, demographic and economic scan of the economy in Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Traditional Territory (THTT), and an assessment of the potential for development in the sectors of communication, culture, transportation, agriculture, energy, renewable and non-renewable resources and tourism in THTT. Final reports on these first two phases were received March 31, 2008. Planning is underway to implement the next phase early in the next fiscal year.

This was the first of the regional economic development plans developed under the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Final Agreement, and the process for moving forward took some time to develop. The commencement of the first stages of plan development has, however, created momentum.



Department of Energy, Mines and Resources

Working with Yukon First Nations to involve them in Yukon's resource economy and develop partnerships for resource development activities is a key goal of Energy, Mines and Resources (EMR).

Settlement Land Committee

EMR represents the Government of Yukon on the Settlement Land Committee (SLC) and provides the government's input on survey priorities. The SLC is responsible for completing the land claims obligations for the identification, priorizing and surveying of settlement land. EMR is an active participant on the committee and has participated in multiple meetings with Yukon First Nations to ensure good working relationships with their land and resources administrators.

EMR also provides technical assistance to Natural Resources Canada to facilitate the completion of land surveys.

Land-related Implementation Activities

EMR continued to maintain and monitor Orders-in-Council for Special Management Areas and facilitated raising of joint title (Yukon First Nations and and Government of Yukon) on identified heritage sites as per the final agreements (in cooperation with the Land Claims Implementation Secretariat (LCIS) and Department of Environment).

The department assisted LCIS with maintaining the interim withdrawals required for proposed site-specific settlement land and interim withdrawals for lands under negotiation. EMR maintained the prohibition and withdrawal orders required pursuant to the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and Vuntut Gwitchin Final Agreement for the North Slope and Old Crow Flats area.

EMR's Lands Branch administers the renewal or replacement of encumbering rights as per Section 5.6.9 of the final agreements. The Lands Branch also continued to plan for the implementation of the draft Memorandum of Understanding on Proposed Site-Specific Settlement Land to resolve anomalies in settlement land surveys.

The department also participated in land-exchange discussions with affected Yukon First Nations.

EMR land Registry and Mapping System

EMR's Lands Branch shares technical information with Yukon First Nations on the Government of Yukon's methods for recording land interests and serves as a resource to Yukon First Nations as they establish their own land and resources registries.

Yukon Geological Survey and Online Access to Spatial Data

Yukon First Nations and communities have access to this web-based interactive map server maintained by the Yukon Geological Survey. The map server has baseline maps of geology, mineral deposits, geochemistry, geophysics, mineral claims, land status and infrastructure.

EMR District Offices and Liaison with Yukon First Nations

EMR's Natural Resources Officers develop and maintain informal working relationships with First Nations, updating them on timber, lands and mining issues. They are in regular contact with their First Nations land and resource counterparts concerning joint field work and inspections, and work together with them whenever possible.

Special Management Areas

EMR continued to support the Government of Yukon's implementation obligations for Special Management Areas (SMAs) under Chapter 10 of the final agreements. The department provides input throughout the planning process, including advice on plan recommendations.

The department's involvement in SMA planning processes allows for balanced government decision-making with respect to natural resources, and helps support the development of the Yukon's natural resource wealth in partnerships with First Nations and industry.

Regional Land-use Planning

EMR is responsible for meeting the Government of Yukon's Chapter 11 obligations for regional land-use planning (RLUP), including coordinating Government of Yukon participation in all RLUP processes and implementation funding for the Yukon Land-Use Planning Council (YLUPC) and regional land-use planning commissions.

Regional land-use planning is a multi-year endeavour; land-use plans in each of the eight regions are expected to take several years to complete. In addition to general implementation of Chapter 11, specific duties are required once the Parties agree to undertake a regional land-use plan.

The Government of Yukon and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) have successfully interacted since the North Yukon Planning Commission was formed in 2003, working towards completion of the North Yukon Land Use Plan. The Government of Yukon, VGFN, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and Tetlit Gwich'in Council are working together on the Peel Watershed Planning Commission (PWPC). The Tetlit Gwich'in Council, a transboundary First Nation, is a party to the PWPC.

EMR and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation have successfully interacted since the North Yukon Planning Commission was formed in 2003, working towards completion of the North Yukon Land-Use Plan.

Other Yukon First Nations continue to express interest in land-use planning. This requires meetings and collaboration between First Nations, the Government of Yukon and YLUPC on determining priorities for planning regions.

EMR support for regional land-use planning also includes budget approvals, funding agreements, council/commission appointments, planning process linkage development and presentations at planning workshops.

Trapper Compensation Process (Chapter 16.11.13)

EMR continued to work collaboratively with Yukon's Department of Environment and other Yukon departments to complete the Government of Yukon's policy development work for a trappers' compensation process pursuant to 16.11.13.

Forest Management Planning

Forest management planning in the Yukon is carried out at three levels: regional, sub-regional and operational. Forest management plans support sustainable use of the forests and define the land base and practices that are to be used in forest management. These plans are considered forest resource management plans as per Chapter 17 of the final agreements.

The Yukon is divided into 13 forest management units and 14 First Nation traditional territories. Based on common need, First Nations and the Government of Yukon have agreed to jointly develop forest management plans that will apply to both First Nation and public lands. Implementation and final approval of forest management plans are the responsibility of the mandated party.

Two Chapter 17 plans have been completed to date: the Strategic Forest Management Plan for the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the Forest Management Plan for the Teslin Tlingit Council. Strategic plans are underway for the traditional territories of the Kaska Tribal Council and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in.

Resource Royalty Sharing

Crown royalty revenue is disbursed annually to those Yukon First Nations with final agreements, pursuant to Chapter 23 of the final agreements.



Department of Environment

Chapter 16/Trapline Administration

The department developed and shared trapping concession maps and registration information with renewable resource councils and First Nations in order to support their roles regarding Category 1 and 2 traplines as mandated in land claim agreements. The department also helped RRCs develop and review their criteria for trapline allocation and provided information and advice on an ongoing basis to help them fulfill their mandates.

Trapline allocations continued to be a complex undertaking for all Parties. In an effort to bring clarity, a manual on trapping concession administration and operations is being developed.

RRCs continued to have difficulties when registered traplines differ from traditional family trapping areas. Traplines that fall within the overlap of two or more traditional territories are a particular challenge; without the overlap resolution they are not being reviewed or reallocated when vacant.

Freshwater Fish Assessment and Management Planning

The Government of Yukon provided funding to Kwanlin Dün First Nation to review and compile the freshwater food fish needs of its members within their traditional territory. Traditional knowledge and scientific information were collected and a draft report was completed. Environment staff also worked with Selkirk First Nation to discuss previous fisheries studies within their traditional territory. A review of the Ta'tla Mun Management Plan was conducted. Funding was provided to Selkirk First Nation to conduct a freshwater food-fish needs assessment. Work with the Little Salmon/ Carmacks First Nation continued to investigate the perceived decline in numbers of lake whitefish in Braeburn Lake.

Staff shortages at Selkirk First Nation hampered its ability to conduct a community needs assessment and complete the Ta'tla Mun final management plan report. In general, it was difficult to arrange meetings with First Nations due to their busy schedules. It was also challenging to engage First Nations in processes, due primarily to capacity and scheduling issues.

Water Resources

A working group was formally established for Yukon River watershed management. Participants include the Yukon, Canada, Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Carcross/Tagish First Nation; the final confirmation of members is in process. The first tasks will be to develop the group's objectives and prepare a work plan.

The group has a relatively short period — two-years — in which to put forward meaningful recommendations to promote the preservation and protection of the headwaters region of the Yukon River. The group and its members must provide their own resources.

Chapter 10/Special Management Areas/Habitat Protection Areas
Kusawa and Agay Mene Parks

As technical committees are set up in conjunction with First Nations, plans for the assembly of data are being prepared and implemented. Preparation of these materials will support management planning and the work of the steering committees. A variety of mechanisms to gather data, including field work by Government of Yukon and First Nations staff, as well as consulting contracts, will be required throughout the management planning process.

Asi Keyi Natural Environment Park

Advance work by staff in preparation for the anticipated planning process will require liaison with Kluane First Nation (KFN) and the White River First Nation (a non-self-governing First Nation) regarding KFN's final agreement obligations and common law requirements in assembling relevant data. Preliminary work in this area is anticipated before the Steering Committee is set up in 2009.

Management plans were completed for the Ddhaw Ghro, Nordenskiold and Lhutsaw Wetland Habitat Protection Areas (HPAs), and a five-year review of the management plan for the Horseshoe Slough HPA was completed. A management plan was completed for the Old Crow Flats Special Management Area (SMA). Planning for other SMAs has demonstrated the need for and dependency on a variety of environmental and socio-economic data that needs to be developed in conjunction with First Nations participants.

Parks

The jointly developed park and human-bear management plans for the Fishing Branch Ni'iinlii Njik Park and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) settlement lands were approved and implemented. These plans have allowed for the operation of a three-year commercial bear-viewing operation, a joint venture involving the VGFN and a private operator. Infrastructure developed by the Yukon is leased back to the viewing operation. An additional three-year permit extension is being considered by the committee of managing agencies that oversees the management of the reserve.

SMA planning related to Kusawa Park and Agay Mene Natural Environment Park has started with the affected First Nations; both parks were established through settled land claims. Planning for Asi Keyi should get underway late in 2009.

Discussions to finalize the management plan for Tombstone Territorial Park, which was recommended in 2003, restarted and were almost completed, but have stalled over wording related to mineral rights in the park and access to sensitive area used traditionally by Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in. A joint operations committee was established to oversee activities in the park and review use-permit applications. The three-year Holland-America Interpretive Agreement for the park was renewed for one year in 2008. Lack of agreement on the management plan may create problems when trying to renew this agreement again.

Environmental Assessment

The department has completed the initial transition to the federal Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA). Staff training and development of information materials continues as needed. It is especially important to train new staff throughout the department who take part in YESAA project reviews; however, Environment Yukon was not successful with its 2007–08 request for implementation funding.

First Nations Liaison Conservation Officer

Partially funded through land claims implementation funding, this has become a permanent position. Duties focus on the successful implementation of various land claim responsibilities related to fish and wildlife harvesting. This position supports a more holistic, coordinated approach to land claims implementation regarding renewable resources. Land claim implementation funds support only some salary; they do not support operational costs.

Habitat Implementation

The Southern Lakes Wildlife Coordinating Committee was established during this period and completed initial work on its Terms of Reference and work plan as scheduled.

The Forty Mile Caribou Working Group was active, meeting to review and make recommendations with the support of the Fish and Wildlife Branch. Draft recommendations were completed at the end of the year.

First Nations look to the Government of Yukon for implementation funds to cover the cost of these processes.

Regional Fish and Wildlife Operations

The department continued to staff regional biologist positions in four districts, which covers all settled claim areas. These biologists provide information to renewable resource councils (RRCs) and First Nations to help with their program development.

Challenges include the number of RRC meetings, which take up staff hours. In addition, staff turnover in some First Nations hinders program continuity and relationship-building.



Department of Health and Social Services

The implementation activities of the Department of Health and Social Services (H&SS) flow from responsibilities set out in Yukon First Nations self-government agreements. The department's main activities support negotiations for the Assumption of Responsibility Agreement (ARA) and Administration of Justice protocol.

Alcohol and Drug Services

ARA negotiations on the delivery of Alcohol and Drug Services (ADS) are underway. Previously, only nine of the self-governing First Nations participated in these negotiations; however, over the course of 2007–08, Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta'an Kwäch'än Council indicated that they would participate in the future. The negotiations made progress over the past fiscal year as a result of First Nations identifying ADS as one of two main priorities. There remain significant obstacles to finalizing an agreement, but it is expected that all First Nations will again consider ADS a priority and that the subsequent work plan will give precedence to the topic in the coming fiscal year.

Child Welfare

Child welfare has been on the annual ARA work plan for years, but there has been little activity in this area. Over the course of 2007–08, however, Carcross/Tagish First Nation identified child welfare legislation as a priority and as a result drew H&SS into an extensive consultation process. Although formal consultation notice wasn't provided until November, H&SS officials worked closely with CTFN and the Land Claims Implementation Secretariat on legislative review, annotated notes on proposed legislation and workshops with the First Nation. Formal consultations will continue in the next fiscal year.

Social Assistance

ARA negotiations on the transfer of social assistance were completed in 2007. The parties also signed a reciprocal billing arrangement so that blended families could receive service through one government's agency. Meetings are held twice a year between all parties and observers to ensure that matters related to service delivery are resolved in a timely fashion.

Youth Justice

H&SS is responsible for youth justice and has participated in negotiation of the Teslin Tlingit Council Administration of Justice Agreement (AJA). Although the Yukon's Department of Justice leads these negotiations, H&SS participates as a member of the Yukon team. The TTC AJA was initialed in 2002. During 2004 and 2005 the parties met regularly to ascertain the resources required to implement the agreement and other elements of the implementation plan. In August 2005 Canada tabled a financial offer; negotiations throughout 2006 focused on this offer. In 2007 Canada adjusted the offer, which was eventually accepted by TTC. H&SS participated in most of these negotiations and in 2007–08 participated in a working group to develop the implementation plan.

Throughout 2004–08 the department also provided information and policy support to the Yukon's Department of Justice for exploratory discussions with other First Nations on AJA issues and the development of framework agreements.



Department of Highways and Public Works

Land Use/Land Management

The Department of Highways and Public Works (HPW) worked to meet its implementation requirements through activities such as closure of old road rights of way on settlement land.

The department found it challenging to obtain adequate information in terms of mapping and legal descriptions of road rights of way.

Highway Maintenance Training Program

The Government of Yukon is committed to skill development for Yukon First Nations citizens. In 2006–07, HPW received approval for funding for training under the Northern Strategy Trust Fund. This training program is now underway:

  • 27 First Nations people were assigned to the training program in spring 2007;
  • 22 trainees were successful in the program for the 2007 construction season; and
  • 10 trainees had the skill level to remain in the program for winter operations.

Since the end of the program, 13 trainees have been employed by HPW in casual or auxiliary positions for road maintenance activities.

First Nation Consultation on Capital Projects

Major HPW projects in First Nation traditional territories require consultation with First Nations regarding economic opportunities, including employment and training. The department encourages contractors to engage First Nations workers in specific projects (such as the Tombstone Territorial Park Visitor Reception Centre). More than two million dollars is being invested in the centre. The project will be completed in partnership with Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and the Department of Environment and will fulfill commitments made with Holland America. The centre will be the Government of Yukon's first project to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard in support of the Yukon Climate Change Strategy.

A smaller partnership arrangement with Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in involves working jointly to develop additional and enhanced high-resolution geospatial images and topographic base mapping information for some areas of the northern Yukon.

Yukon Asset Construction Agreements

The department negotiates Yukon Asset Construction Agreements (YACAs) with First Nations for Government of Yukon construction projects when the planned expenditure for the project reaches a specified amount. YACAs provide benefits to First Nations people and firms in the form of training, employment and other provisions. Consultations with various First Nations have resulted in two YACAs:

  • with Carcross/Tagish First Nation on the Atlin Road reconstruction project in 2007;
  • with Kwanlin Dün First Nation on the Whitehorse Airport runway extension project in 2007 and the Whitehorse Air Terminal building expansion in 2008.
Other

The department met its obligations for consultation with First Nations on economic opportunities, including employment and training. It also met its obligations for providing economic opportunities in contracting. In addition, HPW provided information to First Nations on public tenders. HPW staff require more assistance regarding the requirements of land claims implementation.



Department of Justice

Aboriginal Law Group

The Aboriginal Law Group (ALG) advised Government of Yukon departments on issues related to the interpretation and implementation of final agreements and self-government agreements and assisted other divisions within Legal Services Branch with respect to these matters. ALG also provided legal drafting and advice to negotiators on agreements such as Yukon Asset Construction Agreements under the final agreements and tax agreements under the self-government agreements.

ALG, with TTC and Canada, participated in the ongoing negotiations of an Implementation Plan for the Teslin Tlingit Council's Administration of Justice Agreement.

ALG participated in negotiations for Administration of Justice Framework Agreements with Canada and seven Yukon First Nations: Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and Selkirk First Nation.

Litigation Group

The Litigation Group represented the Government of Yukon on matters brought before the courts that were related to the FNFAs and SGAs.

Finance and Administration

Finance and Administration administered and tracked all contribution agreements related to Justice's implementation activities such as Administration of Justice negotiations and implementation funding under the Canada-Yukon bilateral agreement.

Public Guardian and Trustee

The Public Guardian and Trustee administers the estates of citizens of self-governing First Nations where there is no known next of kin. Administration of estates includes contacting the next of kin, making inquiries about the existence of a will, administering the assets of the deceased and advising on other estate matters.

Land Titles

The Land Titles office registered survey plans for settlement land selections by Kwanlin Dün First Nation.



Tourism & Culture

Heritage Resources
Selkirk First Nation

Fort Selkirk was established as a Hudson's Bay Company trading post in 1848 near the mouth of the Pelly River at its confluence with the Yukon River. The fort remained in this location until 1851 when, due to spring flooding, it was abandoned and moved to its current location across the Yukon River. At least six buildings and approximately 30 people were based at the original fort, although many were in transit between hunting and fishing camps. The site of the original fort is on Selkirk First Nation Settlement Land, within the Fort Selkirk Historic Site Management Area outlined in the Selkirk First Nation Final Agreement.

Continuing from work initiated in 2006, investigations in 2007 turned up a wealth of artifacts, both aboriginal and introduced. They indicated that more investigations were warranted to determine the alignment of the fort's palisade and boundaries. It is expected that future work will also reveal more evidence of the interaction between cultures when outsiders first entered the Yukon. The research will form the basis of a PhD dissertation by a graduate student at the University of Alberta.

The project was a collaboration between the Selkirk First Nation and the Government of Yukon. The work at the original fort site will add to the many stories told at Fort Selkirk Historic Site, which is co-owned and co-managed by the two governments.

Carcross/Tagish First Nation

The Tagish Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) Post Historic Site is identified in the Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final Agreement as an area to be co-owned and co-managed by the First Nation and the Government of Yukon. It is located approximately 30 km east of Carcross on the Tagish River. The post was established in October 1897 in an effort to deal with the influx of tens of thousands of people during the Klondike Gold Rush. It served as the Canada Customs entry port for travelers taking the Chilkoot, White Pass and Taku River trails into the Yukon interior from the Pacific Coast. In June 1898 it became H Division Headquarters for the NWMP, with at least 15 buildings and 43 officers. The following year, however, it was partially dismantled and H Division Headquarters moved to Whitehorse. A smaller detachment survived at Tagish for several more years.

In summer 2007 preliminary archaeological investigations were carried out to try to gain an understanding of the size of the site and the extent of the historic resources. Several Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) youth assisted in mapping 28 features, including building outlines, cellars and fences; 20 refuse middens were also found. Record high-water levels in the Southern Lakes region hampered investigation of some of the features near the shore. Further investigations are required to complete the archaeological record, and archival and oral history research will contribute to the planning of the site.

The Tagish NWMP Post Historic Site is co-owned and co-managed by CTFN and the Government of Yukon according to the CTFN Final Agreement and the archaeology project is a collaboration between the two governments.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

In 1970 a trapper reported the remains of three old winter houses near Berry Creek on the Porcupine River in the northern Yukon. The location was confirmed in 1977 but it wasn't until 2007 that archaeological investigations and oral history research were undertaken, with funding assistance from the Government of Canada's Historic Places Initiative (HPI). The project was part of a community-based research project that tied into a broader Van Tat Gwich'in cultural technology project. The project coordinated the winter house archaeological research with recording of oral history interviews of elders and with youth participation. This combines scientific and traditional knowledge and provides a means for transmitting cultural knowledge and practices from older to younger generations.

Structural logs, as well as the remains of a log platform, were found buried beneath a covering of dense moss at one location. Artifacts, indicating early 20th century occupation, were discovered beneath the moss and logs, suggesting that a moss and sod roof had collapsed. This type of house had not previously been documented in the Yukon. The preservation of the houses at this site presents a rare opportunity to investigate construction details and to compare these with semi-subterranean houses described in the archaeological record at other northern Yukon sites.

The Berry Creek Project was a collaboration between the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, HPI, Government of Yukon and the University of Alberta.

Northern- and Southern-Tutchone–speaking Yukon First Nations

The Heritage Resources Unit, Cultural Services Branch published a series of volumes documenting the oral history of Northern- and Southern-Tutchone–speaking people in the Yukon:

  • Oral History as History: Tutchone Athapaskan in the Period 1840–1920, a PhD dissertation by Dr. Dominique Legros (Concordia University) in 2 vols, Numbers 1 and 2 in the Hude Hudan Series — Occasional Papers in Yukon History 3, 414 pp.
  • My Old People's Stories: A Legacy for Yukon First Nations. Part 1 — Southern Tutchone Narrators; Part 2 — Tagish Narrators; Part 3 — Inland Tlingit Narrators, by Dr. Catharine McClellan, 3 vols, Numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the Hude Hudan Series — Occasional Papers in Yukon History 5, 804 pp.
  • The Nii'ii Hunting Stand Site: Understanding Technological Practice as Social Practice in Subarctic Archaeology, by Glen R. Mackay, Number 15 in the Hude Hudan Series, Occasional Papers in Archaeology, 123 pp. This volume reports on field research carried out in collaboration with the White River First Nation at an early site near Beaver Creek in southwest Yukon.

With funding from the Canada-Yukon funding agreement for french language services, Heritage Resources Unit published a French version (Le Patrimoine Archaeologique de Forty Mile/Cheda Dek) of a popular archaeology booklet on Forty Mile/Ch'eda Dek Yukon Historic Site by Thomas J. Hammer and Christian D. Thomas.

Canada, Yukon and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in (TH) continued work on a strategic plan for heritage in TH traditional territory. A draft plan was completed and awaits final approval by the parties. Discussions and progress were negatively influenced by ongoing collateral expectations and discussions surrounding the adequacy of Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in self-government funding.



Executive Council Office

Development Assessment Branch

The Development Assessment Branch (DAB) is part of the Executive Council Office and administers the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act (YESAA) within the Government of Yukon.

In 2004–05, DAB worked collaboratively with the Government of Canada, CYFN and the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board toward the full implementation of YESAA. The YESAA process set out in Chapter 12 of the UFA came into full effect on November 28, 2005.

The Development Assessment Branch continued to facilitate the successful implementation of YESAA in several ways:

  • assisting Government of Yukon departments in fulfilling their roles under the Act and providing policy guidance for YESAA implementation issues;
  • facilitating a multi-decision body forum;
  • facilitating meetings between assessors and regulators to enhance the capacity of the Government of Yukon and YESAB;
  • collaborating with the Government of Canada and CYFN in the five-year review process required under the YESAA Implementation Plan; and
  • supporting corporate decision-making by resolving differences arising from departmental mandates.
Land Claims and Implementation Secretariat

The Yukon's Land Claims and Implementation Secretariat is responsible for negotiating implementation plans and coordinating the Yukon's implementation activities throughout the government. Providing support for capacity-building within government related to land claim implementation is an important element of the secretariat's work. This includes managing the Government of Yukon-wide allocation of operating and capital funding received from the Government of Canada for implementation. In 2007–08, with input from a senior management committee on implementation, the secretariat continued to coordinate and monitor the funding provided to departments for projects related to implementation of land claim obligations.

The secretariat is responsible for facilitating and tracking the implementation of obligations and for providing related deliverables identified in the Canada-Yukon bilateral agreement. The tracking includes meeting specific obligations for review of the land claim agreements, including the five-year and nine-year reviews.

The secretariat continued to develop a multi-user database of information on implementation of land claim agreements. Development of detailed aspects continued, as did training for staff in various departments who will use the database. Preparation for use of the database by First Nation governments and Canada began.

The secretariat works collaboratively with departments to coordinate ongoing activities that address the Government of Yukon's land claim obligations. Among other responsibilities, the secretariat provides policy advice related to the final agreements and self-government agreements and other First Nation-related matters to other Yukon departments and to Cabinet. The secretariat also supports the provision of legal advice by Department of Justice lawyers on matters related to the agreements.

The secretariat also represented the Government of Yukon on several initiatives:

  • the Implementation Working Group. This group, whose membership comprises all self-governing Yukon First Nations, CYFN and Canada, continued to address matters of concern in the implementation process and promote effective implementation;
  • program and service transfer agreement negotiations with all self-governing Yukon First Nations; and
  • negotiations for new First Nation final agreements and self-government agreements.

At the invitation of the self-governing Yukon First Nations and Canada, the secretariat participated as an observer on the Senior Financial Arrangements Committee (SFAC) established pursuant to the First Nations' Financial Transfer Agreements (FTAs). SFAC members representing the parties to the agreements review the FTAs and deal with any identified issues arising from the operation of those agreements.

The Implementation Working Group constituted the Implementation Review Group, which undertook the required nine-year review of land claim implementation with regard to seven First Nation final agreements and self-government agreements. The governments of the seven First Nations, Canada, Yukon and CYFN participated in the review. The additional four First Nations with more recently implemented agreements participated as observers. The review was completed in 2007.

The required review of the Canada-Yukon bilateral agreement was postponed until the Implementation Review Group had completed its report. The review of the bilateral agreement included an invitation for First Nations to participate as observers.



Yukon Liquor Corporation

With the Government of Yukon's Departments of Justice and Finance, the Yukon Liquor Corporation (YLC) continued to work with Selkirk First Nation on the review of its proposed Liquor Act and related issues. YLC absorbed the costs for staff time and travel. The absence of implementation funds was a challenge.






Government of Canada

Canada School of Public Service

The Canada School of Public Service (Yukon/Pacific Region) carried out several activities that included Yukon First Nations:

  • provision of CampusDirect online training passwords, as a pilot, for three different First Nations locations;
  • an "Armchair Discussion" on the topic of the Residential Resolution program, with a panel that included First Nations representation;
  • offering all classes — including Essentials of Managing; Planning for my Retirement; Grant and Contribution Management; Administration Assistant; Managing Stress; Writing for Results; Writing Briefing Notes; and Preparing Agendas and Minutes — to all levels of government, including First Nations;
  • including use of CampusDirect and information about courses in outreach information sessions; and
  • participation in a working group on capacity-building opportunities within self-governing First Nations.


Department of Canadian Heritage

The objective of the Department of Canadian Heritage's implementation activities is to address the obligations of Chapter 13 of the individual Yukon First Nation self-government agreements and implementation plans. In 2007–08, the department's priority in the Yukon was to provide financial support to Yukon First Nations for initiatives to develop First Nations heritage resources and build organizational capacity for the management of these resources.

Canadian Heritage was a member of the Chapter 13 interdepartmental working group, coordinated by INAC, to help ensure continuity and a coordinated approach by the federal government. A departmental official also continued to participate on the Heritage Training Sub-Committee in an ex-officio capacity.

The department continued to work principally with Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, the Government of Yukon, Parks Canada and INAC to further develop a tripartite strategic-planning process.

First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun

With support from the Cultural Spaces Canada program, Mayo Legion Hall Restoration Project was initiated to renovate and upgrade the hall for use as a heritage/cultural centre. The centre will provide programming in the following areas: heritage and the arts for the local community; heritage exhibits and displays for a visitor audience; and practice and dissemination of First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun cultural heritage.

Kluane First Nation and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

In 2007, under the Canadian Heritage Information Network, Kluane First Nation and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations were involved in the Virtual Museum of Canada exhibit,"Mount Logan, Canadian Titan." The exhibit gives viewers an appreciation of the science and stories of Canada's highest mountain.

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in received support under the Museums Assistance Program to carry out an Acquisition and Intellectual Repatriation project. The collections management involved the discovery and intellectual repatriation of documentary and material resources held by public institutions and private collectors and improvement in collection storage. Project activities included research, physical and intellectual acquisition, a storage-needs assessment for TH archives and collections, cataloguing and input of information onto a database and reformatting of existing digital information to ensure its long-term preservation. The aim of the project is to enable TH to become a better steward of its documentary and material heritage and to make that heritage accessible to both its citizens and other Canadians.

With support from the Canadian Digital Cultural Content On Line initiative, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in created a web site that includes a virtual tour, historic information, stories about the past and present and information about programming of Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre; Forty Mile, Fort Cudahy and Fort Constantine Historic Site; Tr'ondëk National Historic Site; and Black City.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

The Museums Assistance Program provided support for the second year of the Cultural Technology Project. Work focused on detailed research into the history, knowledge, land uses and cultural technologies associated with the Fishing Branch (Ni'iinlii Njik) Park area and sharing the information with members of VGFN and the general public through exhibits and programming at the visitor reception centre. Key project activities were on-site research, teaching and documentation of traditional technologies and associated oral histories, training seminars for project participants, training in research and recording techniques for youth interviewers and videographers, compilation of information, cataloguing and data entry, and incorporation of collected data in interpretive materials and exhibits.

With support from the Canadian Digital Cultural Content On Line initiative, the Van Tat Gwich'in Interactive Project engaged new audiences and showcased the culture and language of the Vuntut Gwitchin by developing digital interactive cultural programming. A locally trained research team combined professional anthropological and web design expertise and community-based research to develop interactive programs for the internet.

Outreach

The Movable Cultural Property Directorate of Canadian Heritage gave a presentation to the Yukon First Nations Heritage Group regarding Movable Cultural Property programs support and services that are a requirement of the Cultural Property Import and Export Act. Department staff also provided information on the program,"Building Communities through Arts and Heritage."

The Canadian Conservation Institute held a workshop in Whitehorse on conservation approaches to photo-documentation.

Programs and Services Transfer Agreement

Programs and Services Transfer Agreements (PSTAs) with the Department of Canadian Heritage were successfully implemented for eight self-governing Yukon First Nations. These First Nations now directly administer their funding from the Aboriginal Languages Initiative and the Yukon Territorial Languages Accord. The Council of Yukon First Nations continues to administer language support for the remaining Yukon First Nations.



Environment Canada

Environment Canada (EC) is the lead federal government department in these areas:

  • preserving and enhancing the quality of the natural environment;
  • conserving Canada's renewable resources;
  • conserving and protecting Canada's water resources;
  • forecasting weather and environmental change;
  • enforcing rules relating to boundary waters; and
  • coordinating environmental policies and programs for the federal government.

In the Pacific and Yukon Region, EC provides scientific and technical knowledge to and works in partnership with the Governments of B.C., Yukon and First Nations, and with regional municipalities and non-governmental organizations to achieve departmental objectives. The department also collaborates with environmental agencies of the United States in the Pacific Northwest to foster cooperation and to develop shared objectives that are sensitive to local and regional ecosystems.

Environment Canada's implementation activities primarily address obligations under the UFA and final agreements with 11 Yukon First Nations. In particular, EC's activities are linked to Chapter 16 (Fish and Wildlife Management); they also touch on subjects contained in Chapter 10 (Special Management Areas), Chapter 11 (Land-Use Planning), Chapter 12 (Development Assessment), Chapter 14 (Water Management) and Chapter 18 (Non-Renewable Resources).

Implementation activities undertaken in the Yukon were led by staff in the Environmental Protection Operations Directorate and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Environmental Protection Operations Directorate

The Environmental Protection Operations Directorate (EPOD) worked with Yukon First Nations and boards/councils created under final and self-government agreements on initiatives in the areas of environmental assessment, contaminated sites, spills and emergencies. The directorate also provided advice, expertise and support for capacity building. Its specific activities are listed below.

Environmental Assessment

EC worked with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) and Yukon First Nations to implement the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA). EPOD provided coordinated input for the department in support of YESAB's evaluations and screenings of projects in the Yukon. EPOD also provided expert advice to the Yukon Water Board as a follow-up to the assessment decision document and compliance promotion. EPOD is participating in the five-year review of YESAA.

Response to Spills and Emergencies

Yukon First Nations were invited to participate in various training opportunities coordinated by EC and related to spills and emergency response.

Advice, Technical Expertise and Capacity-building

EPOD provided advice and technical expertise and supported capacity building in a number of ways:

  • addressing queries from Yukon First Nations concerning potential contamination sources;
  • cooperating with the Aboriginal Pipeline Coalition in providing technical expertise and information concerning federal environmental assessment processes;
  • participating in the technical committee for the Faro mine site and on committees for other Type II mines and providing expertise on remediating these contaminated sites;
  • participating on the waste management technical committee and providing advice where required to the waste management program; and
  • providing access for interested Yukon First Nations to EC resources such as databases on spills and water quality.
Canadian Wildlife Service

The responsibilities of CWS-Yukon pertain to building partnerships with the Yukon and First Nations governments and to the implementation of self-government and land claim agreements, the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Canada Wildlife Act. CWS-Yukon also works on habitat protection, environmental assessment, land-use and protected-area planning, and circumpolar biodiversity monitoring. Specific activities are outlined below.

Implementation of Land Claim Agreements

Land claim and self-government agreements in the Yukon have established an array of wildlife management and environmental assessment boards throughout the Yukon. In addition, the Porcupine Caribou Management Agreement and the Canada-U.S. Porcupine Caribou agreement set out domestic and international management regimes with First Nations governments through management boards. CWS-Yukon maintains government-to-government relations with First Nations and with the Inuvialuit, whose traditional territory spans the Yukon-NWT border. CWS-Yukon staff are either members of management boards representing Canada or support the operations of these boards by providing information and advice.

Migratory Bird Conservation

CWS-Yukon annually monitors waterfowl and waterbird populations in the territory in cooperation with the Government of Yukon and Ducks Unlimited. Land bird populations and their habitats are studied. This information will support CWS contributions to planning processes established under the UFA for forests and land use and to the development of the permit process proposed for incidental take (defined as the killing or harming of birds, and/or the disturbance or destruction of their nests or eggs resulting from human activities that do not aim to affect them). A management plan is being developed for Bird Conservation Region 4, which encompasses most of the Yukon. CWS-Yukon participates in a national EC initiative to address the regulation of incidental take of migratory birds.

Northern Mountain Woodland Caribou Planning

The Northern Mountain woodland caribou was listed as a species of special concern under SARA. CWS-Yukon led the management planning for this caribou population, required under the Act, with the Governments of B.C., Yukon, NWT and 31 First Nations. In February 2008, CWS-Yukon hosted a SARA 101 workshop with CYFN to build capacity related to the legislation, and organized a meeting of the Northern Mountain Caribou management group to take place the day after the workshop.

Conservation Data Centre

CWS-Yukon, in partnership with the Government of Yukon, operated a conservation data centre called NatureServe Yukon. The centre provides objective, comprehensive and broadly accessible information on plants, animals and ecological communities of conservation interest in order to serve the needs of the public and private sectors in decision-making, research and education. The centre provides information to federal, territorial and First Nation governments and to wildlife management boards/councils and land-use planning commissions for the conservation of species and protected areas, land-use and resource planning, and environmental assessments.

Environmental Assessments

CWS-Yukon, in coordination with EPOD, provided information and assessments on proposed developments pursuant to YESAA.

Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area

CWS-Yukon, in partnership with the Government of Yukon, Teslin Tlingit Council and the Teslin Renewable Resources Council, managed and administered the Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area. Tasks included undertaking biological studies and monitoring management progress and issuing permits for wildlife-oriented recreation activities. Another duty was cooperating with public and resource management agencies to conserve the delta's wildlife and habitat, and support recreational and educational opportunities there.

Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring

CWS-Yukon led and delivered three Arctic biodiversity monitoring programs in cooperation with other territories, aboriginal organizations and countries:

  • The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program involved 33 technical partnerships across five Arctic nations. The goal of the program was to harmonize and enhance monitoring to improve the detection, understanding and reporting of important Arctic biodiversity trends.
  • The Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op is a community-based biodiversity monitoring project that encompasses the northern Yukon, northwestern NWT and northeastern Alaska.
  • The CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network involved six Arctic nations with the goals of assessing the vulnerability and resilience of human-rangifer systems, Yukon land claims and self-government agreements, coordinating knowledge collection and sharing, and developing and promoting adaptive strategies and policies that will ensure a sustainable human-rangifer future.


Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Renewable Resources: Salmon Management

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is responsible for the management of salmon in the Yukon; it provides financial and technical support to the Salmon Sub-Committee (SSC) of the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board. The mandate of the SSC, a public advisory body, is to collect public input and incorporate it into the recommendations it makes relating to salmon to the Minister of DFO and to Yukon First Nations.

Salmon Sub-Committee

Chapter 16 outlines the structure, function and roles of the SSC, including DFO's obligations to support the committee. The Salmon Sub-Committee's single obligation in the UFA is to provide DFO with a recommendation on the distribution of the Canadian Total Allowable Catch among fish harvesters. DFO has provided the support requested by SSC in order to facilitate this obligation.

DFO continues to support the Salmon Sub-Committee beyond its resourced levels. This is largely due to SSC's expanded interpretation of its mandate and expectations beyond DFO's obligations. DFO held a facilitated session with the sub-committee in an attempt to resolve this matter, but more effort is required. Although the report of the Implementation Review Group, released in October 2007, provided guidance in this area, change is often challenging. DFO is working within the framework of the UFA to align its resources to its obligations, which, contrary to the views of SSC, are circumscribed.

Consultation/Communication

DFO has direct obligations to Yukon First Nations as outlined in the UFA. One obligation is the requirement to engage Yukon First Nations when dealing with conservation matters and any other matter that may have an impact on their rights.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada established an annual meeting with First Nation lands and resource personnel to discuss matters of common interest and to consult on management and communication strategies in the event of conservation concerns. There is a strong connection between DFO and Yukon First Nations when it comes to salmon. Both bodies have fundamental tasks in salmon management and conservation.

DFO feels this relationship is working well and is keen to respond to any concerns or requests by Yukon First Nations. In times of conservation, which appear to be occurring more frequently, obtaining harvest information in a timely manner is essential. Getting this information quickly, if at all, from some First Nations is a challenge. The department hopes that this issue, which was identified in the nine-year implementation review, will be resolved soon.

Basic Needs Allocation, Yukon River Salmon

Schedule A of Chapter 16 outlines the process for establishing a Basic Needs Allocation (BNA) for Yukon River salmon among Yukon River First Nations. Yukon River First Nations and DFO continue to meet and work toward resolution of this issue of Yukon River salmon as outlined in the UFA.

Many First Nations challenge the results of the Yukon River Drainage Harvest Study that ended in 2002. Various timelines as outlined in the UFA were not adhered to by Yukon First Nations or DFO. At that time, many Yukon First Nations were focused on negotiation and ratification of their final agreements. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Yukon First Nations struggle to work within the bounds of the UFA to resolve the Basic Needs Allocation.

Another challenge is that the UFA makes frequent reference to "affected" First Nations, which in the case of salmon can include First Nations without final agreements. Getting these First Nations to participate and agree is not realistic until their final agreements are resolved.



Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada's Implementation Branch signed off on the implementation reviews as Canada's representative. The completion of this process was a huge achievement for all Parties. It encompassed the final agreement and self-government agreement implementation plans for the first seven YFNs who ratified their land claim agreements, as well as the UFA implementation plan. The process lasted several years. INAC also concluded a review of the Financial Transfer Agreements for the first seven Yukon First Nations to sign final agreements, and a review of the Canada-Yukon bilateral agreement dealing with arrangements for implementation funding from Canada to Yukon.

An inter-governmental forum was held in the Yukon, with political representatives from the Government of Canada, the Government of Yukon and Yukon First Nations. A protocol agreement was signed, detailing the Parties' continued commitment to the resolution of implementation issues. The agreement set out procedures and guidelines for the forum, and outlined how decisions would be reached. INAC's Implementation Branch assisted in coordinating and preparing for the event.

The first "Yukon Days" were held in 2007–08 in Ottawa during Winterlude and gained a great deal of attention. This trilateral meeting was made up of senior officials and was intended to provide information to other government officials and Ministers about Yukon final and self-government agreements, and to showcase Yukon First Nations.



Indian and Northern Affairs Canada/Regional

Administration of Justice Agreements

Section 13 of each Yukon First Nation self-government agreement recognizes that the First Nation has jurisdiction over laws with respect to the administration of justice in its traditional territory. Discussions with several self-governing YFNs regarding the negotiation of Administration of Justice Agreements have commenced and are at various stages of engagement.

Canada, Yukon and Teslin Tlingit Council continued with implementation negotiations. Negotiations on Administration of Justice Framework Agreements also continued with Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Selkirk First Nation, Little Salmon/ Carmacks First Nation and Ta'an Kwäch'än Council. As these negotiations progressed, First Nations held consultations relating to their justice priorities.

Intergovernmental Forum

The Intergovernmental Forum, established in July 2002, is comprised of the Chief of each SGYFN, the Grand Chief of CYFN, the Premier of the Yukon, and the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. The main objectives of the forum are to develop a shared vision for governance and program and service delivery in Yukon within the context of land claims, self-government agreements and the Northern Affairs Program's Devolution Transfer Agreement. The forum also aims to build and nurture the intergovernmental relationships that now exist in the Yukon. A group of senior officials from each government supports the Intergovernmental Forum by providing strategic advice and jointly developing the agendas for the meetings.

The forum has provided a constructive venue for discussing issues of importance to all levels of government in the Yukon. The forum's structure and the process it follows are set out in the Intergovernmental Forum Protocol, which contains the framework for a tripartite political dialogue. Forum protocol commits the parties to meeting twice a year in the Yukon.

In November 2007 the Parties met in Whitehorse, with the Minister, Premier, CYFN Grand Chief and the majority of First Nation chiefs in attendance. Agenda items included an overview of economic development partnerships in the territory. In addition, an update was provided on the nine-year review reports for the implementation plans of the final and self-government agreement and the mandate renewal process. The meeting also included the signing of the revised version of the original protocol.

Programs and Services Transfer Agreements

Pursuant to section 17 of the SGA, participating self-governing Yukon First Nations provide yearly letters of notice to Canada and Yukon that outline their negotiating priorities for the fiscal year. These agreements allow Yukon First Nations to assume responsibility and funding for the management, administration and delivery of any government program or service within their jurisdiction. Based on these letters, a work plan is signed and agreed to which charts the order in which the priorities will be addressed.

This fiscal year marked the first time that all 11 self-governing Yukon First Nations participated in Section 17 negotiations on Programs and Services Transfer Agreements (PSTAs) . It also brought to a close the successful negotiations in a number of areas:

  • eight SGYFNs assumed responsibility for aboriginal languages from Canadian Heritage;
  • seven SGYFNs assumed responsibility for post-secondary education from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada;
  • seven SGYFNs assumed responsibility for the Home and Community Care Program from Health Canada; and
  • eight SGYFNs assumed responsibility for targeted health programs from Health Canada.

Three of the agreements came into effect during the 2007–08 fiscal year; the aboriginal languages agreements will take effect in the 2008–09 fiscal year.

Taxation

Tax Administration Agreements regarding both federal and territorial personal income tax are now in place with ten of the 11 self-governing Yukon First Nations; discussions with the remaining SGYFNs continue. Tax Administration Agreements regarding First Nations Goods and Services Tax are in place with all 11 SGYFNs.

Self-governing Yukon First Nations have had discussions with the Government of Yukon regarding the sharing of some territorial taxes (such as those on fuel and tobacco) but this has not yet resulted in any agreements.

INAC's Governance Branch,Yukon Region has begun to inform staff and other federal departments operating in Yukon of the obligations on the part of Canada for implementing the taxation agreements. The branch has delivered a presentation on Yukon self-government and implementation to 77 staff members in INAC; the Department of Justice; the RCMP's First Nations Policing Unit, M Division; Canadian Heritage; and Industry Canada. These presentations to staff and other federal departments will continue in the next fiscal year.



Natural Resources Canada

Legal surveys of settlement lands

Natural Resources Canada is responsible for the legal surveying of Yukon First Nations Settlement Lands. Annual survey programs are based on recommendations made by First Nation Settlement Land Committees. Of the 11 Yukon First Nations that have Final Agreements, nine are continuing in the process of implementing legal surveys of their settlement lands.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Parties to the Final Agreements to facilitate the exchange of land where site-specific selections were incorrectly located has not been completed. It will be required in order to complete the legal survey programs for six Yukon First Nations.

Two First Nations have completed their survey programs: First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun and Selkirk First Nation.

Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN) has completed all surveys and is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for seven site-specific parcels moved to other locations.

The survey program for Champagne and Aishihik First Nations is 95 percent complete. Category A and B adjustment parcels require final posts to complete survey work. CAFN is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for 23 site-specific parcels moved to other locations. An additional four S sites are surveyed and ready for CAFN to sign; four S sites have not yet been surveyed. CAFN has concerns with two specific claims parcels.

Teslin Tlingit Council is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for 14 site-specific parcels moved to other locations. Field work for surveys is almost completed, and one community parcel requires plan signing.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for eight site-specific parcels moved to other locations. The Category A adjustment parcel has not yet been signed. The Administrative Plan for Old Crow Flats Special Management Area is near completion.

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for 11 site-specific parcels (S sites) moved to other locations. Fieldwork for the survey program is near completion.

Ta'an Kwäch'än Council is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for three site-specific parcels moved to other locations. Fieldwork for the survey program is complete. In addition, one survey contract has been issued completing the surveying of the Category B Lands Adjustment.

For Kluane First Nation, one survey contract is completing four rural block parcels.

Kwanlin Dün First Nation has four survey contracts completing 14 rural block parcels and nine site-specific parcels.

For Carcross/Tagish First Nation, three survey contracts completed 31 community selections, six S sites and seven rural block parcels.



Parks Canada

Chapter 13 of the UFA provides for establishment of the Yukon Heritage Resources Board as the principal tool for consultation on heritage matters. Parks Canada Agency (PCA) consults the board on the establishment of new National Historic Sites and reviews proposed management plans for National Historic Sites. The UFA also establishes renewable resource councils (RRCs) in each settled claim area. RRCs are consulted on proposals to establish new national parks and existing national park matters which transcend park boundaries (with the exception of Vuntut National Park, where the RRC plays an integral role in park management).

The Kluane National Park Management Board (KPMB) was established as a result of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Final Agreement. Amendments to the agreement, which have been gazetted, formalize the participation of Kluane First Nation on the KPMB. The Superintendent for the Park also sits with the board as a non-voting member.

According to the Parks Schedule in Chapter 10 of the Final Agreements of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Kluane First Nation, and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, the board or RRC may make recommendations to the Minister on all matters pertaining to the development and management of the park.

In addition, individual parks and sites have a variety of consultative arrangements with individual First Nations. The Field Unit informally consults on First Nations matters through CYFN and a variety of other bodies arising out of land claims.

Contributions to economic development

Individual land claim agreements contain provisions for hiring procedures and policies that ensure adequate representation of First Nations within the staff of Vuntut and Kluane national parks. Section 22.4 of the UFA specifies that government is to provide training and development to Yukon First Nations people to give them access to employment opportunities in technical, professional and managerial positions within the public service.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Negotiations with VGFN's Chief and staff for the development of a 15-year prepaid lease of a newly constructed information and operations centre for Vuntut National Park were completed in 2007. An administration agreement was put in place with the First Nation to develop mutually supported exhibits.

Kluane First Nation

PCA worked with the Kluane First Nation to jointly fund an Impacts and Benefits Plan for Kluane National Park & Reserve (KNP&R). This was completed in 2007, fulfilling one of the obligations under the Kluane First Nation Final Agreement (Chapter 10, Schedule C: 9.2).

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

Discussions are underway with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations for the development of retail space for their use in the recapitalized visitor reception centre at Haines Junction.

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in

Through a Letter of Understanding between Parks Canada and the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, the cultural centre's tickets are sold as part of PCA's package initiatives. This cross-promotion resulted in an increase of ticket sales for the cultural centre programs. To further this relationship, heritage program staff from Parks and the cultural centre have instituted regular end-of-season meetings to discuss areas of mutual concern. In consultation with the First Nation's Heritage Department, interpretive messages have been identified which Parks Canada interpreters deliver at their sites.

Traditional Knowledge
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and Kluane First Nation

Through the "Healing Broken Connections" project, the Yukon Field Unit received $1.3 million in funding over five years to reintegrate First Nations into KNP&R and incorporate traditional knowledge in park decision-making and management.

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN), the Kluane First Nation (KFN) and Parks Canada participated in a Ka'Kon (peacemaking potlatch) camp in the park in summer 2007. A Ka'Kon had not been held in the traditional territories of CAFN or KFN for a hundred years. The event marked a turning point in PCA's relationship with its First Nations partners, and points to an era of increased understanding, cooperation and respect.

A governance structure is now in place consisting of Parks Canada, CAFN and KFN. Work is proceeding on the development of an archival database of traditional knowledge with CAFN, and similar work is about to commence with KFN.

Vuntut National Park

Initial discussions related to wilderness declaration in Vuntut National Park took place during the extensive consultations for the park management plan.

Parks Canada participates actively in the North Yukon Renewable Resources Council (NYRRC) and ensures that both VGFN and NYRRC have opportunities for input into park programs. Park staff have also been involved in the IPY submission from the traditional territory of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. Parks Canada and the First Nation continue to collaborate on this initiative where possible.

Kluane National Park & Reserve

The declaration of wilderness areas will be delayed until CAFN has completed consultation with its members on an economic strategy in the park and the potential impact of wilderness declaration.

Initial discussions and consultation about wilderness declaration were held with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the public in fall 2004. Further work in CAFN traditional territory (in the southern part of the national park) has been delayed due to concerns raised by CAFN. Wilderness declaration will be delayed in the northern section of the park reserve as a result of White River First Nation not having a finalized land claim agreement.

Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site of Canada

Chilkoot Trail NHS staff met with the Chief and Council of CTFN to share information on site initiatives and discuss the First Nation's concerns. The management plan for the site, which was approved in 2004, directs action regarding protection and respect of First Nations culture and values, resource protection, harvesting in the site, employment opportunities, land use, marketing and collaboration on management concerns and opportunities of mutual interest. Chilkoot Trail NHSC is part of overlapping claims put forward by the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, based in Atlin,

B.C. and Carcross/Tagish First Nation. B.C. treaty negotiations have not been moving very rapidly, and an early return to negotiations is not anticipated.

Aboriginal Leadership Development Program

The Aboriginal Leadership Development Program, which is being delivered in the field unit, is a national four-year training and development program aimed at developing a cadre of aboriginal leaders within Parks Canada. The program has been delivered in partnership with Yukon College since 2000.

White River First Nation

White River First Nation has an unsettled land claim that includes the land area of the Kluane Park Reserve. Until the

White River First Nation completes a Final Agreement, the Tächäl Region will retain park reserve status. No negotiations are taking place at this time.

Regulatory Issues

In KNP&R, concerns have been raised over the no-harvest zone related to certain areas that allows for sport fishing but no First Nation harvest. Park officials are currently renegotiating the no-harvest zones with CAFN and are likely to replace them with a harvesting protocol.

Vuntut National Park is pursuing regulatory changes to allow guides working in the park to carry firearms. This is identified in the park's management plan.

Other Initiatives

Canada is a partner in the Federal Yukon First Nations Employment Strategy and in a program to build awareness of Yukon First Nations culture among government employees. Parks Canada is working with various First Nations with Final Agreements, the territorial government and other federal departments to develop strategic plans for the implementation of Sections 13.4.1 and 13.4.2 (the so-called Catch up and Keep up provisions) of the UFA. The strategic plan with the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in is the most advanced of these. As part of these efforts, Parks Canada is working with individual First Nations to develop and submit nominations of national significance to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.






2008–09 Report

First Nations

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) is a self-governing people with its main community and administrative headquarters centred in Haines Junction and an office in Whitehorse. Other communities in the Champagne and Aishihik Traditional Territory (CATT) include Canyon Creek, Takhini River subdivision and Champagne. Traditional villages include Klukshu, Hutchi, Kloo Lake and Aishihik, which are still used for seasonal activities. Total CAFN membership is 1,199; about 675 reside in the Yukon, including 342 in Whitehorse.

Governance

The CAFN Council declared 2008 and 2009 "The Years of Honouring and Celebrating Our Elders' Knowledge." In the fall of 2008 Chief and Council consulted with citizens during their annual community visits to Champagne, Whitehorse, Haines Junction and Takhini.

CAFN held a by-election for a Councillor in 2008. Some changes were approved to CAFN's Election Rules related to the composition of the Elections Board, notice of election, voters list, proxy voting, counting and tie votes.

Council initiated policy reviews of departmental programs and carried out several program reviews.

CAFN participated in the Yukon Forum on priorities including trapper compensation, land disposition, the Northern Economic Development Agency, a representative public service and land-use planning. CAFN also attended meetings of the Intergovernmental Forum. CAFN signed an Intergovernmental Accord with the Government of Yukon at its 2008 General Assembly (GA).

CAFN is working closely with the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) as that organization restructures to meet the implementation needs of self-governing First Nations.

Council approved funding for enhanced training for GA delegates in the next fiscal year.

The Financial Transfer Agreement (FTA) was CAFN's highest priority in 2008–09. The Chief lobbied federal leaders to urge that the process move forward. Renewing the FTA has been time consuming; staff have invested a great deal of time in researching program data and costs to justify renewal of the agreement at a more equitable level.

CAFN developed many major partnerships during the year, including the Intergovernmental, Bicultural and Executive Development agreements, and cultural centre agreements with Parks Canada and the Government of Yukon.

CAFN faced many challenges and significant changes during the fiscal year, including its relationships and partnerships with Canada, the Yukon, CYFN, other Yukon First Nations, the Southern Tutchone Tribal Council and the Assembly of First Nations.

Elders Senate

A GA was held in Champagne in June 2008. At the Elders Senate GA, the Elders Senate considered a process to appoint or elect its next Executive Committee. In February 2009, the terms of the existing Executive Committee were extended for an additional six months. The Executive Committee met with Chief and Council to develop mechanisms for improved communication between the two groups.

Natthé Youth Council

In November 2008 the Natthé Youth Council hosted the second annual CAFN Youth General Assembly. Held in Haines Junction, the event was well attended and included excellent activities and opportunities for youth to participate and have input into CAFN government and programs. Several Youth Council members and CAFN youth raised funds for a trip to attend a youth summit in British Columbia. A part-time support position has been funded for the Youth Council. The council looks forward to resuming regular meetings when this position has been developed and a support person has been hired.

Implementation

A Gross Expenditure Base project was completed in 2008. The project reviewed funding adequacy as part of the nine-year review of land claim implementation with regard to seven Yukon First Nation final agreements and self-government agreements. The results were used to inform the Parties as they sought mandates to renegotiate the FTA.

Mandate Discussions Occurred in 2008.

Ongoing negotiations took place on the assumption of responsibility for Alcohol and Drug Services (this includes residential treatment programs and services but excludes detoxification programs). A feasibility study for a Yukon Regional Wellness Centre was prepared; CAFN supports such a centre.

The Implementation Working Group (IWG) developed a work plan to implement its recommendations in 2008–09. Ongoing discussions occurred to formalize the IWG to give it a mandate to monitor, evaluate and provide direction on implementation of the agreements.

Heritage
Cultural Centre

CAFN reached agreement with the Government of Yukon and Parks Canada on financial contributions and tenancy related to the visitor reception centre. Work on the cultural centre is at the conceptual design stage under the guidance of an advisory committee that includes CAFN members. Exhibit ideas will be refined over the next year. CAFN is also preparing its collections and archives for transfer to the new facility.

Kwäday Dän Ts'inchì

The Winter Event was held this past spring at the St. Elias Convention Centre in Haines Junction. It provided an opportunity for CAFN presenters and scientists to share their findings. Relatives of Kwäday Dän Ts'inchì, other family members, neighbouring First Nations from Alaska, B.C. and the Yukon and members of the public attended.

Ice Patches

CAFN Heritage is undertaking interviews with elders to document traditional knowledge related to caribou and traditional use of alpine environments.

Lands

The Settlement Lands Policy has been reviewed and is being updated.

CAFN is working with the Government of Yukon to regulate land use in the CATT. The Lands Branch is developing rural block plans for its settlement lands, updating its land registry system, and working on a trails policy.

Shäwshe Management Plan

The management plan for Shäwshe (Dalton Post) will address the management of this traditional settlement to ensure that its heritage buildings and historic character are protected. This is an outstanding obligation under the final agreement. CAFN has conducted interviews with citizens to reaffirm the direction of resource management and land-use at Shäwshe and the surrounding area.

Kusawa Park

CAFN continues to work on the steering group for Kusawa Park with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN), Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) and the Government of Yukon. The group is responsible for developing a management plan for the park. Work this year included a trip to Kusawa Park to demonstrate CAFN cultural and traditional ties to the area. CAFN is also working on overlap agreements with KDFN and CTFN.

Kluane National Park and Reserve

The funding for the Healing Broken Connections project has concluded. CAFN continues to work on a new management plan for the park that will provide direction for the next five years. CAFN is also working to ensure that cultural resources in the park are documented and monitored.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act

CAFN continues to provide input into environmental assessments for projects in the traditional territory. A large number of agricultural and residential applications were submitted for the CATT, and CAFN is working to incorporate more traditional knowledge in the submissions.

Forestry

The Pine Lake-Canyon Timber Harvest Plan is now complete, including oral history interviews and a preliminary heritage impact assessment. Draft forest policies for settlement lands are also complete. Projects to reduce the incidence of forest fires were conducted in and around four communities in 2008–09. CAFN sponsored a project to record traditional knowledge related to the spruce bark beetle.

Renewable Resources

A survey was conducted in 2008 in the area between Kusawa and the Haines Highway near Shäwshe. The results showed that moose populations in that area were continuing to decline; the survey recorded one of the lowest levels since the 1980s.

The Elk Management Plan was completed. An elk harvest strategy is being developed with the Government of Yukon, with plans for a limited elk harvest in the fall of 2009.

The first unlimited permit hunt for bison took place in 2008. The final harvest number was 150 bison (58 percent bulls and 42 percent cows); this fell short of the goal of 200. A September hunt has been recommended along and south of the Alaska Highway corridor to keep bison away from the highway and limit their expansion south of it. The harvest goal for 2009 is 170–300 bison.



Kwanlin Dün First Nation

Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) is the largest Yukon First Nation, with a population of 1,130. A large number of its citizens live in the Whitehorse area, with the balance dispersed throughout Canada, the U.S. (predominantly Alaska) and abroad. KDFN is based in and around Yukon's capital and economic heartland, the City of Whitehorse; about 75 percent of the territory's population lives within its traditional territory.

Community Services

Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) experienced its most prosperous year to date. Community Services projects provided employment and training for an unprecedented number of KDFN citizens. Many of the year's projects were large and complex, providing an opportunity for citizens to learn more about construction and develop new skills. Several capital projects were undertaken:

  • upgrading, renovations and retrofits to many homes in the community under the Northern Housing Trust;
  • constructing four new elders' housing units, two log cabins and repairs to existing elders' housing;
  • renovating the House of Learning building, the Health Centre and the Administration building;
  • initiating exterior repairs of the NakwaTaku Potlatch House;
  • repairing and installing new fencing and gates for homes and community facilities such as the playground and firewood area; and
  • constructing the Transitional Women's Living Unit, part of the new Whitehorse correctional centre.

Community Services also works to meet KDFN's housing needs. This is a very active and important area. In the past year, Community Services has strived to create better relationships and work together with its tenants to create a cleaner and healthier community.

Economic Development

There has been a tremendous increase in the number of economic opportunities for KDFN and its citizens, linked to the implementation of the land claims agreement. Planning for the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre progressed from the initial design stage. KDFN's Department of Economic Development took the lead on securing federal and territorial funding for the centre, negotiating a long-term lease for the Whitehorse Public Library and, together with the Cultural Centre Steering Committee, supporting the development of a design for the facility.

In 2008, a Skills and Business Survey collected information about the education, skills and future training needs of KDFN citizens between 19 and 60. The database of information collected is used to match qualified KDFN citizens with job opportunities, mostly in the construction industry. Economic Development has also recruited a Liaison Officer to work with KDFN citizens looking for employment and employers offering jobs. A joint venture agreement was finalized between KDFN and a private company. This allows the First Nation to bid on large construction projects that arise from the final agreement. The first contract awarded to the joint venture was a $2.7 million contract to provide construction management services for the new correctional facility in Whitehorse. Projects such as these help to build KDFN's capacity in the construction industry; this will allow it to take advantage of more economic activities.

Governance Secretariat

KDFN's Governance Secretariat was set up to respond to the demands of self-government. Its task is to develop a framework and strategies to guide the activities and priorities of other departments. The secretariat also manages KDFN's relationships with other governments, deals with elections and referendums, works on communications, develops KDFN laws and negotiates funding and other agreements related to the land claims agreement. It also provides support to Chief and Council and their committees.

The Governance Secretariat participated in the review by the Implementation Working Group, provided KDFN with communications support and supported Chief and Council, the Elders' Council, the Judicial Council and the Coalition of Northern Aboriginals for Self-Determination. The secretariat began a joint review of the land claim and self-government agreements and the Financial Transfer Agreement with Canada. The secretariat also held a meeting to discuss the beneficiary policies in KDFN's constitution.

Health and Justice

The Health and Justice Department has four main program areas:

  • Home and Community Health Services;
  • Community Wellness Program;
  • Dusk'a Head Start Learning Centre; and
  • Community Justice.

Home and Community Health Services continued to deliver health care support and nursing and doctor services to KDFN citizens, other Yukon First Nation citizens, and non-First Nation people. The Healthy Babies, Healthy Generations program delivered monthly lunches to more than 30 regular participants. A new Healthy Aboriginal Adult program — aimed at promoting active living and preventing disease — started in March 2009. The "No Fixed Address" street outreach van, staffed by KDFN nurses, helps provide health, safety and social services for people at risk living on the street. The Home and Community Health Services also provided a meals-on-wheels program twice per week to approximately 25 clients.

Almost 250 participants attended workshops, support groups, retreats and circles, including Elders Traditional Medicine, Recovery and Wellness Camp, and Positive Parenting. In addition, more than 100 clients obtained ongoing support and counselling. A gardening project provided food and life skills; more than 20 families participated, and many community and staff members contributed volunteer hours. The Community Wellness program also continued its support for the Kwanlin Koyotes Ski Club and completed a new curriculum for a land-based healing program.

The Dusk'a Learning Centre provided a preschool program focused on developing children's ability to enter kindergarten. The objectives of work this year were improving the education levels of staff members and providing curriculum training. An elder language advisor/teacher program was also successful.

The Community Justice program started community consultations on restructuring. Justice worked with the wellness program to deliver youth camps during spring break. Justice also hosted a First Nation Justice Network workshop, participated in the review of the Corrections Act, hosted men's group meetings and children's "Little Warriors" community training and delivered a ten-week women's program that promoted healing and healthy lifestyles for KDFN parents.

Heritage, Lands and Resources
Lands Administration

Lands Administration is working with the KDFN Lands Committee to put a settlement land regime in place and has completed a significant amount of research toward this goal. KDFN commissioned a comparative study of other Yukon First Nations land management systems. This study will be key in identifying what KDFN needs to cover in its own Lands Act and regulations. Lands Administration also continued to survey KDFN's settlement land; this is now approximately 92 percent completed, with only 21 parcels remaining. The department reviewed development applications submitted under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA) and participated in the five-year review of YESAA.

Land-use Planning

Local Area Plans are complete for most of the area north of Whitehorse, and for Golden Horn and Mount Lorne areas to the south. KDFN is also a member of the steering committee that was set up to develop a management plan for Kusawa Territorial Park. In July 2008, the steering committee co-hosted a three day gathering at Kusawa to develop a vision for the park. The following spring, the committee initiated public consultation on the draft vision and guiding principles.

Resource Management

Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, Carcross/Tagish First Nation and the Government of Yukon have signed the terms of reference to guide the development of a Southern Lakes Regional Forest Management Plan. KDFN also participated in the review of forestry regulations and of proposed changes to the Yukon's Oil and Gas Act.

Fish and Wildlife management

Work has continued on the multi-year Michie/McClintock Juvenile Chinook Salmon Study. It focuses on upper Michie Creek, the primary spawning location for salmon that migrate past Whitehorse. Maintenance of the Michie Creek Chinook salmon population is an important management objective of KDFN. KDFN also participated in the Northern Mountain Caribou Working Group and the Baikal Sedge Recovery Strategy, as well as the Southern Lakes Wildlife Coordinating Committee, which is focused on moose population recovery and harvest opportunities.

Heritage resource Management

In the past year the department initiated work on cataloguing and organizing existing KDFN heritage data. Data collection included updating old sound recordings, transcribing interviews and ensuring the preservation of these invaluable sources. The department also continued with research work on the ice patch west of Whitehorse and collection of traditional knowledge on hunting techniques and caribou migration from elders during tours to the ice patches. The department hosted elders' workshops on Fish Lake and the ice patch.

Other Efforts

KDFN is a member of a joint steering committee that is assessing capacity development opportunities and strategies for Yukon First Nations management and development of lands and natural resources in the traditional territories. The department is gathering information that had been collected by other governments about lands in the traditional territory. This is expected to help with land-use planning and other management decisions. Work completed in the past year includes development of a database for all community land selections, an extensive summer ecological inventory of rural land selections, collection of digital information from other governments; and the development of a photo database of all land selections.

Human Resources

The Human Resources department developed an effective human resource service. Building staff capacity within KDFN is an ongoing challenge as the First Nation becomes self-governing and takes on more responsibilities. A strong human resource service with a range of integrated functions will provide the foundation for managing and supporting KDFN's employees.

Education

Along with providing regular services for children and adults, Education staff also worked with Economic Development to develop and share the costs of a new staff position. The new position — Liaison Officer for Business and Employment Opportunities — links KDFN citizens to job opportunities created by the First Nation's economic development activities. The department also worked with Economic Development to develop a feasibility study for a community-based employment centre. Education staff offered classes in Northern and Southern Tutchone and Tlingit, and carried out a community planning initiative on aboriginal languages that will guide KDFN's work on teaching languages.

Social Assistance

Social Assistance has continued to assist eligible individuals and families with financial support for basic needs.



Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation

Located in Carmacks, the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN) has a membership of approximately 630 citizens.

Governance
Financial Transfer Agreement

LSCFN's current Financial Transfer Agreement (FTA) was extended for a year to March 31, 2010. This extension allows time to prepare for and begin negotiations of a new FTA. Data gathering in preparation for negotiations has been challenging. Frequent briefings are conducted to keep Chief and Council and senior staff apprised of progress.

Land Claims Agreement Coalition

Members of the Land Claims Agreement Coalition work together to ensure that comprehensive land claims and associated self-government agreements are fully implemented in order to achieve their objectives. Members include all settled comprehensive land claim governments and organizations in Canada. As part of the coalition, LSCFN attends meeting to discuss the challenges and successes of the lands claims and self government agreements. A significant number of implementation issues are common to land claims agreements in Canada.

Sharing of Laws

LSCFN agreed to provide copies of any new laws produced with the Governments of Canada and Yukon.

Land Use/Land Management
Land and Resource Atlas

In partnership with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, LSCFN produced a Land and Resource Atlas, which is ready to be printed. The atlas was intended to help all LSCFN citizens understand the Final Agreement and the management of the First Nation's lands and resources.

Renewable Resources

The River Rangers Program was reinstated to monitor activity on the Yukon River. It involves communication with river travelers, removing waste from camping spots and monitoring wildlife.

Heritage and Culture

The Heritage Department began planning for a new interpretive centre. Many tourists visit during the summer months and a larger facility is needed.

Health

An FTA amendment was concluded on Social Assistance Program Enhancement. This amendment ensures comparability with Government of Yukon Social Assistance rates, which recently increased.

Alcohol and Drug Services

LSCFN made site visits to several treatment centres in Alaska. A Treatment Centre Feasibility Study was completed for all the First Nations in Yukon to examine the practicality of a First Nation-run treatment centre in the Yukon. The treatment centres visited did not meet the needs of First Nations clients.

Education
Human Resources and Skills Development

Several self-governing First Nations, including LSCFN, continue to explore the development of a government-togovernment Labour Market Development Agreement similar to the arrangements between the Government of Canada and the provinces/territories. A working group has been struck to further this work. The process has been long and difficult.

Capacity

Lack of capacity remains a substantial problem in carrying out the obligations of land claims agreements. Trying to build and maintain capacity within LSCFN is a huge challenge: the Yukon Territory is a small place, and the communities are even smaller.

Justice

Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, Selkirk First Nation and First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun agreed to proceed collectively as the Northern Tutchone First Nations on negotiations for an Administration of Justice Agreement. A draft framework agreement has been developed and is being reviewed.

Finance

LSCFN adopted a new accounting system. Training staff members in the new system is a challenge.



Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) and Vuntut Gwitchin Government (VGG) are based in the community of Old Crow, the only community in the northern Yukon Territory. Situated on the banks of the Porcupine River, Old Crow is isolated from other communities and accessible only by aircraft.

Governance

VGG continued to advance shared priorities for the northern Yukon with the Government of Yukon through the VGG/ Government of Yukon Intergovernmental Relations Accord, and participated in the Intergovernmental Forum.

The Premier, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources and representatives of Yukon Electric met with VGG regarding the tank farm and related facilities. Chief Linklater coordinated a meeting for all major stakeholders to discuss fuel storage needs, possible relocation of the tank farm and energy efficiency needs and opportunities, as well as other priorities of the accord.

Unfortunately, VGG found it necessary to withdraw from the Council of Yukon First Nations. It received unanimous support for the resolution to do so at the VGFN General Assembly. Reasons for the withdrawal were provided to CYFN, the Premier of Yukon and the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs. Subsequent events have demonstrated the wisdom of that hard decision.

VGG's public safety plan and programs were advanced, and a Search and Rescue Plan was completed. The RCMP are responsible for this plan, with assistance from the community. Fire training is set up for anyone who is interested.

Natural Resource Management

In February 2009, VGFN held three days of community meetings to facilitate academic and government researchers in presenting the results of their research and activities from the previous year. Relating scientific research to community interests and needs continues to be an important initiative.

The North Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Plan was completed in early winter and is undergoing review by the Government of Yukon.

The VGG land registry was successfully implemented; applications dealt with a range of land uses by various parties. Creating an ongoing record of land use will be an important feature of land management.

Close monitoring of the Eagle Plains Sewage Treatment and Disposal Facility has been necessary due to the related pollution of VGG lands and the environment. An investigation by the Government of Yukon is ongoing and remediation activity is proceeding. The VGG Lands Branch made two site visits during the past year and worked with the Government of Yukon to improve water sampling efforts in the area. Numerous letters have been written to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board and the Yukon Water Board to ensure that regulators are aware of the importance of the issue.

A number of fuel spills and leaks were observed and reported to the Lands Branch. VGG was able to clean up the spills before significant damage was done to land or water resources.

The Premier and representatives from Yukon Electric visited again to discuss upgrading a community generator; the parties also discussed waste heat recovery from buildings as a source of "green" energy and relocating the tank farm across the airport runway to avoid potential catastrophic events relating to fuel, electrical power and communication facilities, which are presently located at a single site.

The North Yukon Land-Use Plan continues to be a high priority for VGG and VG citizens and involves considerable focus and resources. The initiative has received substantial interest as the first land-use plan in the Yukon to utilize a method of land assessment called A Landscape Cumulative Effects Simulator (ALCES). The plan recommends designation of the central Whitefish Wetlands and Summit Lake-Bell River corridor as a protected area. A draft recommended plan was received by VGG in April 2008. A period of review followed, which involved community consultation in Old Crow and consultation between VGG and the Government of Yukon. The final recommended plan was submitted to VGG and the Government of Yukon in January 2009. VGG looks forward to approval of the plan and to utilizing it as a land-use guide in VGFN traditional territory.

The Porcupine Caribou Harvest Management Strategy entered the second of three phases. Phase two involves the development of a Harvest Management Plan by First Nations user groups and the Governments of Yukon, NWT and Canada. The Porcupine Caribou Herd is a critical issue for VGG; Old Crow is in the heart of the herd's range and has strong links to it. It has been extremely challenging to make joint decisions. Developing phase three, the Native User Agreement, will likely prove to be an even greater challenge because of the varying views on herd conservation, shared use and perspectives on the aboriginal right to hunt.

As a part of the VGG/Government of Yukon initiative for the Bear Cave area of Fishing Branch Ni'iinlii Njik Park, VGG will implement a management strategy to carefully control access to Bear Cave Mountain and settlement lands adjacent to the Ecological Preserve.

An administrative arrangement was made by VGG's Department of Natural Resources to further support the North Yukon Renewable Resources Council.

Education

VGG received funds from Yukon Crime Prevention, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement, which was combined with internal funding to provide high school students and post-secondary students with employment from June 30 to August 29, 2008 for positions in Government Services, Recreation, Natural Resources, Chief and Council, and Human Resources. Other specialized training programs included Harassment Prevention, Respectful Workplace, Job Safety for Young Workers (with the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board), Myers-Briggs, Career Planning, Writing for the Professional (with the Government of Yukon), and training for aboriginal women in sport.

VGFN hosted the first ever Gwich'in Youth Gathering, intended to contribute to future international Gwich'in cultural gatherings and maintenance of Gwich'in culture.

Justice

Healing from the residential school experience is ongoing. Many people used their settlement money to help their families.

As a result of Yukon Justice programs, VGG will be funded for implementation of related programs for the next five years. VGG finds it challenging to fill positions for the Justice Committee. In order for the Old Crow diversion program (which diverts criminal offenders from incarceration) to be effective, community members are being encouraged to participate.

During the past year, there has been an increase in cases coming before the Territorial Court in Old Crow. Most of them are related to the prohibition on alcohol.

Finance

VGG participated in the consultation commitment on the proposed changes to social assistance rates under the agreement on reciprocal arrangements for the provision of income assistance. The rates increased in July 2008. VGG continues to work with Canada to ensure that this enhancement is covered under its Financial Transfer Agreement. VGG had previously imposed an exceptionally limited social assistance regime, below the level of Government of Yukon and other allowances.

VGG continue to administer its communication cost recovery from citizens and discontinued services to those who did not make appropriate payments.

Heritage and Culture

VGG continues to search for Gwich'in cultural material worldwide. The department received a collection of photos from a teacher who lived in Old Crow in the late 1960s. Through Libraries and Archives Canada, VGG received copies of photos from Roy and Marg Hall, who were in Old Crow in the mid-1960s.

VGG hired a group of workers to reconstruct buildings at Rampart House. The reconstruction of this historic site is on schedule.

Information Services

VGG has continued to acquire technological systems, software and hardware to support its departments and citizens.

Health

Negotiations were completed on hiring a Family Support Worker, with funding from the Government of Yukon for a three-year term.

Chief and Council provided $131,000 to the Working Committee of the Old Crow Community Services Complex for plans and schematics. Funding applications have been made to a number of sources that support related programs. The department continued with changes to reflect arrangements necessitated by community demands and arrangements with the Yukon.

Although the Health and Fitness program ended this year, VGG successfully negotiated funding for a one-year Sport and Recreation Program, meeting last year's GA resolution to improve the previous recreation program. The new program will provide a structured curriculum encompassing both physical activities (such as skiing and snowshoeing) and recreational activities (such as art, music and dance). VGG recruited a Recreation Coordinator.

VGG also participated in various First Nations healing and social development programs.






Implementing Bodies

Alsek Renewable Resources Council

The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Final Agreement created the Alsek Renewable Resources Council (ARRC) as the primary instrument for local renewable resource management in its traditional territory. The council provides a voice for local community members in managing renewable resources such as fish, wildlife and forests. ARRC began its work in 1995.

Renewable resource councils provide input into planning and regulation by territorial, federal and First Nations governments. ARRC's jurisdiction is the Champagne and Aishihik Traditional Territory (CATT), which includes the communities of Haines Junction, Canyon Creek, Takhini, Mendenhall, Silver City, Kloo Lake, Aishihik and Klukshu. The council is located in one of the more heavily utilized areas in Yukon, and is especially active due to the wide variety of projects and processes in the traditional territory with potential impacts on fish, wildlife and habitat.

ARRC members as of March 31, 2009
    Term Ends Nominated By
Paul Birckel Co-chair March 31, 2010 Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
Wade Istchenko Co-chair March 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Boyd Campbell Member March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon
Patt Delaney Member March 31, 2009 Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
Remie Dionne Member March 31, 2011 Government of Yukon
Greg Eikland Member March 31, 2010 Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
Ron Chambers Alternate March 31, 2010 Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
Hardy Ruf Alternate March 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Management Planning
Strategic Forest Management Plan

Throughout 2008–09 ARRC remained involved with implementation of the Strategic Forest Management Plan (SFMP).

ARRC's co-chair Paul Birckel sat as a member of the Forestry Steering Group.

Government of Yukon (Forestry) and CAFN recognized the limitations on council and continues to send updates and inform council about upcoming meetings.

Integrated Fish and Wildlife Management Plan

The Integrated Wildlife Management Plan (IWMP) for the CATT was a high priority in 2008–09. Although the plan is still at the draft stage, the council has started to implement some action items. ARRC — with plan partners Environment Yukon, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN), and Kluane National Park and Reserve — hosted public meetings about grizzly bear monitoring in CATT, met numerous times to discuss possible techniques for such a project, and worked together to find principles and processes acceptable to the people of the CATT. ARRC purchased a camera as part of its educational efforts and placed it in several places throughout the CATT to photograph wildlife passing through. The partners also hosted a public meeting in Haines Junction on bear/human conflicts, with representatives from the Bow Valley Wildsmart program and the B.C. Bear Aware program. The meeting was well attended, and provided a great deal of information that could be used within the CATT.

Dezadeash Lake Management Plan

Due to concerns on the part of a planning partner this plan had been tabled for some time. ARRC met with its planning partners in 2008–09 and reviewed the concerns. Although the plan is still in draft form, the partners have moved forward with some of the action items. One initiative is public awareness signage in the Dezadeash Lake area. In 2006–07 ARRC worked with the Government of Yukon's Department of Tourism and Culture to develop signs for Dezadeash Lake and three other areas on the Haines Highway.

Bison Management

The council continues to participate with bison management planning, particularly in relation to management of the Aishihik herd. ARRC is represented at meetings of the Bison Technical Team, which primarily deal with harvest management and overall management planning. ARRC is updated regularly and has input to bison harvests, surveys and other matters as part of its role in bison management.

Other Mandated Responsibilities
Trapping

Trapping continues to be a high priority for ARRC. The council continues to promote trapping and encourages partnerships between concession holders and assistant trappers. ARRC reviewed most trapline concessions in the CATT in 2008–09 and wrote to all trappers in the CATT to remind them that it would help them find an assistant if needed.

ARRC had previously bought some trapping equipment to lend to community organizations in the hopes that more young people would show an interest in trapping. In 2008–09 a student asked to use the equipment and subsequently sent a report to council outlining his success. In April 2008 ARRC, with CAFN, co-hosted the second annual CAFN Trappers Meeting in Haines Junction and gave a presentation on the council's trapline criteria. It is anticipated that ARRC will develop a workplan to address specific trapping issues as time and funding allow. The council continues to look for ways to enhance trapping in the community.

Land Use/YESAA

The regulations of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA) were approved and finalized in November 2005. ARRC members and staff continue to learn the YESAA process and the computerized format. Council members reviewed and commented on project proposals as required. Members also reviewed many land-use applications within the CATT in 2008–09. Council members and staff took part in the five-year review of YESAA.

YESAA and the current land-use process is proving to be frustrating and time consuming. Council members also find it discouraging to continually make the same comments. In 2008–09 the council saw many applications for agriculture, most in areas considered to have sensitive ecosystems or habitat. Cumulative effects are not considered under YESAA, and the council was unable to support any land applications without a land-use plan. ARRC will continue to contribute to land-use planning for the area in response to the increased demand for land for agriculture, grazing and other uses.

Water Use

ARRC reviewed several water-use applications within the CATT, most related to mining.

Changes to Wildlife Act Regulations

ARRC distributed booklets and made the public aware of the Government of Yukon web site, which promoted involvement in this issue. Council received written responses to many of the proposed regulation changes and forwarded them to the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board.

Scientist Applications and Reviews

ARRC reviews requests for research permits and the results of projects within the CATT. This has helped build a relationship with the Arctic Institute of North America and the Kluane Red Squirrel Project.

Partnerships
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

The council enjoys a good working relationship with the staff of CAFN. Several staff members in the Department of Heritage, Lands and Resources provide support and information on many issues related to fish, wildlife, forestry and land use, and they participate in most ARRC meetings. CAFN invites ARRC to its annual General Assembly and asks the council to host a display board. CAFN and ARRC co-hosted two events in 2008–09: the Trappers Meeting and the "Climate Change in Our Backyard 2" workshop. CAFN has also contributed to ARRC's summer student program.

Government of Yukon

The Department of Environment's Biologist and Technician for the Kluane Region provides information and support to the council by making available harvest data, research and other pertinent information, and by participating during council and management planning meetings. The local Conservation Officers have also been active. The council provided input to the Integrated Wildlife Management Plan (IWMP) for the CATT and met often with Department of Environment staff in Whitehorse regarding management planning. ARRC attends meetings of the elk and bison technical teams, as well as meetings related to winter tick. Council met with the Forest Management branch to review and discuss the draft Forestry Act. Council members also attended the Government of Yukon's Environmental Forum in Whitehorse.

Government of Canada

Since devolution, ARRC has had less contact with Government of Canada staff. However, ARRC is consulted and updated periodically on national renewable resource management decisions and issues. Kluane National Park & Reserve (Parks Canada) has been a contributor to the Summer Student program and a partner in the IWMP.

Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board

The Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board provides support in many areas to renewable resource councils. In 2008–09 the board initiated and partnered with ARRC to host the symposium,"Yukon Fish and Wildlife – a 20:20 Vision." This territory-wide initiative included meetings in Whitehorse and the communities. Council members attended these meetings and distributed and collected questionnaires from the community. The council's co-chairs also attended the annual RRC chairs' meeting hosted by the board.

Other Renewable Resource Councils

ARRC attended the annual RRC meeting, held in Teslin in September 2008. This meeting provides a forum for RRCs to discuss the issues that they address in their traditional territories. RRCs face many similar problems, and learning about each others' methods and issues helps them carry out their work and take positions on subjects of public interest. Attending the meetings also provides an opportunity to get to know each other and build good working relationships. ARRC members look forward to the next annual meeting, which will be held in Whitehorse in October 2009.

Salmon Sub-Committee

ARRC and the Salmon Sub-Committee have worked together to host public meetings in recent years. The committee also updates the council regularly on fisheries issues related to the Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers and their tributaries.

Ducks Unlimited

The council receives regular updates from Ducks Unlimited on waterfowl surveys and related observations in wetlands in a number of areas in the CATT.

Village of Haines Junction

ARRC and Village council maintain a good flow of information on overlapping activities.

Communication
Public meetings

All of ARRC's regular meetings are open to the public. The council also hosts an annual public meeting to provide info about the council and to talk with community members.

Newsletter

The ARRC update was distributed again in 2008–09 via the St. Elias Echo, the CAFN newsletter, and through e-mail distribution. The council uses these newsletters to communicate with residents of the traditional territory about council activities, advertise upcoming meetings and events, and to encourage community input into ARRC issues.

Web Site

Information about ARRC is available through the web site of the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board (www.yfwmb.ca/rrc/alsek). ARRC posts its minutes, upcoming events and links to information on the site; this has made it easier to communicate with a broader audience.

Administration

The Executive Director provided support to the council to carry out its projects and responsibilities. She also meets budgeting, financial tracking and reporting requirements, coordinates meetings, prepares minute, communicates with partners, carries out research, forwards information to members, attends meetings, and drafts daily written communications.

Financial Accountability

The Executive Director maintained a record of the council's financial activities in 2008–09. The council is in good financial standing and a copy of its 2008–09 audited financial statement is available.



Carmacks Renewable Resources Council

The Carmacks Renewable Resources Council (CRRC) is a voice for the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN) in managing its renewable resources, such as fish, wildlife and forests. The CRRC mandate to assist in management decisions related to fish, wildlife and their habitat is outlined in Chapter 16 of the LSCFN Final Agreement. CRRC also provides local input to manage forest resources as mandated in Chapter 17 of the LSCFN Final Agreement.

CRRC is comprised of six council members: three nominated by the LSCFN and three by the Government of Yukon. The First Nation and the Government of Yukon each nominate one alternate. Members and alternates are appointed by the Minister of Environment; the chair is chosen by the members. Appointments are for three-year terms and can be renewed. One co-chair position was vacant as of March 31, 2009.

CRRC members as of March 31, 2009
    Term Ends Nominated By
Don Marino Co-chair March 31, 2011 Government of Yukon
Gary Sam Member March 31, 2011 Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
Alma Wrixon Member March 31, 2013 Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
Merval Ambrose Member March 31, 2012 Government of Yukon
Bill Johnnie Sr. Member March 31, 2012 Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
Alfred Tricker Member March 31, 2013 Government of Yukon
Jordan Mullett Alternate March 31, 2013 Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
Gilbert Tulk Alternate March 31, 2013 Government of Yukon


Dän Keyi Renewable Resources Council

The Dän Keyi Renewable Resources Council (DKRRC) was established as the primary instrument for local renewable resource management in the territory of the Kluane First Nation (KFN) as set out in the Final Agreement. DKRRC, acting in the public interest, makes recommendations to the Minister, KFN, the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board and the Salmon Sub-committee on any matter related to the conservation of fish and wildlife referred to in Chapter 16 of the KFN Final Agreement. This includes conservation of fish and wildlife, forest resource management and proposed special management areas and management plans.

DKRRC is comprised of eight members: KFN and the Government of Yukon each nominate three members and one alternate.

DKRRC members as of March 31, 2009
    Term Ends Nominated By
Louise Bouvier Co-chair September 7, 2009 Government of Yukon
Joe Bruneau Co-chair March 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Dennis Dickson Member January 31, 2010 Kluane First Nation
Peter Upton Member January 31, 2011 Government of Yukon
Vacant Member   Kluane First Nation
Pauline Wroot Member January 31, 2012 Kluane First Nation
Doug MacKay Alternate January 31, 2011 Government of Yukon
Sharon Kabanak Alternate January 31, 2011 Kluane First Nation
Council Meetings

DKRRC represents the interests of the community in the KFN traditional territory regarding the management of renewable resources. All regular council meetings are open to the public and public involvement in renewable resource issues is welcomed. Council attempts to hold regular meetings on the first Tuesday of each month; council meetings were held on the following dates:

  • April 15, 2008
  • May 6, 2008
  • June 10, 2008
  • July 8, 2008
  • October 7, 2008
  • November 4, 2008
  • December 2, 2008
  • January 5, 2009
  • March 2, 2009
  • March 23, 2009
Other Meetings
Sheep quotas for outfitters, Ruby Range area

This is an ongoing concern for DKRRC. The council continues to meet with Government of Yukon representatives and KFN to work toward a lower harvest level of sheep in the Ruby Range area.

Kluane First Nation

DKRRC met regularly with representatives from KFN's Lands and Renewable Resources divisions. These meetings have ensured that topics of common concern are worked on together, and duplication of work is avoided. DKRRC and KFN worked on a range of issues, including concerns with sheep in the Ruby Range area, Swede Johnson Creek, and the no-hunting corridor along the Alaska Highway.

Yukon First Nations History, Culture, Agreements and Self-Government Course

One member attended this four-day workshop, which followed the oral history of Yukon First Nations culture and provided information about spiritual beliefs, potlatches and the clan systems and how these factors influenced contemporary Yukon land claim negotiations. The course also examined the Umbrella Final Agreement, First Nation final agreements and the implementation of self-government agreements.

Trapline Criteria

DKRRC was able to refine this document with the assistance of a land claim analyst and a fur harvest technician. The document was submitted to the Minister for approval in 2007–08.

Environment Forum

Members from DKRRC attended the annual Environment Forum in Whitehorse, along with other renewable resource councils, non-government organizations, federal and territorial government departments and the private sector. The focus for the forum was how day-to-day lives and community activities are connected to environmental management. Topics included recycling and waste management, climate change in the classroom and how to "green" an office.

Wildlife Viewing Workshop

A representative from DKRRC attended a wildlife viewing workshop in Whitehorse. The workshop raised awareness of wildlife viewing opportunities and programs and events. Participants discussed wildlife viewing management in the Yukon and opportunities, successes and future directions.

Annual Chairs' Meeting

Two representatives attended the annual RRC chairs' meeting, which was held in Whitehorse. Topics covered included the wolf incentive program, community trapper training, trapper education for youth, restrictions on all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles, and restraint when harvesting moose.

Yukon Fish and Wildlife – a 20:20 Vision

The Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, renewable resource councils and the Salmon Sub-Committee worked together on this initiative. The objective of the symposium was to learn what interest Yukoners have in their fish and wildlife resources, how satisfied they were with the current management of these resources, and how they would like to see them managed by the year 2020. DKRRC also hosted a community symposium in Burwash Landing to ensure that community members who could not attend the symposium in Whitehorse had an opportunity to participate.

Wildland Fire Management

The wildland fire zone policy was transferred from Canada to the Yukon by the terms of the Devolution Transfer Agreement on April 1, 2003. The Zone Protection Manager with the Government of Yukon's Wildfire Operations met with DKRRC to discuss the policies and procedures for wildland fires in the Yukon. DKRRC members were informed that when the fire management policy is reviewed the department would consult them in their role as stakeholders.

Training

DKRRC attended several training sessions with the Yukon Volunteer Bureau on the roles and responsibilities of boards, chairing effective meetings, engaging the public and communication strategies. Board members also attended a human rights workshop.

Consultations

The council participated in several consultations:

  • proposed Yukon Species at Risk Act;
  • draft energy strategy;
  • Government of Yukon's Climate Change Action Plan;
  • proposed Forest Resources Act; and
  • the five-year review of YESAB.
Newsletter

DKRRC distributed newsletters as a way of communicating with the residents of the KFN traditional territory. The newsletters provide information on the DKRRC's activities and encourage community members to provide input into issues that concern the council.

Administration

The Executive Director provided support to the council to carry out its duties and responsibilities. She also supports the council by meeting budgeting, financial tracking and reporting requirements, assisting with meeting coordination, preparing minutes, carrying out research, forwarding information to members, attending meetings and drafting written communications.

Financial Accountability

The Executive Director managed and maintained a record of all the council's financial activities in 2008–09. The council is in good financial standing and a copy of its 2008–09 audited financial statement is available.



Dispute Resolution Board

The Dispute Resolution Board (DRB) was established in April 1996. The board facilitates a comprehensive process to resolve disputes arising from the interpretation, administration and implementation of settlement agreements, settlement legislation and disputes referred to it by the Parties to the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA).

The board continues to respond to inquiries regarding the Yukon land claims enrollment process and to direct these inquiries to the appropriate Yukon First Nation. Some Yukon First Nations provide copies of their enrollment records to the DRB; these records are assessed and archived in case they are needed in the event of an appeal.

DRB continues to raise awareness of the board and its processes through an informational brochure and the CYFN web site (www.cyfn.ca/disputeresolutionboard).

DRB members as of March 31, 2009
Steven Smyth  
Barbara Joe Chair
Grant Macdonald  

DRB operated with a full panel of three board members, who were appointed in January 2009 for three-year terms. Barbara Joe was selected as chair for a one-year term. The members agreed to each serve a one-year term as chair.

DRB board member terms do not overlap; they end at the same time. The appointment process is slow, and a more responsive and effective process for replacing board members is needed. If the parties do not nominate board members in a timely fashion the DRB can be in the position of having no board members, as happened between November 2008 and January 2009. DRB retained a law firm to establish a corporate trust agreement ensuring that operational costs would continue to be paid during this time.

The board members met soon after they were appointed to select a chair, terminate the trust agreement, transfer the funds back to the DRB bank account, review the board's history and review the budget for the next fiscal year. The board members held a meeting with the previous chair to familiarize themselves with DRB history and assist with employee evaluation.

The DRB office moved during the fiscal year.



Laberge Renewable Resources Council

The Laberge Renewable Resources Council (LRRC) is a voice for the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council (TKC) in managing its renewable resources. The LRRC mandate to assist in management decisions related to fish, wildlife and their habitat is outlined in Chapter 16 of the TKC Final Agreement. The LRRC also provides local input to the management of forest resources, as mandated in Chapter 17 of the TKC Final Agreement.

LRRC is comprised of six members: three nominated by TKC and three by the Government of Yukon. The First Nation and the Government of Yukon each nominate one alternate. Members and alternates are appointed by the Minister of Environment; the chair is chosen by the council members. Appointments are for three-year terms and can be renewed.

LRRC met on January 12, 2009 regarding the Forestry Act, proposals for wildlife studies, the five-year review of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act, and proposed YESAB projects, among other things. The council met February 9, 2009; topics included a Yukon Conservation Society presentation, Forestry Act regulations, trapping, and the YESAB review of the Livingstone Trail quarry expansion. LRRC met again on March 9, 2009 regarding trapping, the Southern Lakes Wildlife Coordinating Committee, and a review of the council's Rules and Operating Procedures.

LRRC members as of March 31, 2009
    Term Ends Nominated By
Dorothy Bradley Co-chair September 30, 2011 Government of Yukon
Frances Woolsey Co-chair September 30, 2011 Ta'an Kwäch'än Council
David Bunbury Member September 30, 2012 Ta'an Kwäch'än Council
Manfred Hoefs Member September 30, 2013 Government of Yukon
Dev Hurlburt Member September 30, 2012 Government of Yukon
Sam Broeren Member September 13, 2011 Ta'an Kwäch'än Council
Peter Jensen Alternate September 30, 2013 Government of Yukon
Vacant Alternate   Ta'an Kwäch'än Council


Mayo District Renewable Resources Council

The Mayo District Renewable Resources Council (MDRRC) is a primary instrument for local renewable resource management in the traditional territory of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun (FNNND) as mandated in the Final Agreement. The council is made up of six members: three appointed by the First Nation and three by the Government of Yukon. Each government also appoints an alternate member.

MDRRC is responsible for integrating all aspects of the First Nation's values into ensuring the conservation, preservation and enhancement of renewable resources for current and future generations. The council works with many organizations, including FNNND, the Village of Mayo, the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, Yukon Department of Environment, and the other RRCs. Without these partnerships, some, if not all, of the council's work would be impossible.

MDRRC members as of March 31, 2009
    Term Ends Nominated By
Frank Patterson Chair March 31, 2010 FNNND
Loralee Johnstone Vice-chair March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon
Scott Bolton Member March 31, 2013 Government of Yukon
Dawna Hope Member March 31, 2013 FNNND
Ken Cooper Member March 31, 2010 Government of Yukon
Jimmy Johnny Member March 31, 2009 FNNND
Vacant Alternate March 31, 2014 Government of Yukon
Vacant Alternate   FNNND
Meetings and Workshops

MDRRC continued to be busy with many projects to review, discuss and report. The council has been diligent in informing and updating the community and providing feedback on issues within the traditional territory of FNNND.

Regular council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Special meetings are held to accommodate projects and delegations and the community at large. Council members also participate in numerous other meetings, workshops, conferences and presentations, both individually and as MDRRC representatives. In 2008–09 there were 21 regular meetings and 14 special meetings.

Special meetings
2008 April 24 Mayo Fish and Wildlife Management Plan and Stewart River Habitat Protection Area Mayo
April 25 Yukon Forestry Act Dawson
April 26 Joint Council, Tetlit Gwich'in RRC Dawson
May 1–2 Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board Chairs Whitehorse
June 20–21 Outdoor Information Fair Mayo
September 29–October 1 RRC Annual General Meeting Teslin
October 22 Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board Whitehorse
October 29–30 Peel Watershed Planning Commission Whitehorse
November 17 Mayo Fish and Wildlife Management Plan Mayo
November 25 Yukon Energy Corporation Mayo B enhancement project Mayo
November 27–28 Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board's 20:20 Vision Whitehorse
2009 January 15 Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board's 20:20 Vision Mayo
February 2 Peel Watershed Planning Commission, land-use draft plans Mayo
March 9 Outfitter negotiations Mayo

Many territorial organizations seek the council's comments regarding activities and legislation affecting the FNNND traditional territory. Several of these initiatives will continue for many years, including the Wildlife Act, Porcupine Caribou Management Board, Forest Resource legislation and YESAB.

Management Planning

MDRRC participated in various management planning sessions during the year. Council was also involved in the redraft of the Mayo Fish and Wildlife Management Plan, which entered its second five-year schedule. Council attended numerous in-house sessions and two community presentations. Community members were invited to share their ideas and concerns through canvassed questionnaires and open forum sessions. Council was pleased with the participation and with the information that was gathered. The plan is expected to be finalized in the next fiscal year.

Special Projects

The Mayo Community Ecological Monitoring Project, initiated by the regional biologist for the Northern Tutchone region, continued. The project monitors berry production, aspen leaf miners, numbers of small mammals, weather, traditional knowledge and local seasonal changes witnessed by community members. Local residents who spend much of their time on the land are interviewed regularly. The regional biologist gives MDRRC regular reports on monitoring.

Council also gets regular updates on the moose monitoring project; it measures hunting pressures and the effects of the voluntary hunting closure in the McQuesten and Ethel lakes area. This information is critical in decision-making for all projects within the FNNND traditional territory.

Trapping

Council continues to maintain a trapping file with information about interested qualified trappers and any traplines that are vacant, under-utilized or in need of assistants. MDRRC had only a few traplines to allocate during the year.

Council is exploring the possibility of having a local person trained as a trapper trainer. This individual would assist with training, applications, equipment and information and would help support the trapping industry.

Outfitting

Council maintains contact with outfitters and has information on operations and meat distribution within the territory. No quotas were negotiated with local outfitters during the year.

Land, Mining and Water-use Applications

Council had another busy year, with many water, land, mining, scientific and forestry applications. One major mining project affects a large area near Keno. Council members have begun to invite specialists to help educate them about the different aspects of these applications.



Teslin Renewable Resources Council

The Teslin Renewable Resources Council (TRRC) was established as the primary instrument for local renewable resource management in the Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) traditional territory, as set out in the Teslin Tlingit Council Final Agreement. TRRC is comprised of ten members: one nominee from each of the five clans of the Teslin Tlingit Council and five nominees of the Government of Yukon.

TRRC, acting in the public interest and consistent with Chapter 16 of the Umbrella Final Agreement, may make recommendations to the Minister, TTC, the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board and the Salmon Sub-Committee on any matter related to the conservation of fish and wildlife and forest management.

TRRC members as of March 31, 2009
    Term Ends Nominated By
Sandy Smarch Chair March 31, 2010 TTC - Ishkîtàn Clan
Frank Johnstone Vice-chair March 31, 2013 Government of Yukon
Alex Oakley Member March 31, 2013 TTC - Deshîtan Clan
Tim Dewhurst Member March 31, 2009 TTC - Dakhtawêdi Clan
John Martychuk Member March 31, 2010 TTC - Kùkhhittàn Clan
Mike Gergel Member March 31, 2009 TTC - Yanyèdi Clan
Adam Grinde Member March 31, 2009 Government of Yukon
Al Evans Member March 31, 2011 Government of Yukon
Neil Johnson Member March 31, 2013 Government of Yukon
Jim Lamberton Member March 31, 2011 Government of Yukon
Meetings and Workshops

TRRC held 12 regular council meetings, one special meeting and two budget meetings.

Council also met regarding the Fish and Wildlife Management Plan; a review of the Wildlife Act and regulations; trapping; outfitting; mining; the Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area; climate change; the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act; the Yukon River Working Group; the Yukon Energy Strategy; forestry; the Southern Lakes Wildlife Coordinating Committee; moose studies and surveys; and species at risk.

In addition, the council attended the RRC Chairs Annual Meeting in May 2008 and hosted the annual general meeting of renewable resource councils in September 2008. TRRC members attended the annual general meeting of the Yukon Trappers Association in April 2008 and the annual community information session and barbecue in Teslin in June 2008.

Council members attended the trappers dinner and meeting in April 2008, the Yukon Environmental Forum in May 2008; the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board 20:20 symposium in November 2008 and the public meeting on proposed regulation changes to the Wildlife Act, in Whitehorse in December 2008.

Teslin Fish and Wildlife Management Plan

The Fish and Wildlife Management Plan was redrafted in 2007 following a number of community workshops but has yet to be signed by the partners. The Government of Yukon has been researching the legalities of all management plans and has indicated that some new legal information will need to be added to the document. The plan was for the five-year period ending in 2012. In 2009 a mid-term review will take place to determine which actions items have been completed.

The management plan is an important tool for the council to work with to ensure the health and conservation of fish and wildlife for generations to come. TRRC uses the fish and wildlife management plan as a reference document to complete work on actions items. A number of these action items are listed here.

Moose Habitat Study

The Teslin Moose Habitat Study continued through the 2008–09 fiscal year. The study is being taken to get a better understanding of moose habitat use and movement patterns. The study will run until 2010. The project is taking place in an area called South Canol West that was identified as an area of concern in the Teslin Fish and Wildlife Management Plan. It is bounded by the Teslin River to the west, the South Canol Road to the east and a series of watershed drainages and heights of land to the north.

The study's project team regularly update TRRC and TTC. TTC Lands and Resources staff have taken part in flights to monitor the cows and their calves. Members of the public have been helpful in providing details and locations of moose they have seen.

A public presentation on the findings will be held once the study has concluded.

Southern Lakes Wildlife Coordinating Committee

The Southern Lakes Wildlife Coordinating Committee (SLWCC) coordinates the management of caribou, moose, sheep and other wildlife and their habitat in the Southern Lakes area. The committee's key responsibility is to develop a regional assessment of certain wildlife species and their habitat. The SLWCC works with First Nation governments, other governments, wildlife management bodies and interest groups, as well as the public, to assemble the best information to guide their work.

Trapping

TRRC spends an immense amount of time on trapping issues within the traditional territory and on lobbying for all Yukon trappers. The council would like to see more trappers on the land and using assistant trappers as a way to promote the trapping industry. Some of the benefits of trapping include a healthier lifestyle and added income. Trappers can provide a wealth of traditional knowledge relating to wildlife and their habitat. This type of information continues to be an important part of the management of renewable resources within the traditional territory.

During winter and spring a number of youth from the Teslin School took part in a trapper education program that provided hands-on experience. Council Vice-Chair Frank Johnstone and staff from the TTC Lands and Resources office organized the program and instructed the students.

TRRC is developing an information handbook to assist trappers with different aspects of the industry such as requirements, regulations, fur sales and market expectations. The council will submit a number of proposals for changes to trapping regulation to the government later in 2009.

Teslin Lake Bird Observatory

The Teslin Lake bird-banding station operated from April to mid-June and from August to mid-September 2008. The observatory completed its fourth year of operation thanks to financial support from several government and non-government agencies. TRRC provides some financial support to the station.

Many of the birds banded at Teslin Lake migrate long distances, spending the winter months as far south as Central and South America. The observatory gathers baseline data for birds and their migrations to the Teslin region and the Yukon. The observatory is a valuable research and monitoring project, contributing to a better understanding of the distribution of many of the Yukon's bird species, many of which are uncommon or rare.

The observatory regularly hosts groups from Whitehorse schools and Yukon College.

Proposed Change to Hunting Regulations

In the fall of 2008 TRRC and TTC jointly submitted a proposal to the Government of Yukon recommending that three game management zones (GMZs) along the Nisutlin River be subdivided to facilitate monitoring of the moose harvest within the Nisutlin River drainage. TRRC and TTC felt that the existing GMZs were too large and poorly configured to allow changes in harvest levels to be monitored effectively. Monitoring of the moose harvest in the area needs to be able to support a fast response to any unsustainable increases.

The Nisutlin and Wolf river drainages are well known as important moose ranges within the traditional territory and are heavily hunted due to easy access. TTC informed the public that for the 2008 hunting season no access permits for the GMZs in the area would be issued to persons living outside the traditional territory.

TRRC members attended a public meeting in Whitehorse about the issue. No opposition to the proposal was noted; however, the Government of Yukon did not accept the proposal and indicated that it would like to do more research on the matter with TTC. TRRC is determining how best to proceed.

Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area

As partners in the management plan for the Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area (NRDNWA), TRRC and TTC continue to work with the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) on matters related to the region.

CWS conducted a vegetation analysis change study for the region, which was completed in the spring of 2008. The analysis was inconclusive due to a lack of low-water imagery. The partners of the management plan will continue to monitor the situation in the delta.

As directed by the management plan, the impacts of public use within the wildlife area need to be monitored. Most human use within the NRDNWA occurs along the Nisutlin River. The management plan partners will continue to work on this issue into 2009 to determine the best way to proceed.

Public Information Session and Community Barbecue

As per the Fish and Wildlife Management Plan, TRRC sponsors and organizes a public information session for the community each June. In 2008 Corporal Shawn Pike of the RCMP spoke with schoolchildren and members of the public about boating and water safety.

TRRC members cooked a barbecue lunch following the session. Residents and visitors to the community, along with the schoolchildren, were invited to the Teslin Friendship Park for lunch and to meet the council members. The weather was nice and there was a good turnout. The crowd attending the barbecue seems to get bigger each year. This year council members were happy to see a contingent of seniors and elders enjoying the good weather and busy children. The employees of the Village of Teslin graciously set up the park area for the event.

In conjunction with the public information session, TRRC held a poster contest for students from kindergarten to grade ten. The subject was renewable resources. Approximately two dozen posters were entered and were put on display at the information session and barbeque. All the contestants were awarded prizes and a life jacket was donated to the school to present to a deserving student on award day.



Training Policy Committee

The Training Policy Committee (TPC) was established by Chapter 28 of the Umbrella Final Agreement and the Yukon First Nations Land Claims Settlement Act. The committee deals with training matters resulting from land claim implementation. The committee supports Yukon First Nations people in obtaining training to implement land claim agreements and to fully participate in economic opportunities arising from implementation. The committee works with First Nations who require assistance in developing training plans to obtain funds from the Yukon Indian Peoples' Training Trust (YIPTT). The members of the committee are also the trustees of the YIPTT.

The Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) nominates and appoints three members of the committee, and the Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada each nominate and appoint one member. The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development appoints the federal member.

TPC members as of March 31, 2009
    Nominated By
Judy Gingell Chair Council of Yukon First Nations
Norma Shorty Member Council of Yukon First Nations
Tammy Taylor Member Council of Yukon First Nations
Pamela Hine Member Government of Yukon
Karen Wienberg Member Government of Canada

TPC continued to support Yukon First Nation beneficiaries in building capacity through skills-based training. It has established innovative and creative partnerships with First Nation citizens and Yukon College. The First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun offered a Heritage and Culture Essential Skills program that provided basic educational training through applied learning using photography, genealogy, language and research.

Three First Nations created a partnership to train people to build log homes; 18 students completed the course, which included rigging and hoisting, log scribing, construction, chainsaw maintenance and first aid. Participants gained skills that are needed in their communities, and two log homes were constructed.

Conflict resolution training for First Nations was another priority. The extensive requirement for consensus-based committee work continues to be a challenge for First Nations. Ta'an Kwächän Council offered a Pursuit of Excellence program that used applied learning for participants to build understanding, recognize learning styles and maintain respect for differences.

The committee will work with each First Nation to develop and/or update its training plans. This is expected to take several years.



Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board

Chapter 12 of the UFA and Yukon First Nation Final Agreements calls for the establishment, through federal legislation, of an assessment process that would apply to all Yukon land: federal, territorial, First Nation and private. The Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) and the Government of Yukon worked with the Government of Canada to establish a development assessment process for the Yukon. The federal legislation establishing this process — the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act, or YESAA — replaced previous assessment processes.

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) is responsible for implementing YESAA and its regulations. An independent entity, YESAB conducts assessments to ensure that projects are undertaken in a way that results in responsible development without undermining the environmental and social systems of individuals and communities. This is done by mitigating or eliminating significant adverse environmental and socio-economic effects, and by ensuring that sustainability is incorporated in project planning and development.

The board is comprised of a three-person Executive Committee, one of whose members is the chair, and four other board members. All board members are appointed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. One member of the Executive Committee is nominated by CYFN and one is appointed by the federal minister after consultation with the territorial minister. The chair is appointed after the federal minister consults with the other two Executive Committee members. Two of the four remaining Board members are nominated by CYFN, one is nominated by the territorial minister, and the fourth is a direct appointment by the federal minister.

YESAB members as of March 31, 2009
    Nominated By
Ken McKinnon Chair and Executive Committee member  
Simon Mason-Wood Executive Committee member Government of Canada
Stephen Mills Executive Committee member Council of Yukon First Nations
Tara Christie Member Government of Yukon
David Keenan Member Council of Yukon First Nations
Ross Leef Member Government of Canada
Carl Sidney Member Council of Yukon First Nations
Staff

As of March 2009, YESAB had 29 full-time staff positions and three part-time positions in seven offices throughout the territory.

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act provides for a single assessment process that applies throughout the Yukon to all projects, and to federal, territorial and First Nation governments.

The YESAB process is designed to be transparent and there are guaranteed provisions for participation by the public and by First Nations. The Act incorporates broad consideration of socio-economic factors and of traditional and local knowledge. The legislation is intended to provide increased certainty and mandatory timelines for assessment and decision-making.

Depending on the type, size and complexity of a proposed project, an assessment can take place at one of three levels:

  • Designated Office — most assessments are conducted by one of the six community-based Designated Offices;
  • Executive Committee — the committee assesses larger projects that are submitted to it directly, or are referred by a Designated Office; or
  • Panel of the board — this may be established to assess projects that have potential significant adverse effects, are likely to cause significant public concern, or involve the use of controversial technology.
Activities

The Designated Office in Dawson City referred the Yukon Queen II project to an Executive Committee screening since it could not determine the vessel's effects on salmon and settlement land. In addition, almost 30 solid waste facilities throughout the Yukon entered the assessment process late in the fiscal year. All of the assessments recommended that the open burning of garbage should stop immediately. The Government of Yukon has committed to phasing out the burning of garbage by 2012.

An important part of YESAB's activities is providing information to those involved in the assessment process. YESAB gave presentations and attended conferences, trade shows and symposiums, both locally and beyond. These included the Yukon Geoscience Forum, the Yukon Invasive Species Forum, the Arctic Gas Symposium, the Fourth Annual Alaska Oil and Gas Symposium, Opportunities North Business and Investment Conference, and the International Association of Impact Assessment Conference.

YESAB also meets with individuals and groups who are part of the Yukon's assessment process. These efforts give YESAB members a better understanding of the priorities of these groups and contribute to a clearer understanding of the assessment process.

Outreach efforts by board members and staff help build strong relationships and ensure open communication. In 2008–09 these efforts included Carcross/Tagish First Nation, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, Selkirk First Nation, Ta'an Kwäch'än Council and Teslin Tlingit Council. They also included CYFN's YESAA Caucus, Ducks Unlimited, Yukon Water Board, Yukon Mineral Advisory Board, Kluane National Park Management Board, Parks Canada, Yukon Placer Secretariat, Mayo District Renewable Resources Council, Laberge Renewable Resources Council, Yukon Chamber of Commerce, City of Whitehorse, Yukon Tourism Association and Yukon Outfitters Association.

In addition to these outreach efforts, YESAB meets frequently with regulators. These meetings provide a valuable forum in which participants learn about the needs and constraints of both the assessment and permit aspects of the process.

YESAB also meets regularly with potential proponents of both large and small projects. These meetings help ensure that proponents know what will be required of them when they go through the assessment process. It also provides YESAB with advance notice of upcoming projects.

Web Site

The YESAB web site was developed to provide up-to-date information about the board and the assessment process. It also has reference and guidance documents that describe how assessments are conducted, and instructions and guidebooks about developing project proposals. The web site links to the YESAB Online Registry and has contact information for the board.

YESAB Online Registry

This electronic registry and document management system tracks assessments. It is used by proponents, decision bodies, First Nations, and members of the public. The registry's two main functions are to provide public access to assessment-related documents and to help people submit comments and information to the assessment process. It is designed so that members of the public will become aware of new projects and can track them throughout the assessment process.

Project Statistics

The board has assessed 792 projects since YESAA was implemented in November 2005. In 2008–09, two projects were submitted at the level of the Executive Committee: the Mactung Mine Project (North American Tungsten Corporation); and the Mayo Hydro Enhancement Project (Yukon Energy Corporation). In addition, 267 projects were submitted to designated offices:

  Number of Project Proposal Submissions
Dawson City 57
Haines Junction 49
Mayo 47
Teslin 27
Watson Lake 36
Whitehorse 51


Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board

Chapter 16 of the Umbrella Final Agreement recognizes the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board (YFWMB) as "the primary instrument of Fish and Wildlife management in the Yukon." The board deals with the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, habitat and wildlife users across the territory.

YFWMB is an advisory body whose 12 members are appointed by the Minister of Environment: six members are nominated by the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) and six by the Government of Yukon. Members are appointed for a five-year term. In 2008–09, for the first time in at least four years, the board had a full complement of members and full attendance at meetings.

YFWMB members as of March 31, 2009
    Term Ends Nominated By
Georgina Sydney Chair April 11, 2010 Council of Yukon First Nations
Don Hutton Vice-chair March 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Rebecca Bradford Andrew Member March 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
William Asp Member February 13, 2013 Council of Yukon First Nations
Bob Dickson Member February 13, 2014 Council of Yukon First Nations
Shirley Ford Member March 31, 2014 Government of Yukon
Judy Gingell Member February 13, 2014 Council of Yukon First Nations
Jim Haney Member February 13, 2013 Government of Yukon
Charlie James Member February 13, 2013 Council of Yukon First Nations
Art Johns Member April 11, 2010 Council of Yukon First Nations
Terry Wilkinson Member February 13, 2013 Government of Yukon
Vacant Member   Government of Yukon

Since its responsibility lies with issues that affect the entire Yukon, the board focuses its efforts on territorial policies, legislation and other measures to help guide the management of fish and wildlife, conserve habitat and enhance the renewable resource economy. The board influences management decisions through public education efforts and by making recommendations to federal, territorial and First Nation governments. Recommendations and positions are based on the best technical, local and traditional information available. In order to develop an understanding of issues and form recommendations, the board works in partnership with federal, territorial and First Nation governments and with renewable resource councils (RRCs) and other UFA boards and councils.

Governments are responsible for gathering information on fish and wildlife resources and designing management processes, and for day-to-day management of fish and wildlife and enforcement of laws. RRCs are responsible for dealing with fish, wildlife, habitat and forestry matters specific to their traditional territory. They also provide an important advisory function to the board by raising awareness of specific issues and providing local and traditional information.

During its annual "On the Land" board meeting, held at Rose Lake in June 2008, YFWMB began to redevelop its long-term strategic goals. Previously, the YFWMB had strategic goals for each year, but board members agreed to focus on the longer term (2008–12) in order to work in a more strategic and policy-driven manner.

Long-term Strategic Objectives

YFWMB's first priority is to develop and enhance its relationship with the Yukon public, and develop a comprehensive Yukon harvest strategy for the year 2020, including a process to monitor and review implementation of the strategy.

The board's second priority is to ensure that there is effective legislation to protect and enhance fish and wildlife habitat; encourage the development and use of ground-based monitoring techniques and traditional knowledge; and finalize and implement its communication strategy.

YFWMB's third priority is to monitor the Southern Lakes moose recovery program; continue to develop the board's relationship with Yukon RRCs and CYFN; seek out initiatives to help Yukoners participate in trapping activities; and develop a working group on traditional knowledge.

The board's fourth priority is to improve communication with First Nations; strive to have meetings with the Minister of Environment, with the goal of opening communication, building rapport and establishing trust; continue to enhance the relationship between board members and staff; and establish an effective working relationship with the Salmon Sub-Committee.

Yukon Fish and Wildlife — a 20:20 Vision

In 2008–09 the board took on a major initiative,"Yukon Fish and Wildlife – a 20:20 Vision," as part of its mandate to act in the public interest. YFWMB, in partnership with RRCs and the Salmon Sub-Committee, hosted a three-day symposium in Whitehorse and several one-day meetings in communities to provide Yukoners with an opportunity to discuss their vision for Yukon fish and wildlife in the years ahead.

The objective of the symposium and meetings was to determine the future of fish and wildlife management in the Yukon. Speakers gave presentations on the current state of the resources in the Yukon and outlined options for the future. Students from across the territory were invited to fill out questionnaires after the presentations. The board also carried out a survey of Yukoners to determine their opinions of fish and wildlife management; it revealed that most Yukoners are looking for a more planned and proactive approach to the management of fish, wildlife and their habitat.

The survey, along with the results of the symposium and community meetings, has provided a baseline and a direction for the future. The board expects to finalize this initiative during 2009–10 and provide public statements on proposed future directions for the management of fish and wildlife throughout the Yukon for the next decade.

Legislation

One of the principal functions of the YFWMB is to provide public input on legislation and regulations that affect fish and wildlife resources. The board provides comments to governments based on information from public consultations and research.

Each year, changes are made to regulations under the Yukon Wildlife Act in response to public or management concerns. Governments, RRCs, special interest groups and members of the public can all propose changes to regulations.

The board presents these proposed changes to the public each fall to obtain comments and hear concerns. Once the public consultation is complete, the board reviews the information and provides recommendations to the Minister of Environment. The Minister can accept, vary or set aside the board's recommendations. If he or she accepts the recommendations, the new regulations are put into effect the following year.

In 2008–09, proposals included a range of topics:

  • introduction of a permit hunt for the South Nahanni Caribou Herd;
  • management of sheep hunting in the Miners Range;
  • increasing the number of deer permits available to be issued annually;
  • allowing wood bison to be hunted under a Special Guide Licence; and
  • restriction of off-road vehicles in alpine areas of Pilot Mountain.
Sharing the Land Scholarship

Each year the board awards $1000 to a student pursuing post-secondary training that is in line with its goal of respectful relationships between people and the animals that share the Yukon landscape.



Yukon Heritage Resources Board

Established in 1995 in accordance with Chapter 13 of Yukon First Nation Final Agreements, the Yukon Heritage Resources Board (YHRB) comprises ten members from throughout the Yukon who operate in the public interest on issues related to Yukon heritage. The Council of Yukon First Nations nominates five appointees and the Government of Yukon nominates five, with the concurrence of the government of Canada for one of the selections. All members are appointed by the Yukon Minister of Tourism and Culture for three-year terms. During some of the fiscal year the board did not have a full complement of ten members.

YHRB members as of March 31, 2009
    Terms Ends Nominated By
Claire Festel Chair May 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Sharon Peter Vice-chair May 9, 2010 Council of Yukon First Nations
William Asp Member May 9, 2010 Council of Yukon First Nations
Ron Chambers Member May 9, 2010 Council of Yukon First Nations
Missy Follwell Member May 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Nancy Huston Member May 9, 2011 Government of Yukon
Anne Leckie Member May 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Alexia McKinnon Member June 6, 2010 Council of Yukon First Nations
Bill Pringle Member May 9, 2010 Government of Yukon
Testloa Smith Member May 9, 2010 Council of Yukon First Nations

The duties and responsibilities of YHRB are outlined primarily in Chapter 13 of the final agreements and the Historic Resources Act. Under the final agreements, the board may make recommendations to the Minister and to Yukon First Nations regarding the management of moveable heritage resources and heritage sites. YHRB may also be asked to make determinations related to ownership of heritage resources, pursuant to Chapter 13, sections 13.3.2.1 and 13.3.6.

Under the Historic Resources Act, the board is to advise the Minister on appropriate policies and guidelines for the designation of Yukon historic sites and appropriate policies, guidelines and standards for the care and custody of historic objects, making regulations under the Act and on the use of the Yukon Historic Resources Fund.

The mandate of the YHRB is to provide advice to governments on issues that affect the territory's heritage resources. Board members work with a variety of groups and individuals across the territory and nationally to fulfil this mandate.

Governance

The board held information and feedback sessions on the Draft Rules of Procedure for Determining Ownership of Heritage Resources under Chapter 13 of Yukon First Nation Final Agreements with representatives of three Yukon First Nations and with the Yukon First Nations Heritage Group.

The board met with representatives of the Government of Yukon to discuss the development of the draft rules and the board's role in determining ownership of Yukon heritage resources.

YHRB and the Yukon Water Board co-hosted a training session on recognizing, understanding, and incorporating traditional knowledge in board decision-making and a presentation on the incorporation of traditional knowledge in the Yukon environmental and socio-economic assessment process.

Board members met with various Government of Yukon representatives and heritage staff to better understand the role of Government of Yukon units in the preservation and interpretation of Yukon's heritage resources.

The board continued to focus on training in the four high-priority areas identified in the Umbrella Final Agreement Implementation Plan.

YHRB held four regular board meetings, one in Old Crow. Each year the board holds one of its meetings in a community outside of Whitehorse.

Three board members attended administrative justice training offered through Yukon College.

Occasional capacity issues arose due to YHRB having only one staff member. The board has developed draft rules of procedure for determining ownership of heritage resources in disputes between Yukon First Nations or between Yukon First Nations and the Government of Yukon, if it is called upon to do so under section 13.3.2.1 or 13.3.6, but current resources and capacity may be insufficient to undertake such an adjudication process.

Heritage and Culture

The Yukon's Minister of Tourism and Culture approved an YHRB recommendation that eight projects be supported by the Yukon Historic Resources Fund.

The board's Special Projects Committee worked with the Government of Yukon's Historic Sites Unit to revise and streamline the application and screening process for the Yukon Historic Resources Fund.

During the board meeting in Old Crow, board members met with Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation staff, members and heritage committee; visited local heritage sites and toured the new John Tizya Centre with Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation heritage staff; and participated in the Vuntut Gwitchin General Assembly dinner.

Board members attended the ceremony designating the Caribou Hotel in Carcross as a Yukon Historic Site. The board vice-chair and the Carcross-based board member spoke at the ceremony. YHRB also helped organize the day's events and co-hosted the reception.

The board undertook a number of projects to increase public awareness of YHRB and Yukon heritage. These included development and distribution of a new brochure and informational panels; submitting regular activity updates to the Yukon Historical and Museums Association (YHMA) newsletter; and sponsoring the 2008 regional Fête Historica Fair in Whitehorse.

The YHRB chair continued to participate as an ex-officio member of the Yukon Museums Advisory Committee.

The board sent a letter to the federal and territorial governments to support continued funding for the Historic Places Initiative, emphasizing its importance in preserving and promoting heritage in the Yukon.

Board members attended the Alaska-Yukon Land Claims Symposium held at Yukon College and provided materials about the board for display at the event.

Board members attended the Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchì Winter Event hosted by Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. They also attended the Yukon First Nations Language Revitalization and Promotion Conference hosted by the Council of Yukon First Nations, and working sessions for Parks Canada's New Sites Initiative.

YHRB toured the Yukon Archives facility and received an introduction to archives projects, including a joint Yukon Archives/Teslin Tlingit Council initiative.

The board received regular updates on the National Museums Strategy, development of the National Trust, and the activities of the Yukon Department of Tourism and Culture's Cultural Services Branch.

One board member and the Executive Director attended a Parks Canada workshop on the application of the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada and provided a report on the workshop to the full board.

Board members received a detailed half-day training on the designation process for territorial historic sites.

The board's Executive Director participated as a member of the YHMA conference planning and Heritage Training Fund committees.

YHRB participated in the five-year review of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act and provided comments related to heritage considerations.

Increased capacity is needed to seek and foster opportunities to heighten public awareness and appreciation of Yukon heritage resources

Finances

YHRB continued to meet the financial obligations set out in its Contribution Agreement with the Yukon, including timely submission of preliminary, draft and final budgets and audited financial statements. The board prepared for the transition to a new system of quarterly activity and financial reporting; this is required under the Transfer Payment Funding Agreement, which will replace the Contribution Agreement in the coming fiscal year.

It is challenging to meet financial demands related to preparing draft rules of procedure for adjudicating disputes over ownership of heritage resources between Yukon First Nations and between Yukon First Nations and government. A delay in distribution of funding at the start of the fiscal year was another challenge.






Yukon Surface Rights Board

The Yukon Surface Rights Board (YSRB) is a tribunal whose primary role is to resolve access disputes between people who own or have an interest in the surface of the land and those with access rights to the land. The board's process starts when the parties are unable to reach an agreement and either party applies to it.

YSRB's jurisdiction derives from several statutes. The primary authority for the board is set out in the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act (Canada), which came into force on February 14, 1995. The Act was drafted to reflect the principles established in the Umbrella Final Agreement. Additional responsibilities of the board are set out in other laws and agreements, including the Quartz Mining Act (Yukon), the Placer Mining Act (Yukon), the Expropriation Act (Canada), the Radiocommunication Act (Canada), and individual Yukon First Nation final agreements.

The board is an independent impartial body made up of five members: two are selected by the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN); two are selected by the Government of Canada; and the chair is appointed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, based on a recommendation from the other board members. Members are appointed to the board for a three-year term.

YSRB members as of March 31, 2009
    Term Ends Nominated By
Stephen J. Mills Chair February 6, 2012 Board
Brian MacDonald Member November 11, 2010 CYFN
Luke Johnson Member January 26, 2011 CYFN
Bruce Underhill Member June 2, 2010 Government of Canada
Al Foster Member February 6, 2012 Government of Canada
Types of Disputes

The board's primary responsibility is to hear and decide disputes related to access to or use of Yukon First Nation settlement land and, in certain circumstances, disputes involving access to or use of non-settlement land.

In relation to settlement land, the board has several responsibilities:

  • resolving access disputes between a Yukon First Nation and a person with a right to enter and use, cross, or stay on that Yukon First Nation's settlement land;
  • resolving access disputes between a Yukon First Nation and a person with right to access to settlement land in order to exercise a mineral right;
  • resolving disputes between government and a Yukon First Nation relating to government's use or restoration of gravel quarries located on settlement land; and
  • determining the compensation to be provided to a Yukon First Nation for the expropriation of settlement land.

In relation to non-settlement land the primary responsibility of the board is to resolve disputes between a person with a right or interest in the surface of the land (for example, a land-owner) and a person who has a right of access to that land under a mineral right. The board's specific responsibilities under the Placer Mining Act and the Quartz Mining Act are to hear and determine disputes about compensation to be paid under those Acts for loss or damages, or about the adequacy of security required by the mining recorder.

Process

The board is intended to be the last means of resolving disputes. Applicants must attempt to resolve their disputes through negotiation before they apply to the board. If the dispute is not resolved by negotiation, either party may submit an application to the board. The application must include the supporting documentation required by the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act and the board's Rules of Procedure.

When the board accepts an application it first offers mediation to the parties. If the parties agree to mediation, the board appoints a mediator and contributes a nominal amount towards the cost of mediation.

An application to the board is usually heard and decided by a panel of three board members. If settlement land is involved at least one of the panel members will be a board member nominated by CYFN.

When a hearing is completed, the board issues its decision with reasons. An order of the board is binding and may be enforced in the same manner as an order of the Supreme Court of Yukon.

Activities

No applications were made to the board during the 2008–09 fiscal year.

Training

The issues that come before the board are complex and require board members to have a broad understanding of a wide range of issues:

  • the Umbrella Final Agreement and First Nation final agreements and their respective implementation plans;
  • administrative law and the principles of natural justice;
  • dispute resolution;
  • mining and land use legislation; and
  • land-use issues.

Board staff and members participate in relevant training and conferences in an effort to develop and maintain capacity.

Communications

The board's public record, governance and procedure documents and publications can be obtained from the board's office or web site (www.yukonsurfacerights.com). The board's office, located in Whitehorse, has a reading room with its public records and reference material.

Public Relations

During 2008–09 the board maintained an office in Whitehorse, updated its web site and produced and distributed its annual report. YSRB members also attended public functions and meetings.

Industry Relations

The board kept industry informed by attending and/or hosting a booth at functions such as the Yukon Geoscience Forum, Dawson City Gold Show, and the Cordilleran Round-up; and by including industry associations in its consultation mail-out list.

First Nations Relations

The board was available to meet First Nations, on request, to provide information on YSRB legislation and procedures. Each year the board provides each Yukon First Nation and all UFA boards and councils with a copy of its annual report. All Yukon First Nations and UFA boards and councils are included in the board's consultation mail-out list.

Government Relations

The board keeps in contact with federal, territorial, First Nations and municipal governments. This often requires attending workshops with these governments. The board submits funding reports to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and activity reports to the federal Access to Information and Privacy Commissioners.

Related Initiatives

During the 2008-09 fiscal year the board carried out a range of initiatives:

  • redesign of its information package and internet site;
  • completion of office renovations;
  • board development and training; and
  • membership in the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals and the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals.





Government of Yukon

Department of Community Services

Community Development Division
Community Affairs Branch

The branch received implementation funding for half of the cost of a Community Advisor. This position facilitates, advises and assists self-governing First Nations and municipalities in developing formal agreements and protocols to support shared service delivery for common areas of jurisdiction. Municipalities and First Nations have limited capacity to carry out this work.

Property Assessment and Taxation Branch

The Assessment and Taxation Branch applies for funding each year based on work related to implementation. Under Chapter 21 of First Nation final agreements and Section 14 of self-government agreements, after final agreements are in place, all lands are assessed (through identification, valuation, reconciliation, set up/input and production of assessment roll and annual maintenance costs). Property taxes are calculated (through identification of property-tax forgiveness, reconciliation, set up of taxable/exempt status, development of Home Owner Grant (HOG) status, estimation of taxes net HOG, production of a tax roll, annual maintenance) and the properties are placed on the assessment roll.

Protective Services Division
Wildland Fire Management

In May 2008, five-year Wildland Fire Management contracts were signed with nine of the 11 self-governing First Nations. The contracts begin at the beginning of the 2008 fire season and expire at the end of the 2012 season. Firefighting services provided through these contracts have benefitted both Wildland Fire Management and the First Nations. At times, however, some First Nations have lacked the capacity to meet the contract requirements.



Department of Energy, Mines and Resources

The key departmental goals for Energy, Mines and Resources (EMR) are to work with First Nations as full partners in resource development and involve them in the Yukon's resource economy.

Settlement Land Committee

EMR continued to represent the Government of Yukon on the Settlement Land Committee. The committee is esponsible for completing land claims obligations for the identification, priorizing and surveying of settlement lands.

Land Registry and Mapping System

EMR shares technical information on the Government of Yukon's methods for recording land interests and serves as a technical resource to Yukon First Nations establishing their own land and resource registries.

Other Land-related Implementation Activities

With the Land Claims Implementation Secretariat (LCIS) and the Department of Environment, EMR maintains and monitors Orders-in-Council for special management areas (SMAs) and facilitates the raising of joint title (Yukon First Nation and the Government of Yukon) on identified heritage sites as per the final agreements.

With LCIS, EMR assists with maintaining the interim withdrawals required for proposed site-specific settlement land and interim withdrawals for lands under negotiation.

EMR maintains the prohibition and withdrawal orders for the North Slope and Old Crow Flats required pursuant to the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) Final Agreement.

EMR administers the renewal or replacement of encumbering rights as per Chapter 5.6.9 of the final agreements.

Yukon Geological Survey

First Nations and communities have access to the internet-based interactive map server maintained by the Yukon Geological Survey. It includes baseline maps of geology, mineral deposits, geochemistry, geophysics, claim status, land status and infrastructure.

EMR District Offices and Liaison with First Nations

EMR's Natural Resources Officers (NROs) develop and maintain informal working relationships with First Nations, letting them know about timber, lands and mining issues. They are in regular contact with their First Nations land and resource counterparts concerning joint field work and inspections, and work with them whenever possible.

Special Management Areas

EMR continued to support the Government of Yukon's implementation obligations for Special Management Areas (SMAs) under Chapter 10 of the final agreements. EMR provides input throughout the planning process, including advice on plan recommendations.

EMR involvement in SMA planning processes allows for balanced government decision-making with respect to natural resources, and aids in supporting the development of Yukon's natural resource wealth in partnership with First Nations and industry.

Regional Land-use Planning

EMR is responsible for meeting the Government of Yukon's Chapter 11 obligations for regional land-use planning (RLUP), including coordinating the government's participation in all RLUP processes and implementation funding for the Yukon Land Use Planning Council and regional land-use planning commissions. Land-use plans for the eight identified regions are each expected to take several years to complete.

Dawson

The Government of Yukon and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in (TH) have agreed in principle to the draft terms of reference and are discussing candidates to be appointed to the Dawson land-use planning commission.

Peel Watershed

The Government of Yukon, VGFN, TH, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, and Tetlit Gwich'in Council have continued to work together on the technical and policy advisory committees. When the draft plan is received — this is anticipated to be early in the new fiscal year — the parties will cooperate in the review of and response to the Peel Watershed Planning Commission so it can prepare the recommended plan.

North Yukon

The Government of Yukon and VGFN made considerable progress toward approval of the Recommended North Yukon Regional Land Use Plan. When the plan is approved, the parties will finalize an implementation framework.

The Government of Yukon will form a committee to enable the ongoing implementation of activities stemming from the approved land-use plan.

Other EMR activities supporting regional land-use planning include budget approvals, funding agreements, council/ commission appointments, planning process development and presentations at planning workshops.

Local Area Planning

EMR's Land Planning Branch continued to collaborate with TH to develop a local area plan for West Dawson and Sunnydale. The plan will include land-use policies for both settlement and Yukon lands. Planning activities included gathering information and setting community goals.

The Land Planning Branch also continued to work with Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) to implement the local area planning provisions of the CTFN self-government agreement. A community boundary was developed for approval by the parties.

The Land Planning Branch worked with Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) and agreed to joint priority planning in the Marsh Lake area for a local area plan that will include both settlement and Yukon lands. Discussions were held about a potential planning boundary and a proposed boundary was developed.

Trapper Compensation Process

EMR is working with Environment and other Government of Yukon departments to complete policy development work and prepare for public consultation on a draft trapper compensation process required under Chapter 16.11.13.

Forest Management Planning

The forest management plan for the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) traditional territory is a collaborative process between the Government of Yukon and CAFN to implement the strategic forest management plan. The first timber harvest project was completed in June 2008. Fuel abatement treatments are ongoing in several communities near Haines Junction to reduce the risk of wildfire.

EMR and TH are working together to develop the Dawson Forest Resources Management Plan. The plan will include both settlement and Yukon lands and should be completed by 2010.

EMR is working in partnership with Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) to implement the Teslin forest resource management plan. The first step in implementation is the development of a timber harvest plan for the area east of the Teslin River.

EMR, KDFN, CTFN and Ta'an Kwäch'än Council (TKC) have signed the terms of reference to establish a joint forest management planning initiative for the Whitehorse-Southern Lakes area. When completed, the management plan will include both settlement and Yukon lands.

EMR is working collaboratively with First Nations to develop small-volume harvest areas. This will help small forest operators to acquire a secure wood supply.

EMR Forest Management Branch is acquiring new aerial photography for the Teslin and Whitehorse areas, including settlement lands. This information is essential for forest resource planning and will replace existing forest inventory data.

Resource Royalty Sharing

Crown royalty revenue is disbursed annually under Chapter 23 of First Nation final agreements.



Department of Environment

Chapter 16/Trapline administration

The department developed and shared trapping concession maps and registration information with renewable resource councils (RRCs) and First Nations in order to support their roles regarding Category 1 and 2 traplines as mandated in land claim agreements. The department also helped RRCs develop and review criteria for trapline allocation and provided ongoing information and advice to assist them in fulfilling their mandates.

Trapline allocations continued to be a complex undertaking for all parties. In an effort to bring clarity, an administration and operations manual for trapping concessions is being developed.

RRCs continued to have difficulties in cases where registered traplines differ from traditional family trapping areas. Traplines that overlap two or more traditional territories are a particular challenge; if this overlap is not resolved they are not reviewed or reallocated when vacant.

Freshwater Fish Assessment and Management Planning

Although the Government of Yukon intended to provide resources to Kwanlin Dün First Nation for them to review and compile the freshwater food fish needs of their members within their traditional territory, the majority of the traditional territory overlaps with the traditional territories of other First Nations and so the project did not go ahead.

Funding was provided to Selkirk First Nation to help them determine their freshwater fisheries needs. Several projects were accomplished:

  • an assessment of freshwater food fish needs was conducted;
  • a public meeting was held to discuss the renewal of the Tatlamain Lake Management Plan; and
  • the status of Lhutsaw Lake northern pike was reviewed.
Water Resources

A working group was formally established for management of the Yukon River watershed. Participants include the Yukon, Canada, Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Carcross/Tagish First Nation; final confirmation of members is in process. The first tasks will be to develop objectives and prepare a work plan.

In terms of challenges, the group has a relatively short two-year life span in which to put forward meaningful recommendations to promote the preservation and protection of the headwaters region of the Yukon River. In addition, membership issues are problematic and unresolved at present. The group and its members must provide their own resources.

Chapter 10 Special Management Areas and Habitat Protection Areas
Kusawa and Asi Keyi territorial parks and Agay Mene Natural Environment Park

As technical committees are set up in conjunction with First Nations, plans to assemble data are being prepared and implemented. These materials will support management planning and the work of the steering committees. A variety of mechanisms to gather data — including field work by Government of Yukon and First Nations and by private contractors — will be required throughout the management planning process. Steering committee meetings are ongoing.

Draft management plans for the Ddhaw Ghro, Nordenskiold and Lhutsaw Wetland habitat protection areas were reviewed by the parties, who sought to resolve outstanding issues.

Planning for other Special Management Areas has demonstrated the need for a variety of environmental and socioeconomic data that needs to be developed in conjunction with First Nation participants.

Developing an agreement with affected First Nations on a basic structure to implement approved park management plans is a challenge that may delay the planning process.

Parks

Discussions to finalize the 2003 recommended management plan for Tombstone Park were underway. A joint park management committee will be established to implement the plan, oversee activities in the park and review applications for use permits. The Holland-America Interpretive Agreement for the park will be renegotiated in 2010.

The jointly developed park management plan for Fishing Branch Wilderness Preserve and human-bear management plan for Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) settlement lands were approved and implemented. Over the past four years, these plans have allowed for the operation of a bear-viewing operation jointly run by VGFN and a private operator. Infrastructure developed by the Yukon is leased to the operation.

Environmental Assessment

The department has completed the initial transition to the federal Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA). Staff training and development of information materials continues as needed.

First Nations Liaison Conservation Officer

Partially supported through funding for land claims implementation, this has become a permanent position. Duties focus on the successful implementation of various responsibilities related to fish and wildlife harvesting. The position supports a coordinated, more holistic approach to land claims implementation related to renewable resources. The fact that not all salary and operational costs are supported by land claim implementation funds is a challenge.

Habitat

The Southern Lakes Wildlife Coordinating Committee completed initial work on a terms of reference and work plan per the schedule.

The Forty Mile Caribou Working Group was active, meeting to review and make recommendations with the support of the Fish and Wildlife Branch. Draft recommendations were completed.

First Nations look to the Government of Yukon for implementation funds to cover the cost of these processes; this is a challenge.

Regional Fish and Wildlife Operations

The department continued to staff regional biologists in four districts, which cover all settled claim areas. These biologists provide information to RRCs and First Nations to help them develop programs.

The number of RRC meetings utilizes a great deal of staff time. In addition, staff turnover in some First Nations is problematic for program continuity and relationship-building.

Regional Land-use Planning

The department participated in the review and approval of the Recommended North Yukon Regional Land Use Plan. The plan includes several key recommendations related to protected areas, disturbance monitoring, field work and research.

The department helped the Peel Watershed Planning Commission complete a regional conservation assessment. Staff also participated in scenario development for the Peel region.

Meeting the commitments that arise out of approved land plans is a challenge. Each approved land-use plan includes a wide variety of recommendations that affect the Department of Environment and other departments; for example, the two protected areas recommended by the North Yukon Regional Land Use Plan.



Department of Highways and Public Works

Contracting opportunities

The Department of Highways and Public Works (HPW) fulfills the Government of Yukon's Chapter 22 obligation to notify interested First Nations of contracting opportunities by routinely sending notices on Government of Yukon public tenders and requests for proposals to all Yukon First Nations. For its public works projects in rural Yukon, HPW includes provisions in tender packages and contracts requiring companies to demonstrate best efforts at engaging local and First Nations businesses and citizens in the project.

Yukon Asset Construction Agreements

In the Final Agreements of Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN), Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) and Kluane First Nation (KFN), there is a requirement for the Government of Yukon to extend economic opportunities to the First Nation when the dollar value of a construction project in the traditional territory exceeds a specified amount. Both parties discuss the proposed project and negotiate terms for how the First Nation will participate. The result is a Yukon Asset Construction Agreement (YACA), which identifies specific training, employment and/or contracting opportunities for First Nations members and businesses.

Discussions and negotiations in 2008–09 resulted in the following agreements between HPW and two First Nations:

  • two YACAs with CTFN to provide roadside clearing and grubbing of six km of the Atlin Road in the spring of 2009 as part of a multi-year road reconstruction project;
  • a YACA with KDFN to provide landscaping services in 2009 as part of the parking lot expansion at the Whitehorse airport (a previous YACA negotiated with KDFN in the fall of 2007 resulted in the First Nation managing the first phase of airport landscaping work in the summer of 2008);
  • a YACA with KDFN to a) provide passenger-loading equipment, road reconstruction and artwork; and b) obtain project officer training for a KDFN citizen as part of a major expansion of facilities at the Whitehorse airport in 2009 and 2010; and
  • a YACA with KDFN to a) provide construction management for the development of a new corrections facility in Whitehorse in a joint venture with a private contractor, and b) provide specific services to the overall project, including construction of temporary quarters for female inmates in 2009 and demolition of the existing facility and landscaping of the grounds in 2010.

After negotiating a YACA, HPW remains directly involved in its implementation to provide direction as circumstances evolve, to monitor progress in achieving outcomes, and to determine lessons learned and best practices for future agreements.

Highway Maintenance Training Program

The Government of Yukon is committed to providing training and employment opportunities for Yukon First Nations people. To help the government deliver on that commitment, HPW carried out a two-year Highway Maintenance Training Program with financial assistance from the Northern Strategy Trust Fund.

In 2008–09, the second year of the program, there were several accomplishments:

  • all 12 people who started training in the spring for the 2008 construction season were successful;
  • six trainees acquired or demonstrated the skills necessary to remain in the program for winter operations; and
  • 12 trainees went on to secure employment with HPW in casual or auxiliary positions for road maintenance.


Department of Justice

Aboriginal Law Group

The Aboriginal Law Group (ALG) advised Government of Yukon departments on issues related to the interpretation and implementation of the final agreements and self-government agreements and assisted other groups within Legal Services Branch with respect to these matters. ALG also provided legal drafting and advice to negotiators on agreements such as Yukon Asset Construction Agreements under the final agreements and tax agreements under the SGAs. ALG also provided advice to the Solicitors Group on matters such as the lease agreement between Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) and Government of Yukon for the library to be built on KDFN settlement land.

ALG participated in the ongoing negotiations with the Teslin Tlingit Council on an Administration of Justice greement with TTC and Canada.

ALG participated in negotiations for Administration of Justice Framework Agreements with Canada and seven Yukon First Nations (Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, Selkirk First Nation, Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation).

Litigation Group

The Litigation Group represented the Government of Yukon on matters brought before the courts that were related to the final agreements and self-government agreements.

Finance and Administration

The Finance Unit administered and tracked all contribution agreements related to the department's implementation activities, such as Administration of Justice negotiations and funding for implementation of the Canada-Yukon bilateral agreement. The unit also prepared journal vouchers for Land Claims Implementation Secretariat recoveries, monitored budgets and expenditures for projects and recommended budget reallocations as required.

Public Guardian and Trustee

The Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) administers the estates of citizens of self-governing First Nations where there is no known next of kin. Administration of estates includes contacting the next of kin, making inquiries about the existence of a will, administering the assets of the deceased and advising on other estate matters. The PGT is guardian of last resort for citizens of self-governing First Nations who have been found incapable of managing part or all of their affairs. Guardianship includes making health-care decision, legal decisions, personal care decisions and/or financial decisions. The PGT is also responsible for investing funds on behalf of minor children and protecting the rights and interests of children who are part of a court proceeding.

Land Titles

The Land Titles office continued to register survey plans for KDFN settlement land selections.



Department of Tourism and Culture

Cultural Services Branch
Heritage Resources

Heritage Resources staff provided technical planning support for a Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) project to construct a laboratory and storage facility for palaeontology collections in Old Crow. The facility will house VGFN provided collections curation for VGFN materials for several years. With support from the Cultural Services Branch (CSB), the VGFN applied for and received federal infrastructure funding for the project.

Heritage Resources, CSB and the Land Claims Implementation Secretariat developed and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on ice patch archaeology research with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. Ice patch monitoring was carried out during the summer field season pursuant to the MOU.

In cooperation with Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, Heritage Resources published Le Patrimoine Archéologique de Forty Mile/Ch'ëdä Dëk. The popular booklet was generated as an outcome of archaeological research carried out at Forty Mile, a site jointly owned and managed by the Government of Yukon and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in.

Heritage Resources processed 14 geographical names applications from the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and 14 applications from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun. All applications were approved by the Minister of Tourism and Culture pursuant to a recommendation from the Yukon Geographical Place Names Board.

A second season of archaeological research was carried out at the Tagish Post NWMP historical site in cooperation with the Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN). Information from the research will inform the future management planning process, which will be carried out with CTFN. The project employed a number of First Nation field assistants and a separate contract with CTFN addressed the clearing of vegetation from key parts of the site.

Heritage Resources conducted a joint field research and cave research workshop with VGFN. The unit also provided $25,000 in funding to VGFN towards the cost of a major publication on cultural geography incorporating traditional knowledge and geographical place names research. The publication is due for release in February 2010.

An archaeological field inventory of heritage sites was carried out in the lower Wind/Bonnet Plume area with the Tetlit Gwitchin Council of Fort McPherson, NWT.

Museums Program
Searching for Our Heritage

Chapter 13.4.3 of the Umbrella Final Agreement outlines a legal obligation and responsibility to help Yukon First Nations recover Yukon artifacts. The Searching for Our Heritage (SFOH) project identifies Yukon artifacts held in institutions around the world. To date, 6121 objects have been identified in 157 museums and institutions worldwide.

The SFOH project database has been installed on computers in various First Nations offices for use by heritage workers. The Museums Unit continues to update the SFOH database and provides updated versions of it to First Nations.

A "Dig Your Roots" workshop was held in Burwash Landing.

The logistics of meeting with elders to share information can be challenging. In addition, Yukon First Nations are involved with the SFOH project at different levels. Ideally Yukon First Nations will become more active in the project and the Museums Unit will be able to provide assistance rather than lead the project. Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in has been proactive in this area and has made presentations on the SFOH project to its members.

First Nations Heritage Training Coordinator

This position assists with capacity building through identifying and coordinating training opportunities for First Nation heritage workers. The coordinator produces publications for museums and cultural centres. The position also works to develop a Museums Unit Resource Library, and a database of resource materials that can be loaned to museums and cultural centres.

First Nations Heritage Training Coordinator undertakes educational efforts, such as production of training manuals for museums and centres, and development and delivery of a public programming course for Yukon heritage workers. The coordinator also produces a monthly newsletter on cultural/heritage training issues.

Although the need for trained employees in all First Nation cultural/heritage centres is recognized, the department has not had an intern in the two years the First Nations Heritage Training Coordinator has been in the position.

First Nations Cultural/Heritage Centres

The Government of Yukon provides ongoing assistance to six First Nation cultural/heritage centres: Big Jonathan Centre, Selkirk First Nation; Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in; Tagé Cho Hudän Interpretive Centre, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation; Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre, Teslin Tlingit Council; Da Ku Centre, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations; and the John Tizya Centre, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN).

The Museum Contribution Program provides $344,000 to First Nation cultural/heritage centres. They are also eligible for funding through the Special Projects Capital Assistance Program, Capital Upgrades, Heritage Attractions Site Support and the Conservation Program.

The Museums Unit is currently providing assistance to Kwanlin Dün First Nation to support development of its cultural/heritage centre.



Executive Council Office

The Land Claims Implementation Secretariat (LCIS) within the Executive Council Office is responsible for negotiating land claims implementation plans and coordinating the Yukon's implementation activities throughout the government. An important element of this work is providing support for capacity-building within government related to land claim implementation. This includes managing the Government of Yukon's operating and capital funding that it receives from the Government of Canada for implementation.

The secretariat is responsible for facilitating and tracking the implementation of obligations and for providing related deliverables identified in the Canada-Yukon bilateral agreement. Tracking includes meeting specific obligations for review of the land claim agreements, including five-year and nine-year reviews.

LCIS provided other governments with a demonstration of a multi-user database containing land claim agreement implementation information that has been developed over the past years. Preparation for use of the database by First Nation governments and Canada is nearing completion and other governments have requested more detailed information on its use. The Government of Yukon will provide training for the database and will facilitate its use.

The secretariat works collaboratively with departments to coordinate ongoing activities to address the Government of Yukon's land claim obligations. Among other responsibilities, LCIS provides policy advice related to the final agreements and self-government agreements — and other matters related to First Nations — to Government of Yukon departments and to Cabinet. The secretariat also supports the provision of legal advice by Department of Justice lawyers on matters related to the agreements. With input from a senior management committee on implementation, the secretariat coordinates and monitors the funding provided to departments for projects related to implementation of land claim obligations.

LCIS also represents the Government of Yukon in several initiatives:

  • the Implementation Working Group, with the membership of all self-governing Yukon First Nations, the Council of Yukon First Nations and Canada, continued to address matters of concern in the implementation process and promote effective implementation;
  • negotiation of program and service transfer agreements with all self-governing Yukon First Nations; and
  • negotiation of First Nation final agreements and self-government agreements.

Finalization of the Canada-Yukon bilateral agreement was proceeding after completion of the required review of the agreement.






Government of Canada

Canada School of Public Service

The Minister of INAC appointed the Learning Advisor with the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) in the Yukon as the federal government representative on the Training Policy Committee. She participates regularly in all meetings and duties related to the Yukon Indian Peoples' Training Trust and the Training Policy Committee.

CSPS began work on the Yukon First Nation Public Service initiative. It facilitated the first Human Resource Summit, a successful three-day event attended by representatives from all Yukon First Nations CSPS continues to be involved with working groups attached to this initiative.

CSPS is a member of the Comprehensive Skills and Training Strategy working group, led by the Government of Yukon. One of the group's mandates is to ensure that training is available in all communities; this includes support for integrated teaching approaches that meet the diverse cultural and learning needs of Yukon First Nations.

All CSPS courses are available to First Nations. In 2008–09 First Nations participated in courses that included the Leadership Development Program, Interpersonal Communication Skills and Conflict Challenges.

It remains a challenge to determine learning needs and to find a time and place for training that is agreeable to everyone.



Department of Canadian Heritage

The objective of the implementation activities of the Department of Canadian Heritage is to address the obligations of Chapter 13 of the Yukon First Nation self-government agreements and implementation plans. In 2008–09, the department's priority in the Yukon was to provide financial support to Yukon First Nations for initiatives to develop First Nation heritage resources and to build organizational capacity for the management of these resources.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

The third year of the Cultural Technology Project supported under the Museums Assistance Program focused on detailed research into the history, knowledge, land use and cultural technologies of the Dagoo Gwich'in in Dagoo territory south of Old Crow. It also involved sharing the information with members of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and the general public through exhibits and programs at the Visitor Reception Centre in Old Crow. Key project activities are on-site research, teaching and documentation of traditional technologies and associated oral histories, training seminars for project participants, training in research and recording techniques for youth interviewers and videographers, compilation of information, cataloguing and data entry, and incorporation of collected data in interpretive materials and exhibits.

Outreach

The Canadian Conservation Institute held a workshop through the Government of Yukon on the care of industrial objects; seven members of Yukon First Nations attended.

A departmental official continued to participate on the Heritage Training Sub-Committee in an ex-officio capacity.

Programs and Services Transfer Agreement

In 2008–09 a Programs and Services Transfer Agreement (PSTA) to assign funding for aboriginal language initiatives to eight self-governing Yukon First Nations came into effect. Support for local language priorities for other Yukon First Nations continued to be administered through the Council of Yukon First Nations.



Environment Canada

Environment Canada (EC) is the lead federal government department in several areas:

  • preserving and enhancing the quality of the natural environment;
  • conserving Canada's renewable resources;
  • conserving and protecting Canada's water resources;
  • forecasting weather and environmental change;
  • enforcing rules relating to boundary waters; and
  • coordinating environmental policies and programs for the federal government.

In the Pacific and Yukon Region, EC provides scientific and technical knowledge to and works in partnership with the Governments of B.C., Yukon and First Nations and with regional municipalities and non-governmental organizations to achieve departmental objectives. The department also collaborates with American environmental agencies in the Pacific Northwest to foster cooperation and develop shared objectives that are sensitive to local and regional ecosystems.

Environment Canada's implementation activities primarily address obligations under the UFA and final agreements with 11 Yukon First Nations. In particular, EC's activities are linked to Chapter 16 (Fish and Wildlife Management); they also touch on subjects contained in Chapter 10 (Special Management Areas), Chapter 11 (Land-Use Planning), Chapter 12 (Development Assessment), Chapter 14 (Water Management) and Chapter 18 (Non-Renewable Resources).

Implementation activities in the Yukon were led by staff in the Environmental Protection Operations Directorate and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Environmental Protection Operations Directorate

The Environmental Protection Operations Directorate (EPOD) worked with Yukon First Nations and boards/councils created under final and self-government agreements on initiatives in the areas of environmental assessment, contaminated sites, spills and emergencies. The directorate also provided advice, expertise and support for capacity building. Its specific activities are listed below.

Environmental Assessment

EC worked with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board and Yukon First Nations to implement the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA). EPOD provided coordinated input for the department in support of the assessment board's evaluations and screenings of projects in the Yukon. EPOD also provided expert advice to the Yukon Water Board as a follow up to the assessment decision document and compliance promotion. The directorate is participating in the five-year review of YESAA.

Response to Spills and Emergencies

Yukon First Nations were invited to participate in various training opportunities coordinated by EC related to spills and emergency response.

Advice, Technical Expertise and Capacity Building

EPOD provided advice and technical expertise and supported capacity building in a number of ways:

  • addressing queries from Yukon First Nations concerning potential contamination sources;
  • providing technical expertise and information to the Aboriginal Pipeline Coalition concerning federal environmental assessment processes;
  • participating in the technical committee for the Faro mine site and on committees for other Type II mines and providing expertise on remediating these contaminated sites;
  • participating on the technical committee for the waste management program and providing advice where required; and
  • providing access for interested Yukon First Nations to EC resources such as databases on spills and water quality.
Canadian Wildlife Service

Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) is primarily responsible for several areas:

  • the management and conservation of migratory birds (as defined under the Canada/U.S. Migratory Birds Convention) and their habitat;
  • administration of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and of non-aquatic species listed in SARA not found within a national park, national historic site or other protected heritage area; and
  • management of national wildlife areas within Yukon.

CWS participates in environmental assessments being conducted under YESAA and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act within the Yukon; and planning processes for regional land use, resource management and protected-area management.

Implementation of Land Claim Agreements

CWS maintains government-to-government relations with First Nations and the Inuvialuit. The wildlife service reviews new and existing land claim agreements and implementation plans to ensure that it meets identified responsibilities and actions. CWS works with wildlife co-management boards established under land claim and self-government agreements in meeting its responsibilities.

The Porcupine Caribou Management Agreement and the Canada-U.S. agreement on the Porcupine Caribou set out domestic and international management regimes with First Nation governments through management boards. CWS supports the operations of these boards by providing funding, information and technical advice.

Migratory Bird Conservation

CWS worked with the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board (YFWMB) to review the conservation implications of allowing an earlier opening for the waterfowl hunting season in the Yukon. The YFWMB recommended regulatory changes to the federal Minister of Environment that were largely accepted and implemented in 2009. CWS is currently developing a bird conservation region plan for the northwest interior forest, which covers most of the Yukon. A final draft is anticipated to be completed by September 2011. A number of sub-regional implementation plans will be developed. CWS has discussed the planning and future consultation processes with the YFWMB and the Wildlife Management Advisory Council – North Slope.

Species at Risk
Northern Mountain Woodland Caribou Planning

The Northern Mountain woodland caribou is listed as a species of special concern under SARA. CWS-Yukon led the management planning for this caribou population, required under the Act, with the Governments of B.C., Yukon, NWT and 31 First Nations. CWS-Yukon coordinated the drafting of the management plan with a group that included relevant First Nation, territorial, provincial and federal government agencies). CWS also supported the drafting of an assessment that identified actions to increase the capacity and preparedness of Yukon partners in species at risk processes.

Conservation Data Centre

In partnership with the Government of Yukon, CWS operated a conservation data centre focused on rare and SARA species. The centre provides objective, comprehensive and broadly accessible information on plants, animals and ecological communities of conservation interest to serve the needs of the public and private sectors in decision-making, research and education. The centre provides information to federal, territorial and First Nation governments and to wildlife management boards/councils and land-use planning commissions for the conservation of species and protected areas, land-use and resource planning, and environmental assessments.

Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring

CWS-Yukon led and delivered three Arctic biodiversity monitoring programs in cooperation with other territories, aboriginal organizations and countries:

  • The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program includes numerous technical partnerships across five Arctic nations. The goal of the program was to harmonize and enhance monitoring to improve the detection, reporting and understanding of important Arctic biodiversity trends.
  • The Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op is a community-based biodiversity-monitoring project that encompasses the northern Yukon, northwestern NWT and northeastern Alaska.
  • The CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network involved six Arctic nations. Its goals are to assess the vulnerability and resilience of human-rangifer systems, Yukon land claims and self-government agreements; coordinate knowledge collection and sharing; and develop and promoting adaptive strategies and policies that will ensure a sustainable human-rangifer future.
Environmental Assessment

In coordination with the Environmental Protection Operations Directorate, CWS provided information regarding migratory bird populations and their habitats, species at risk, and biodiversity to environmental and socio-economic assessment bodies established under the UFA.

Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area

CWS worked with Teslin Renewable Resource Council, Teslin Tlingit Council and Government of the Yukon in managing and administrating Environment Canada's Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area.



Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

During 2008–09, the Implementation Branch of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) worked primarily on implementing recommendations arising from the Yukon implementation reviews. Activities included developing a mandate for the Implementation Working Group (IWG).

Other recommendations included reformatting the annual report of land claims implementation to make it more reflective of the activities of the IWG. Amendments to the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Final Agreement and the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Final Agreement were also finalized.

The Parties began work on a multi-year Strategic Communications Plan. The plan is intended to provide a joint strategy for providing information to the public about Yukon land claims agreements. Additionally, the Parties began a yearly work plan for the IWG, setting out collective priorities to ensure that activities were properly tracked and able to be monitored. The Parties to the Agreements also acknowledged that while work had been conducted to achieve the objectives of Chapter 22 of the UFA, there had been no consistent method to track and report on progress. Consequently, a proposal is currently being considered by the Parties that would allow the review to be pushed forward to 2015; this will support the development of performance indicators to more concretely measure progress in this area.

A Northern Days was held, building on the success of the previous year's Yukon Days. It involved trilateral meetings of senior officials and was well attended.



Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada/Regional

Administration of Justice Agreements

Section 13 of each Yukon self-government agreement (SGA) recognizes that the First Nation has the jurisdiction to make laws with respect to the administration of justice. Negotiations with seven self-governing Yukon First Nations (SGYFNs) regarding the negotiation of Administration of Justice Agreements (AJAs) have reached the framework agreement stage. Negotiators have agreed to a draft AJA for the Teslin Tlingit Council and are in the process of obtaining approval of the agreement.

Programs and Services Transfer Agreements

Programs and Services Transfer Agreements (PSTAs) allow Yukon First Nations to assume responsibility and funding for the management, administration and delivery of any government program or service within their jurisdiction. Pursuant to section 17 of each SGA, participating self-governing Yukon First Nations provide annual letters of notice to Canada and the Yukon that outline their negotiating priorities for the fiscal year. Based on these letters, a work plan is developed that outlines the order in which the priorities will be addressed.

The self-governing Yukon First Nations priorities for 2008–09 focused on three Government of Yukon programs (alcohol and drug programs, child and family services, and education) and one Government of Canada program (the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy).

Alcohol and drug programming is being addressed at the main negotiation table as it is a priority for all First Nations. Sub-groups of First Nations have been formed for child and family services and education. Progress on these files has been limited by the parties' different interpretation of funding obligations and terms of cooperative program delivery.

A technical working group was struck to look at specific areas of concern. This group hopes to be able to report on its progress to the main table in the next fiscal year.

Intergovernmental Forum

The Intergovernmental Forum was established in July 2002. It is comprised of the Chief of each SGYFN, the Grand Chief of CYFN, the Premier of the Yukon, and the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. The forum's main objectives are to develop a shared vision for governance and for program and service delivery in Yukon within the context of land claims, self-government agreements and the Northern Affairs Program Devolution Transfer Agreement. It is also intended to build on existing intergovernmental relationships in the Yukon. The forum has provided a useful venue for highlighting issues of common importance to all levels of government in the territory.

The forum's structure and the process it follows are set out in the Intergovernmental Forum Protocol, which contains the framework for its tripartite intergovernmental political dialogue. A revised version of the original protocol was signed in November 2007. The protocol commits the parties to meeting twice a year in Yukon.

An Intergovernmental Forum was held in Whitehorse on August 19, 2008. This was attended by INAC Minister Chuck Strahl, Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie, CYFN Grand Chief Andy Carvill and Yukon First Nations chiefs. Agenda items included a discussion of First Nations' responses to the recent agreement review process and the renewal of implementation and fiscal agreements.

A group of senior officials from each government supports the forum by providing strategic advice and jointly developing the agendas for the meetings.

In 2008–09 a series of bilateral meetings took place between Yukon First Nations and INAC senior officials on a number of topics. In July, 2008 the INAC Deputy Minister visited two Yukon First Nations.

Taxation

Tax Administration Agreements regarding both federal and territorial Personal Income Tax (PIT) are now in place with ten of the 11 SGYFNs; discussions with the remaining First Nation continue. The Carcross/Tagish First Nation did not have a Tax Administration Agreement and was funded to undertake more work on PIT in 2008–09.

Tax Administration Agreements regarding First Nations Goods and Services Tax are in place with all 11 SGYFNs.

Governance Branch

In response to a recommendation in the 2007 Implementation Review of Yukon First Nation Final and Self-Government Agreements, the Implementation Working Group is developing a mandate which would formalize its role as the primary instrument for monitoring and resolving common implementation issues related to Yukon agreements. The mandate is in its final drafting phase and is expected to be given effect in 2009–10.

The Government of Canada worked in partnership with a number of Yukon First Nations and organizations and the Government of Yukon to develop a 14-minute video,"Setting our Course: Yukon First Nation Self-Government," about the history and impacts of self-government in the Yukon.

A presentation on Yukon self-government and implementation continues to be delivered to federal departments operating in the Yukon Region; this will continue into 2009–10. The following federal departments have received the presentation: INAC, Industry Canada, Canadian Heritage, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, RCMP First Nations Community Policing, and Justice Canada representatives from the Yukon and Ontario.



Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada is responsible for the legal surveying of Yukon First Nation settlement lands. Annual survey programs are based on recommendations made by First Nation Settlement Land Committees. Of the 11 Yukon First Nations that have Final Agreements, nine continue to implement legal surveys of their settlement lands.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Parties to the Final Agreements is required to facilitate the exchange of land where site-specific selections were incorrectly located and to complete the legal survey programs for six Yukon First Nations. MOUs for these six Yukon First Nations have not yet been completed or implemented.

Two First Nations have completed their survey programs: First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun and Selkirk First Nation.

Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN) has completed all surveys and is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for seven site-specific parcels moved to other locations.

The survey program for Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) is 98 percent complete. Category A and B adjustment parcels require final posts to complete the survey work. CAFN is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for 23 site-specific parcels moved to other locations; four site-specific parcels are surveyed ready for CAFN to sign; and four site-specific parcels have not yet been surveyed. CAFN has concerns with specific claims parcels R-71A and R-72A.

Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for 14 site-specific parcels moved to other locations. Field work for surveys is complete, as is the final adjustment parcel for Category B lands is complete. One community parcel has not yet been signed due to lack of resolution about the 100-foot reserve.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for eight site-specific parcels moved to other locations. The Category A adjustment parcel needs to be signed, and the administrative plan for the Old Crow Flats Special Management Area is near completion.

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for 11 site-specific parcels moved to other locations. One survey contract was issued in 2008–09 for one site-specific parcel and two rural adjustment parcels: A and B. (When all the lands in a category — A or B — have been surveyed and confirmed, the adjustment boundary for that category is surveyed. Any necessary adjustments are made to ensure that settlement land quantum is achieved). Field work for surveys is nearly complete, and the program is near completion.

Ta'an Kwäch'än Council is waiting for the Government of Yukon to implement the MOU for three site-specific parcels moved to other locations. Field work for the survey program is complete.

For Kluane First Nation, one survey contract completed 18 site-specific parcels.

For Kwanlin Dün First Nation, four survey contracts completed two rural block parcels, two community selections and 50 site-specific parcels.

For Carcross/Tagish First Nation, ten survey contracts completed four rural block parcels and 48 site-specific parcels.






Appendices

Appendix 1. Yukon First Nations

Yukon First Nations with Final and Self-government Agreements

  • Carcross/Tagish First Nation
  • Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
  • First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun
  • Kluane First Nation
  • Kwanlin Dün First Nation
  • Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
  • Selkirk First Nation
  • Ta'an Kwäch'än Council
  • Teslin Tlingit Council
  • Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in
  • Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Yukon First Nations without Final and Self-government Agreements

  • Liard First Nation
  • Ross River Dena Council
  • White River First Nation


Appendix 2. Features of the Umbrella Final Agreement

The UFA is the framework within which each of the 14 Yukon First Nations will conclude a final land claim settlement agreement. The UFA is included word for word within each individual First Nation Final Agreement. Provisions that are specific to the individual Final Agreement are shown in a box. The amount of settlement land and financial compensation guaranteed by the UFA is allocated to individual First Nations based on a formula that was arrived at by the 14 Yukon First Nations.

These are some of the key provisions:

  • title to 41,439 square kilometres of land divided into Category A Settlement Land which has both surface and subsurface rights and Category B Settlement Land which has surface rights only, but which includes the right to specified substance materials such as sand and gravel;
  • $246,600,000 in financial compensation payments (1989 dollars);
  • payment of individual First Nation shares over 15 years, beginning when each final agreement is reached;
  • $6,500,000 (1998 dollars) Yukon Indian Peoples Training Trust;
  • $3,245,736 (1992 dollars) Fish and Wildlife Management Trust;
  • up to $1,500,000 (1992 dollars) for the Yukon River drainage basin for a salmon harvest study;
  • a total of $4,000,000 (1990 dollars) as initial capital for the establishment of the Yukon First Nations Implementation Fund;
  • payment of $26,570,000 (1992 dollars) in exchange for Indian Act Section 87 tax rights, beginning on the third anniversary of the effective date of the UFA;
  • rental revenues from surface leases and royalties from the development of non-renewable resources that take place on settlement land;
  • rights to harvest wildlife for subsistence purposes throughout the traditional territory;
  • preferential harvesting of some species and exclusive harvesting on Category A settlement land;
  • approximately 70 percent of the traplines allocated in each traditional territory;
  • guaranteed one-third First Nation membership on the Yukon Water Board, the Dispute Resolution Board and the Yukon Land-Use Planning Council, and up to two-thirds representation on regional land-use planning commissions;
  • guaranteed 50 percent representation on the Development Assessment Board (now known as the Yukon Environmental Assessment and Socio-economic Assessment Board or YESAB), Yukon Surface Rights Board, Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board and renewable resource councils (RRCs);
  • provisions for promoting and preserving the culture and heritage of Yukon First Nations and their people; and
  • provisions for the ownership and management of heritage resources and designated heritage sites.


Appendix 3. Features of the Final Agreements and Self-government Agreements

Common Specific Provisions

  • Participation in government employment, contracting and development projects in the traditional territory.
  • Options to acquire up to 25 percent of projects managed by the Government of Yukon or its agencies or corporations in future non-renewable resource and hydro-electric developments in the traditional territory.
  • Economic development and employment planning processes.

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN)

Effective date: February 14, 1995

  • A total of 1,230.24 sq. km of land with surface and sub-surface title (Category A); 1,165.49 sq. km of land with surface title only, but including rights to materials such as sand and gravel (Category B).
  • Financial compensation payments of $31,937,855 (1993 dollars) over 15 years.
  • Specific moose harvests for subsistence needs.
  • Primary consideration in allocation of freshwater fish resources in the traditional territory.
  • Priority allocation of a minimum number of sockeye and chinook salmon in the Alsek River basin.
  • Guaranteed participation in commercial freshwater, salmon fishery and sports fishing, adventure travel, forestry, outfitting and campsite operations in the traditional territory.
  • Representation on the Kluane National Park Management Board.
  • Proportional representation in federal public service positions in Kluane National Park and Reserve.
  • Exclusive opportunity or right of first refusal for commercial operations in Kluane National Park and Reserve.
  • Exclusive harvesting rights in Kluane National Park and Reserve within CAFN traditional territory.
  • Establishment of a process to guide the development of Kluane National Park and Reserve and Sha'washe and the surrounding area, and joint management of the Tatshenshini River.
  • Provisions to nominate the Tatshenshini River as a Canadian Heritage River.

First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun (FNNND)

Effective date: February 14, 1995

  • A total of 2,408.69 sq. km of land surface and sub-surface title; 2,330.99 sq. km of land surface title only, but including rights to material, such as sand and gravel.
  • Financial compensation payments of $16,888,734 (1993 dollars) over 15 years.
  • Specific commercial wilderness rights in commercial freshwater fishing, adventure travel and commercial freshwater sports fishing.
  • A comprehensive economic plan that may include preferential employment and business initiatives for FNNND.
  • Subsistence harvesting rights of moose, woodland caribou, fish, birds, etc.
  • Agreement to enter into negotiations with government and Selkirk First Nation to establish the McArthur Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Representation on the Peel River Watershed Advisory Committee.
  • Establishment of a habitat protection area at Horseshoe Slough.
  • Participation in management of the Peel River watershed.
  • Designation and management of a trading post on FNNND settlement land at Lansing as a historic site.
  • Provisions to nominate the Bonnet Plume River as a Canadian Heritage River.

Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC)

Effective date: February 14, 1995

  • A total of 1,230.24 sq. km of land with surface and sub-surface title; 1,165.49 sq. km of land with title in surface only, but including rights to material such as sand and gravel.
  • Financial compensation payments of $21,646,715 (1993 dollars) over 15 years.
  • Guaranteed participation in commercial freshwater and sports fishing, outfitting and commercial wilderness adventure travel; certain employment opportunities for work related to heritage sites, forestry and surveying.
  • Specific moose harvest for subsistence needs.
  • Primary consideration in allocation of freshwater fish resources in the traditional territory.
  • Required approval for any proposed game farming or ranching activities in the traditional territory when TTC harvesting rights may be affected.
  • Establishment of the Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area and preparation of a joint management plan which considers traditional and current use by TTC.
  • Rights to harvest wildlife and forest resources in the Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area.
  • Provisions for recognizing and protecting the heritage and cultural significance of several specific routes and sites and of the Nisutlin River Valley.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN)

Effective date: February 14, 1995

  • A total of 7,744.06 sq. km of land with surface and sub-surface title.
  • Financial compensation payments of $22,234,780 (1993 dollars) over 15 years.
  • Exclusive rights to all new big-game outfitting concessions within VGFN traditional territory.
  • All commercial salmon fishing licences and all commercial salmon sport licences in the Porcupine River drainage basin for 15 years; preferential rights afterward to any allocation of commercial and sport fishing salmon licences.
  • Right of first refusal for commercial wilderness travel and commercial freshwater sport fishing in the Vuntut Gwitchin settlement territory.
  • At least 50 percent of federal public service positions with the Vuntut National Park to be filled by VGFN members.
  • First option to acquire business licences within Vuntut National Park.
  • Specific moose harvest for subsistence requirements.
  • Basic needs allocation of salmon in the Porcupine River drainage basin.
  • Rights to subsistence level and harvesting in VGFN traditional territory.
  • Establishment of Vuntut National Park, Fishing Branch Ecological Reserve and Old Crow Flats special management area.
  • Provisions concerning the preparation of a land-use plan before an all-weather road is constructed into the community of Old Crow.
  • Provisions for the protection, ownership and management of heritage resources and designated historic sites.
  • Joint ownership and management of Rampart House and Lapierre House historic sites.

Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN)

Effective date: October 1, 1997

  • A total of 2,598.46 sq. km of settlement land with title to the surface, including 1,533.99 sq. km of land for which there is ownership of mines and minerals in fee simple.
  • Financial compensation of $20,908,598 (1997 dollars) paid over 15 years.
  • Certain preferential allocations of any new licences or permits for commercial freshwater fishing, commercial freshwater sports fishing, commercial wilderness adventure travel and outfitting concessions in the traditional territory.
  • Specific formulas to set out the priority allocation for moose and woodland caribou harvest for subsistence needs in the event of necessary limitations.
  • Establishment of the Nordenskiold Wetland HPA.
  • A management plan for Mandanna Lake to be prepared jointly by government and LSCFN to address and balance priorities of harvest between the First Nation and other users.
  • Processes to enable cooperation between the First Nation and government in identifying and protecting heritage sites incorporated into the Final Agreement.

Selkirk First Nation (SFN)

Effective date: October 1, 1997

  • A total of 4,739 sq. km of settlement land with surface title, including 2,408.69 sq. km for which there is ownership of mines and minerals in fee simple.
  • Financial compensation of $22,289,077 (1997 dollars) paid over 15 years.
  • Certain preferential allocations of any new licences or permits for commercial freshwater fishing, commercial freshwater sports fishing, commercial wilderness adventure travel and outfitting concessions in the traditional territory.
  • Negotiated arrangements for employment and contracting benefits associated with any construction and operation of a hydro-electric project at Granite Canyon.
  • Specific formulas to set out the priority allocation for moose and woodland caribou harvest for subsistence needs in the event of necessary limitations.
  • Establishment of the Lhutsaw Wetland and Ddhaw Ghro HPAs and development of an SMA for Ta'tla Mun Lake.
  • Fort Selkirk designated as a historic site and jointly owned, planned and managed by SFN and Yukon.

Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in (TH)

Effective date: September 15, 1998

  • A total of 2,598 sq. km of settlement land with surface title, including 1,554 sq. km for which there is ownership of mines and minerals in fee simple.
  • Financial compensation of $47,884,845 (1998 dollars) paid over 15 years, less outstanding negotiation loans.
  • Establishment of Tombstone Territorial Park.
  • Establishment of Tr'ochëk Heritage Site (also known as Klondike City) across the Klondike River from Dawson City.
  • A special waterfront area scheme to provide for the protection of lands along the shores of sites of particular importance to the First Nation; TH to control those uses that are incompatible, such as people leaving refuse, visiting the sites without permission and removing artifacts.
  • Specific economic opportunities in connection with the North Fork hydro-electric project.
  • A working group established to make recommendations to the Minister and TH on habitat protection measures that may contribute to the growth of the Fortymile Caribou Herd.
  • The Forty Mile, Fort Cudahy and Fort Constantine historic site to be a designated heritage site and jointly owned and managed by TH and Yukon.

Ta'an Kwäch'än Council (TKC)

Effective date: April 1, 2003

  • A total of approximately 777 sq. km of settlement land with surface title, including 338 square km for which there is ownership of mines and minerals in fee simple.
  • Financial compensation: $26,947,080 (2002 dollars) paid over 15 years, less outstanding negotiation loans.
  • Direct involvement as a government in a broad range of decisions about land and resources within its traditional territory.
  • Unique provisions in the Final Agreement include the protection of the historical Livingstone Trail located northwest of Whitehorse; recognition of the earlier designation of the Thirty Mile Section of the Yukon River as a Canadian Heritage River; and the establishment of the Yukon River Watershed Working Group charged with protection and enhancement of Yukon River between Bennett Lake and Lake Laberge.
  • An additional one-time payment of $3.5 million (2002 dollars) resulting from the Government of Canada's decision to re-index compensation dollars.
  • Commitment by Canada to establish a unique $4.9-million-dollar (2002 dollars) economic development fund.
  • Preferential fish and wildlife harvesting rights within the traditional territory.
  • First Nation participation in decision-making affecting fish and wildlife and non-settlement land within the traditional territory through various boards, committees and councils.

Kluane First Nation (KFN)

Effective date: February 2, 2004

  • A total of approximately 913 sq. km of settlement land with surface title, including 647.6 sq. km for which there is ownership of mines and minerals in fee simple.
  • Financial compensation: $21,990,795 in compensation over the next 15 years, less outstanding negotiation loans, as well as an additional one-time payment of $2.9 million to re-index compensation dollars.
  • Approximately $4.54 million one-time payment for economic development, training and education projects.
  • Establishment of the Asi Keyi Natural Environment Park, which includes the Klutlan Glacier; an HPA at Pickhandle Lakes; and Tächäl Region of Kluane National Park and Reserve.
  • Specific rights for fish and wildlife harvesting, and economic and employment opportunities.
  • Guaranteed wildlife harvesting rights and participation in decision-making bodies dealing with renewable resource management on non-settlement land within the traditional territory.

Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN)

Effective date: April 1, 2005

  • A total of approximately 1,036 sq. km of settlement land with surface title, 35 sq. km of which is located inside the City of Whitehorse, including some waterfront land. Of the 1,036 sq. km of settlement land, 647.5 sq. km includes ownership of mines and minerals in fee simple.
  • Financial compensation of $22,010,870 in net financial compensation paid over the next 15 years, as well as an additional one-time payment of $6.4 million to re-index compensation dollars.
  • $5.67 million economic development fund to be used for economic development, relevant training and education, and the cost of administering the fund.
  • A lump-sum payment of $6 million under a Collateral Agreement for the settlement of outstanding litigation with respect to Lot 226, potential disputes arising from the 1986 relocation, and a contribution to KDFN's waterfront development.
  • $100,000 towards KDFN's participation in the Whitehorse Fishway Redevelopment Project.
  • New initiatives that allow KDFN a more active role in joint land-use planning within its traditional territory.
  • Creation of the Southern Lakes Wildlife Coordinating Committee.
  • Establishment of Kusawa Park and the Lewes Marsh Wetland HPA.

Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN)

Effective date: January 9, 2006

  • A total of approximately 1,561 sq. km of settlement land with surface title, including 1,036 sq. km for which there is ownership of mines and minerals in fee simple.
  • Financial compensation of $38,832,045 in financial compensation paid over the next 15 years, less outstanding negotiation loans, with another $5.28 million to re-index compensation dollars.
  • Economic Development Strategic Investment funding of approximately $5.6 million.
  • Establishment of Agay Mene Natural Environment Park and Tagish River Habitat Protection Area.
  • Specific rights for fish and wildlife harvesting and economic and employment opportunities.
  • Guaranteed wildlife harvesting rights and participation in decision-making bodies dealing with renewable resource management on non-settlement land within the traditional territory.


Appendix 4. Financial Compensation Payments

Chapter 19 of each Yukon First Nation Financial Agreement provides for capital transfer payments to the Yukon First Nation on the anniversary of the signature date of its final agreement. The following settlement payments (net of negotiation loans) were made to Yukon First Nations.

fiscal year payments ($)
1994–1995 9,380,366
1995–1996 8,744,728
1996–1997 8,109,089
1997–1998 12,163,681
1998–1999 13,655,500
1999–2000 12,977,994
2000–2001 11,529,120
2001–2002 11,529,125
2002-2003 12,489,419
2003-2004 12,219,606
2004-2005 13,538,068 *
2005-2006 15,867,658 *
2006-2007 17,539,080 *
2007-2008 17,100,310 *
2008-2009 17,076,472 *

* official pre-rounding



Appendix 5. Costs of Implementation

These funds were allocated by Canada to CYFN and various boards and committees for implementation purposes.

Fiscal Year Payments ($)
1994–1995 10,504,745
1995–1996 1,608,601
1996–1997 2,175,012
1997–1998 2,463,814
1998–1999 2,426,573
1999–2000 2,237,664
2000–2001 2,430,336
2001–2002 2,547,661
2002-2003 2,719,872
2003-2004 3,295,667
2004-2005 3,342,024
2005-2006 3,528,223
2006-2007 3,371,355
2007-2008 3,424,803
2008-2009 3,390,708


Appendix 6. Acronyms

AJA
Administration of Justice Agreement
ARRC
Alsek Renewable Resource Council
BNA
Basic Needs Allocation
CAFN
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
CATT
Champagne and Aishihik traditional territory
CTFN
Carcross/Tagish First Nation
CYFN
Council of Yukon First Nations
DDRRC
Dawson District Renewable Resource Council
DFO
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
DYRRC
Dän Keyi Renewable Resource Council
DRB
Dispute Resolution Board
FA
Final Agreement
FNNND
First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun
FTA
Financial Transfer Agreement
GA
General Assembly
HPA
Habitat Protection Area
INAC
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
IRG
Implementation Review Group
IWG
Implementation Working Group
KDFN
Kwanlin Dün First Nation
KFN
Kluane First Nation
LCIS
Land Claims Implementation Secretariat
LSCFN
Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
MDRRC
Mayo District Renewable Resource Council
MOU
Memorandum of Understanding
NYPC
North Yukon Planning Commission
NYRRC
North Yukon Renewable Resource Council
OiC
Order in Council
PSSSL
Proposed site-specific Settlement Land
PSTA
Programs and Services Transfer Agreement
PWGSC
Public Works and Government Services Canada
PWPC
Peel Watershed Planning Commission
RRC
Renewable Resource Council
SEIBA
Socio-Economic Impact Benefit Agreement
SFAC
Senior Financial Arrangements Committee
SFN
Selkirk First Nation
SGA
Self-Government Agreement
SGYFN
Self-Governing Yukon First Nation
SMA
Special Management Area
SRRC
Selkirk Renewable Resource Council
SSC
Salmon Sub-Committee
TH
Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in
TKC
Ta'an Kwäch'än Council
TPC
Training Policy Committee
TRRC
Teslin Renewable Resource Council
TTC
Teslin Tlingit Council
UFA
Umbrella Final Agreement
VGFN
Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
YESAA
Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act
YESAB
Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board
YFN
Yukon First Nation
YFWMB
Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board
YGPNB
Yukon Geographical Place Names Board
YHRB
Yukon Heritage Resources Board
YLUPC
Yukon Land-Use Planning Council
YSRB
Yukon Surface Rights Board


Appendix 7. Map of Traditional Territories