Government of Yukon

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FOR RELEASE     #10-022
February 9, 2010

First Nation governance conference builds on experiences

WHITEHORSE – The Government of Yukon and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) are co-hosting the First Nation Governance: Building on Experience conference February 9 to 11, 2010 in Whitehorse. The conference will bring together First Nation, Yukon and federal government representatives to share knowledge, build partnerships and strengthen working relationships.

“Building on last year’s success, this conference provides another intergovernmental networking opportunity to learn from each other and further develop skills,” Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie said. “This forum is a fine example of how Northern Strategy Trust funds are being used to build capacity in First Nation governments.” 

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the second edition of the First Nation Governance: Building on Experience conference,” said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. “I’m confident it will build on last year’s success and participants will again come away with enhanced knowledge, improved capacity and stronger partnerships that will lead to prosperous communities.” 

The three-day conference is an opportunity for Yukon and northern BC First Nations, federal and territorial government officials to work together and learn from each others’ experiences in capacity development. Yukon First Nations, along with the Daylu Dena Council, Dease River First Nation and the Taku River Tlingit First Nation of British Columbia were invited to send employees responsible for governance, administration and training. This year the invitation was extended to youth representatives as well.

The conference is funded through the Government of Yukon, the Northern Strategy Trust Fund and INAC’s Professional and Institutional Development Program. This year’s event builds on the success of Capacity Conference: Moving Forward that was held in February 2009.


Attached: First Nation Governance:  Building on Experience - list of presentations.


Patch Groenewegen
Communications, Executive Council Office
Government of Yukon


Ben Yu Schott
INAC – Yukon Region


First Nation Governance:  Building on Experience
List of presentations


    Pauline Frost and Stewart Breithaupt, Self-Government Secretariat, will provide an overview of the secretariat and its new website and resource centre.

  • Bert Perry, Regional Economic Development director with the Yukon government and Justin Ferbey, CEO of the Carcross/Tagish development and management corporations, will provide overviews of services and projects.

  • Khâ Shâde Héni Mark Wedge and Beverly Sembsmoen, Carcross/Tagish First Nation, will provide an overview of the Dream Catcher program, an innovative leadership and e-mentoring program that fosters career skills development in Grade 9-12 students.

  • Shaunna Morgan, manager, Taking Action on Climate Change, Center for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) will lead an interactive presentation on climate change, planning and governance relevant to First Nations.

  • Marian Holler, economic development manager, Taku River Tlingit First Nation, will share information on their powerful Skills for Success life skills workshop.

  • Ashley Sisco, research associate, Conference Board of Canada will describe the mandate, research agenda and overall approach to the board’s recently launched Centre for the North.

  • Wayne Potoroka, director of communications, Tr’ondëk Hwëch'in, will present an overview for developing a communications policy within a self-governing First Nation.

  • Manon Moreau and Barb Joe, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, will present strategies that Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) is using to develop capacity within its organization around governance.

  • John Burdek, Yukon government and Tosh Southwick, director of First Nation initiatives, Yukon College will provide an update on the First Nation Governance and the Public Administration Pilot initiative, a new accredited executive leadership and management training certificate (formerly the Executive Development Pilot program). Tosh will also provide an update on Yukon College First Nation initiatives.

  • Suzzanne Green, Shadelle Chambers and Brian MacDonald, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) will talk about the First Nation’s new Public Policy Development project, which includes inventorying existing policy, redefining the approach to policy development and refining the policy framework to make it better reflect CAFN values and the size of their government.

  • Christine Smith, acting director, Community Affairs, Yukon government will provide an overview of how to apply for Gas Tax funds. This will include a presentation of the regional branch contacts, eligible categories list and a best practice example of a project proposal.

  • A representative from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) will provide an overview of the newly developed agency.

  • John Burdek with Yukon government, John Meikle with Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Shel Graupe with Vuntut Gwitchin Government, will provide overviews of projects aimed at increasing capacity development.