Government of Yukon

YG CYFN Canada

FOR RELEASE     #11-029
February 15, 2011

First Nation conference develops shared knowledge

WHITEHORSE—The third annual First Nation Governance Conference is being held February 15-16 in Whitehorse, hosted by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), the Government of Yukon and the Self Government Secretariat / Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN).

This year the theme of the conference is Sharing Our Knowledge. The conference brings together First Nation, Yukon and federal government representatives to share knowledge, build partnerships and strengthen working relationships.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support this conference, which consistently provides a forum for knowledge exchange and capacity growth that benefits First Nations in Yukon and Northern British Columbia,” Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians John Duncan said.

“Yukon First Nations know that fostering good government and strong accountability in their communities increases investor confidence, supports economic partnerships and can help to improve living conditions,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Member of Parliament for Nunavut, Regional Minister for the North and Minister of Health. “They have been cultivating that knowledge and experience for a quite a while and are sharing it for greater good of all residents of the Yukon.”

“Yukon is pleased to support and co-host this conference. We are committed to working with First Nations and Canada on capacity development,” Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie said. “This conference will be an intergovernmental opportunity for everyone to benefit from shared knowledge.”

“The Council of Yukon First Nations is once again pleased to support and participate in this the third annual Yukon First Nation Governance Capacity Conference.  In unity with Self Governing Yukon First Nations, CYFN has long understood the vital role of building capacity in our communities,” said Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Ruth Massie. “While capacity development continually occurs within the Yukon First Nation governments and CYFN themselves - the Self Government Secretariat department of CYFN has been working diligently on numerous initiatives that we are more than happy to share over the next two days.”

The conference is funded by INAC’s Professional and Institutional Development Program, the Government of Yukon, the Northern Strategy Trust Fund and the Self Government Secretariat / Council of Yukon First Nations.


See backgrounder below.


Roxanne Vallevand
Cabinet Communications
Government of Yukon


Stewart Breithaupt
Self-Government Secretariat / Council of Yukon First Nations


Yumimi Pang
INAC – Yukon Region



List of Presentations
First Nation Governance: Sharing Our Knowledge
Yukon Inn
February 15-16, 2011

Keynote Address: The Governance Challenge and the Future of First Nations
Dr. Stephen Cornell, co-founder of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and professor of sociology and of public administration and policy at the University of Arizona will present on the governance challenge and the future of First Nations.

National Centre for First Nation Governance
Cherlyn Billy and Charles Douglas will deliver a presentation on the National Centre for First Nation Governance (NCFNG), an innovative service and research organization offering an important set of nation re-building services to First Nations from the Atlantic to the Pacific. NCFNG provides a bridge between traditional and contemporary governance models. Services are developed and delivered by experienced and educated Aboriginal staff.

Na-Cho N'yäk Dun Government Organizational and Capacity Development Initiative
Chief Simon Mervyn and Anne Leckie will provide an overview of the Na-Cho N’yäk Dun Government Organizational and Capacity Development Initiative. This project includes undertaking a scoping and analyzing exercise on the existing Na-Cho N’yäk Dun (NND) governance and departmental administrative, organizational and operational policies and procedures, outlining gaps and prioritizing next steps, researching, analyzing and evaluating existing best practices in relevant governance, administrative, organizational and operational processes and procedures, and developing an NND political transition guide.

Kluane First Nation
Chief Math'ieya Alatini will speak to various aspects of good governance, drawing from her own personal experiences throughout her life and career. Math'ieya Alatini was elected Chief of the Kluane First Nation in the summer of 2010.
Seeing Your Policy Through the Public’s Eyes
Yukon government’s Manon Moreau and Joanna Lilley will discuss the value of policy and communications roles in government. This workshop will help participants understand how government decisions are made and the importance of communicating with the public.

Community Visioning and Strategic Planning
Cherlyn Billy and Charles Douglas of the National Centre for First Nation Governance will host an interactive workshop that will demonstrate how to work with a community’s citizens to develop a shared vision and learn how to support a vision with a strategic plan so that it is implemented effectively.

Not Simply to Preserve it, but to Live it
Pauline Frost and Stewart Breithaupt will discuss how over the past two years the Self Government Secretariat (SGS) at CYFN has established itself as a model of modern day support of First Nations Governance. Pauline and Stewart will provide a synopsis of how the SGS projects not only provide direct support to all Yukon First Nation governments but how the Self Government Agreements themselves can be brought to life within the communities in a creative and engaging fashion. Self determination, culture, language and heritage….not simply to preserve it, but to live it.

Comprehensive Community Planning
Ms. Jessie Hemphill, Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations, will give an overview of the key elements of community engagement, partnership building, communication and capacity building, that were responsible for the successful comprehensive community planning process of the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations. The process, under Ms. Hemphill’s direction, was developed by the community, for the community. 

First Nation Capacity Development: Services and Funding Opportunities
Alistair Maitland, INAC, and Catherine Poole. Yukon government, will lead an informative discussion panel that will present opportunities in the areas of professional development, training, funding and services available that support First Nation capacity development.

Communications - Exchanging Expertise
Line Gagnon, INAC Yukon Region, along with Champagne & Aishihik First Nations’ Amy McKinnon, Teslin Tlingit Council’s Gord Curran, Na-Cho N’yäk Dun’s Anne Leckie and the Self Government Secretariat’s Stewart Breithaupt will discuss an innovative exchange program that places members of INAC Yukon Region's communications team into different First Nation offices for one week to work with, learn from, and build relationships with various First Nations in the region.

Our Numbers, Our Perspective, Our Own Stories Told
Dr. Gerry Ewert is the Senior Advisor for the Yukon First Nations Statistics Agency (YFNSA) and will be speaking about the vital role that accurate, sound and up–to-date data plays in supporting effective governance. As the plenary title suggests, the time has come when statistics/data are used to tell the story from a Yukon First Nation perspective. “Our numbers, our perspective, our own stories told” will inform the listener about how and why the YFNSA was established as well as how it is supporting Yukon First Nation governments today.