WHITEHORSE—The sixth annual First Nation governance and capacity development conference took place at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse on February 5 and 6, providing an opportunity for governments and organizations to share their success stories and learn from leaders.
Hosted jointly by the Government of Yukon, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Council of Yukon First Nations, the conference’s theme was Strategic Opportunities, with a focus on partnerships, economic development and education.
“The Government of Yukon was pleased to work once again with our partners the Government of Canada and the Council of Yukon First Nations to hold this valuable conference,” Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “Conference topics, discussions and opportunities to learn from each other support the ongoing work by our governments to strengthen Yukon’s future.”
Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Ruth Massie said: “This year’s conference highlighted the progress Yukon First Nations have achieved successfully since implementing their agreements and how important partnerships and collaboration with the other governments are when working together to capture the many opportunities available to Yukon First Nations that can lead to future successes.”
Delegates had the opportunity to hear from former Yukon First Nations leaders Robert Hager from Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Percy Henry from Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Ray Jackson from Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and Danny Joe from Selkirk First Nation about their vision in pursuing land claims and self-government. Delegates also heard from three current Yukon First Nations chiefs: Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Eddie Taylor, Kluane First Nation Chief Math’eiya Alatini and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Chief James Allen.
“Canada's ongoing collaboration with our partners to make this conference possible has helped enhance First Nation governance and economic potential, to the benefit of all Canadians,” Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development the Honourable Bernard Valcourt said. “Many of the Yukon First Nations leaders seized the opportunity just over 40 years ago to pursue the negotiation of their land claims, and later also self-government agreements. Together we continue to succeed for Northerners, and all of Canada.”
Experts from throughout Yukon and beyond spoke at the conference, including keynote speaker Albert Rock, entrepreneur and founder, president and board chair of the multi-million dollar technological enterprise ACR Systems Inc. Other speakers included Garry Merkel, a negotiator and expert on building relationships in the resource sector, and Tyson Atleo, an Aboriginal engagement advisor with the Government of Canada.
First Nation Governance and Capacity Development Conference: www.firstnationgovernanceconference.ca
Government of Yukon
Council of Yukon First Nations
Government of Yukon
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Yukon Region
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada