WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon and White River First Nation jointly announced today that they have initiated preliminary negotiations with the goal of reaching a Reconciliation Agreement.
The intent of the Reconciliation Agreement discussions is to provide the parties with a process to constructively resolve issues relating to land use and other matters that have caused tensions in the past.
White River First Nation is one of three Yukon First Nations without a land claim agreement with Canada and Yukon. The Yukon government recently established a mandate to begin reconciliation discussions with White River.
The parties have agreed to work on addressing matters pertaining to consultation, decision making and land use related issues.
“We look forward to resolving very important issues in a positive and open manner with White River First Nation,” Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “Reconciliation discussions will allow us to move forward together, establishing processes and agreements that support our shared goals.”
White River First Nation Chief Angela Demit said, “We are pleased that the Yukon government will sit down with us to respectfully address some of the challenges that we both face in resolving land use issues. White River First Nation is not interested in the UFA land claim process, but we do need to find ways that we can work together more cooperatively for the sake of our members.”
While the discussions are still in the early stages, the parties are optimistic that they will move into detailed negotiations early in 2015 and look forward to creating new opportunities in their government to government relationship.
Communications, Executive Council Office