WHITEHORSE—Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski hosted a meeting of National Aboriginal Organizations and provincial and territorial premiers in Whitehorse today.
The meeting was originally planned to be held in Haines Junction, but was relocated to Whitehorse due to poor weather conditions at the airport. Leaders and premiers are also travelling to Haines Junction for a community visit and cultural display following the meeting.
“I am pleased to welcome premiers and national Indigenous leaders to Yukon,” Pasloski said. “Today’s meeting was a valuable opportunity to discuss topics of great importance to Yukoners and address opportunities for Canada’s provinces, territories and national Indigenous leaders to continue our work together.”
The leaders discussed several key topics including Aboriginal economic development, the outcomes of the Second National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
They came to unanimous agreement that a focus of a new federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous forum announced in June 2016 to replace the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group should be child welfare.
For the first time, a panel presentation on Aboriginal economic development initiatives was also held as part of the meeting. Panelists, who shared economic success stories, included Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Chief Steve Smith, Aboriginal Business Investment Council chair and Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Ellis Ross, Kaminak Gold Corporation president and CEO Eira Thomas and Des Nedhe Development president and chief operating officer Gary Merasty.
The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) will host leaders this afternoon at the Da Kų Cultural Centre for a cultural showcase by First Nations artists, an opportunity to tour the centre, and a chance to meet CAFN and other Yukon First Nation leaders.
“We welcome Canada’s national Aboriginal leaders and premiers to our Traditional Territory,” CAFN Chief Steve Smith said. “Yukon First Nations play a significant role in Yukon’s political and economic landscape. We welcome the opportunity to show Canada how our culture and way of life helps us build a stronger economy.”
Communications, Executive Council Office