Government of Yukon

February 1, 2018

Government of Yukon and First Nations leaders set course for final Regional Land Use Plan for the Peel watershed

Joint news release

Leaders from the Government of Yukon and affected First Nations met in Dawson on January 29 to discuss next steps for finalizing the Regional Land Use Plan for the Peel watershed.

Premier Sandy Silver, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai, Minister of Environment Pauline Frost, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Roberta Joseph, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Chief Simon Mervyn, Vuntut Gwitchin Government Chief Bruce Charlie and Gwich’in Tribal Council Deputy Grand Chief Jordan Peterson attended the discussion.

The discussion confirmed that all parties support the vision and intent set out by the Final Recommended Plan. They also laid out the next step, which will be to establish a liaison committee made up of senior officials representing the parties. The committee will develop a joint consultation plan.

After consultation, the parties will collaborate on approving a final land use plan for the region and develop arrangements for cooperative implementation.

The parties anticipate this process to take approximately a year.


“We are now finally going in the right direction for the future of the Peel watershed. We look forward to working together with First Nations, affected communities, stakeholders and Yukoners in a respectful and transparent way to arrive at a plan for the Peel watershed that we can all embrace. This process is an important part of rebuilding respectful government to government relationships.”

– Premier Sandy Silver

“We are looking forward to consulting on the final recommend plan now that we have clarity from the Supreme Court. Throughout the planning process, First Nations people and Yukoners told us they wanted increased protection for this pristine, natural area and we are eager to hear from them again as we move through final consultation and approval of the plan.”

– Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Roberta Joseph

“We are looking forward to collaboratively working together with Government of Yukon, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun, and Gwich’in Tribal Council over the course of the next year in order to approve and implement the Final Recommended Peel Watershed Land Use Plan in accordance with the spirit and intent of our Final Agreement and the guidance of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision. There is a lot of work ahead to ensure we protect the Peel Watershed for present and future generations and we will continue to build positive working relationships with all of our partners to achieve this.”

– Vuntut Gwitchin Government Chief Bruce Charlie

“We are encouraged by the commitment of the Yukon government to move forward in a positive direction in regards to the Regional Land Use Plan of the Peel. Striking the Senior Liaison Committee with full input from all affected communities, will ensure all voices are at the table.”

– Gwich’in Tribal Council Deputy Grand Chief Jordan Peterson

“In the spirit of good relationships and the opportunities arising out of the final agreements, it is clear as to what our obligations are. With the outcome of the Supreme Court decision, it reaffirms the integrity and certainty of our agreements, and that we must all work together. We thank Premier Silver and his Ministers for the good work that we accomplished in Dawson on January 29th. We look forward to moving the process ahead and continuing the good work towards the final approval of the recommended land use plan and protection of the Peel Watershed.”

– First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Chief Simon Mervyn

Quick facts

  • The Supreme Court of Canada directed the parties to return to section of the Umbrella Final Agreement, where the parties will consult on the Final Recommended Plan before approving a final plan.
  • The Final Recommended Plan was developed in 2011 by the Peel Regional Land Use Planning Commission. It is now in the parties' hands to consult and approve, so there is no need to reestablish the planning commission.


Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications

Jesse Devost
Communications, Energy, Mines and Resources

Rebecca Shrubb
Policy and Communications, Vuntut Gwitchin Government
(867) 966-3261 ext. 258

Tony Devlin
Communications, Gwich’in Tribal Council

Wayne Potoroka
Communications, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun
867-993-7100 ext. 108

News Release #18-017