At the Tombstone Territorial Park Interpretive Centre. YG PHOTO
About the Agreements
Yukon is a trailblazer in the realm of land claims negotiations and Self-Government, not only in Canada, but around the world.
The process began when the Yukon Native Brotherhood (now the Council of Yukon First Nations), presented Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow: A Statement of Grievances and an Approach to Settlement by the Yukon Indian People to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in January 1973. Since then, the Council of Yukon First Nations has signed the Umbrella Final Agreement and 11 of Yukon’s 14 First Nations have signed their Final and Self-Government agreements and established governments and therefore are no longer under the jurisdiction of the federal government’s Indian Act.
Final Agreements are comprehensive legal documents that establish the rights and responsibilities for each First Nation in areas such as Settlement Lands, land use planning, wildlife management, and involvement with the territorial and federal government.
Umbrella Final Agreement
The Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA) is a document between the federal government, the Yukon government and Yukon First Nations, which acts as a template for negotiating the Final Agreements. By itself, the UFA is not legally enforceable; however, all of the UFA provisions are contained in each First Nation’s Final Agreement, which is where they hold the power of law.
Final Agreements allow for the mediation of Self-Government Agreements between the First Nation, Yukon and federal governments. The Self-Government Agreement is the companion document to the Final Agreement and defines the First Nation government as a legal entity. This guarantees that the First Nation’s governance structure is contained in a Constitution, ensuring the First Nation has capacity to act independently.
Once a First Nation achieves Self-Government the Indian Act no longer applies and is instead replaced by the First Nation government.
With an autonomous government, the First Nation now has lawful authority over every aspect of its internal affairs, and administration of its Final Agreement rights. Yukon law applies until a First Nation creates its own law that deals with the same matter.
Yukon First Nations with established Final and Self-Government Agreements, and the year they came into effect
- Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (1995)
- Teslin Tlingit Council (1995)
- First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (1995)
- Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (1995)
- Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (1997)
- Selkirk First Nation (1997)
- Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in (1998)
- Ta’an Kwäch’än Council (2002)
- Kluane First Nation (2004)
- Kwanlin Dün First Nation (2005)
- Carcross/Tagish First Nation (2006)
Liard First Nation, Ross River Dena Council and White River First Nation have not settled land claims and remain Indian Bands under the federal Indian Act.