On February 14, 1973, the Yukon Native Brotherhood, led by Elijah Smith, along with a delegation of Yukon First Nation leaders, presented Together Today for our Children Tomorrow: A Statement of Grievances and an Approach to Settlement by the Yukon Indian People to then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
This ground-breaking document was developed by the Yukon Native Brotherhood in close consultation with Yukon First Nation Elders and community members. It laid out the past and present state of Yukon First Nations. It also made recommendations for a better future, including land and cash settlements.
Prime Minister Trudeau accepted the statement on behalf of the Government of Canada. Together Today for our Children Tomorrow became the basis for negotiating Yukon First Nation land claims.
“This settlement is for our children, and our children’s children, for many generations to come. All of our programs and the guarantee we seek in our settlement are to protect them from a repeat of today’s problems in the future. You cannot talk to us about a bright new tomorrow when so many of our people are cold, hungry and unemployed. A bright new tomorrow is what we feel we can build when we get a fair and just settlement.” Together Today for our Children Tomorrow, 1973