First Nations Programs & Partnerships

Land Claims and Self Government
The negotiation of Yukon land claims officially started in 1973 when Yukon First Nations people presented the document Together Today For Our Children Tomorrow to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

 

Land Claims

Before the arrival of Europeans, all First Nations across Canada were independent self-governing nations. They had specific structures of governance: ways to select leaders, sets of laws to govern the lives of the people, rules of protocol that governed their relations with other nations and ceremonies that formalized the institutions within society such as marriage and death.

The negotiation of Yukon land claims started in 1973 when Yukon First Nations people presented the document Together Today For Our Children Tomorrow to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Before that time, there had been no treaties between Yukon First Nations and government.

An agreement in principle was reached in 1989 after 16 years of negotiations. The Umbrella Final Agree- ment (UFA) was signed in 1993. The UFA provides a framework for Yukon First Nation Final Agreements. First Nation Final Agreements are complex and wide-ranging, and include financial compensation, land, harvesting rights, heritage resources and governance structures, among other things. Each First Nation Final Agreement is a modern-day treaty recognized in
Section 35 of the Federal Constitution Act, 1982.

Self-Government Agreements

A First Nation Self-Government Agreement (SGA) is negotiated at the same time as the First Nation Final Agreement. The Self-Government Agreements, which are unique in Canada, set out the powers of the First Nation government to govern itself, its citizens, and its land. These powers include land and resource management as well as local bylaws and zoning.

At the present time, 11 of the 14 Yukon First Nations have finalized their land claims and their Final and Self-Government Agreements are in effect.

Agreements

Carcross/Tagish First Nation

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

Kluane First Nation

Kwanlin Dün First Nation

First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun

Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation

Selkirk First Nation

Ta'an Kwäch'än Council

Teslin Tlingit Council

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation