Vuntut Gwitchin Final Agreement

negotiations between Yukon First Nations and the Government of Canada; and later with the Yukon government for the next 20 years, until the final Umbrella Agreement was signed in 1993. This document served as the basis for the final agreements and self-management that would follow immediately and in the years to come. The Ta`an Kwach`an signed their contracts in 2002, one hundred years after Chief Boss`s letter. The final First Nation agreements include the actual legal agreements of the three parties, the federal government, the Yukon government and the First Nation. These agreements are protected by the Constitution and can only be amended with the agreement of all three parties. They are often referred to as “modern contracts.” The FNFA contains all the provisions of the framework agreement, adding “specific provisions” applicable to the First Nation. The final agreements reach habitat areas and address issues of economy, wildlife, land and resource management and other issues such as cultural heritage. White River First Nation, Ross River Dena Council and Liard First Nation are the remaining Yukon First Nations that have not entered into agreements. It is with infinite pride in our ancient cultural heritage and our homeland that we exercise our inherent right to self-management to take responsibility for the general well-being of our citizens and to ensure the good government of our communities, countries and resources.

CCAA Representatives: Kris Statnyk kris@mandellpinder.com For more information on how historic and modern Aboriginal contracts continue to shape the Canadian landscape, see this book: Brief description of the area covered by the claims: We live in the northernmost community of Old Crow, 128 km north of the Arctic Circle, at the confluence of the Crow and Porcupine Rivers in the Canadian territory of Yukon. Website: www.vgfn.ca/index.php Phone: (867) 966-3261 In 1973, an organization called Yukon Native Brotherhood (now Yukon First Nations Council) travelled to Ottawa under the direction of Chief Elijah Smith to present a proposal entitled “Today for Our Children Tomorrow.” This document laid the groundwork for negotiating the democratic claims and autonomy for yukon First Nations. Media Contact: Rebecca Shrubb (867) 966-3261 ext. 258 rshrubb@vgfn.net claims and self-management in the Yukon are the result of hard work and the determination of a number of fugitives. The trial began in 1902, when the hereditary chief of Ta`an Kwach`an, Jim Boss, wrote urgently to the General Upintendant for Indian affairs, saying, “Tell the king very hard that we want something for our Indians because they are taking our country and our game.” Final first nation agreements have been reached with 11 of Yukon First Nations. Behold: Nacho Nyak Dun`s First Nation in Mayo, The Champagne – Aishihik First Nations at Haines Junction, the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in Old Crow, Teslin Tlingit Council in Teslin, Little Salmon-Carmacks First Nation in Carmacks, Selkirk First Nation in Pelly Crossing, Kluane First Nation in Burwash Landing, Ta`an Kwach`an Council in Whitehorse, Tr`ondek Hw`echin First Nation in Dawson City, Kwanlin Dun Nation in Whitehorse and Carcros Tagish First Nation. The other First Nations in the Yukon are still negotiating. Strategically placed by the Gwitchin elders with the seasonal migration routes of the 150,000 to 180,000 Porcupine Caribou kilns (so-called because of the herd crossing the Porcupine River during its autumn and spring hikes), the villages of Gwitchin still depend on this magnificent herd of food, clothing and various sanc ration works.