January 26, 2016
Yukon government and First Nations working together to improve clarity and management of mining in Yukon
VANCOUVER—The Government of Yukon and self-governing Yukon First Nations have developed a government-to-government protocol, established a regular working group, and drafted a work plan to guide discussions on mining-related matters and shared priorities.
“This protocol can lead us to a new and more productive way of engaging on mining-related initiatives,” Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “Our governments are working together to improve the clarity and management of mining activity in Yukon. We are also ensuring that Yukon’s mining regime is consistent with the Final and Self-Government Agreements and respects Aboriginal and treaty rights and interests.”
“The protocol provides a basis for government-to-government discussions,” Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Ruth Massie said. “We haven’t had this kind of focused engagement on management of mining for a long time, so it’s a good opportunity for First Nations and Yukon to work together and find solutions to issues that affect all Yukoners.”
The governments are working cooperatively to modernize various aspects of Yukon’s mining regime, including matters related to mine licensing and mining activity on settlement land and within First Nation Traditional Territories.
“First Nations have long supported responsible mining,” Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Roberta Joseph said, “And this means having a strong regulatory system that makes sure projects are carried out in a responsible and respectful way.”
“Our governments agree that Yukon needs a mining regime that protects the environment, provides socio-economic benefits, and respects First Nations rights and interests,” Pasloski added.
The working group has been discussing potential improvements to Yukon’s mine licensing and exploration regime. The Yukon government expects to consult industry on some of the potential changes before the 2016 exploration season.
Devolution Transfer Agreement Protocol on Mining Matters
Communications, Executive Council Office, Aboriginal Relations
Communications, Council of Yukon First Nations
News release #16-029