Yukon NDP to Repair Relationships, Take Action with Yukon First Nations
Yukon NDP leader Liz Hanson spoke to the members of the Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce and shared meaningful and concrete commitments for a better way forward.
“The Yukon Government has interfered with the aspirations of Yukon’s First Nation government and development corporations for too long: it's time for that to stop,” said Hanson. “When the NDP last formed government, we had to repair broken relationships with Yukon First Nations and rebuild economic partnerships. Twenty years later, to quote Yogi Berra, it is déjà vu all over again.”
The Yukon NDP believe that if we view the agreements as being enabling rather than prescriptive the opportunities for Yukon are limitless.
“The agreements were about creating a new Yukon, a Yukon that shed the colonial relationships established by the federal government's control under Indian Act and control over Yukon's land and resources,” said Hanson in her speech. “It is for that reason that the Yukon NDP stood with Yukon First Nations governments and Yukon Citizens on important issues such as the Peel, S6, fracking, and support for local businesses over multinationals, not just because it’s the right thing to do but because we believe Yukoners – First Nation and non – have a right to have their voices heard and reflected in government decision making.”
The Yukon NDP will work with - not against - our partner Yukon First Nation governments and development corporations to create a vision for a new northern economy, one where regional economic development includes the diverse regions of Yukon. Hanson made several commitments to work in partnership, including:
- providing more opportunities for shared investment in Yukon's future
- ensuring mining is fair, environmentally sound and protects existing investments under current laws
- supporting strategic infrastructure investments in public infrastructure including highways, telecommunications, transportation and energy
- supporting the Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce’s first Annual Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference as a sponsor
- developing capacity in the financial sector that ensures First Nations entrepreneurs and businesses can access capital and invest in a diversified and robust economy
- taking a Yukon-first approach to government spending. Over the last number of years, Yukoners have been disappointed to see more and more major Yukon Government projects awarded to outside companies
- making the transition to a more diversified renewable energy economy, creating good jobs, reducing dependence on external providers and investing in a future for our children, and our children’s children
“It's time for Yukon First Nations to work with a government that does more than just listen,” said Hanson. “The Yukon NDP commits to working with First Nations, government to government, and respecting and responding to First Nation leadership.”