Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for December 16, 2013

‘It’s like Christmas Day came early,’ chief says

The Carcross/Tagish First Nation and the Yukon government have signed a memorandum of understanding committing to work together on several development initiatives.

By Ainslie Cruickshank on December 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm


Photo by Vince Fedoroff

GOVERNMENTS TO WORK TOGETHER – Carcross/Tagish First Nation Chief Danny Cresswell (third from left) and Premier Darrell Pasloski shake hands this morning after signing a memorandum of understanding between their two governments. From left to right are Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Scott Kent, Carcross/Tagish councillor Charlie James, Cresswell, Pasloski, Tourism and Culture Minister Mike Nixon, and Darius Elias, the Yukon Party MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin. Both leaders credited Elias for his work in bringing about the agreement.

The Carcross/Tagish First Nation and the Yukon government have signed a memorandum of understanding committing to work together on several development initiatives.

Premier Darrell Pasloski and Chief Danny Cresswell signed the agreement this morning during a press conference at the cabinet offices.

“We’re proud of the working relationship we have between our two governments,” Pasloski said.

“This agreement will strengthen that bond and consolidate our efforts to work together to support potential recreational land and infrastructure developments in the Carcross/Tagish traditional territory.”

Cresswell called the memorandum a “big deal.

“It’s like Christmas Day came early,” he said.

The two governments have agreed to work together to:

• develop a “world class” wilderness resort at Millhaven Bay on Bennett Lake;

• make land available for remote access cottages;

• continue with work on the Bennett Beach development;

• develop the Conrad campground; and

• improve the Nares Channel.

Cresswell said the First Nation is planning a five-star wilderness resort for Millhaven Bay.

He estimated the cost would be anywhere between $20 million to $30 million to build a resort that would operate four months in the summer and four in the winter.

The Bennett Beach development is currently going through the Yukon Environment and Socio-economic Assessment Act process.

The project has met with resistance from some Carcross residents who worry about the effects it would have on the sand dune ecosystem in the area.

Pasloski said he hopes the recreational cottage lots will be available to Yukoners by next August.

There are no set timelines for the remaining projects.

But Cresswell guessed they’d be busy for the next few years.

“We’re working with the development corporation trying to develop an economy in Carcross; there is no real economy there, there’s a little boom and bust for summertime with tourism.

“We need to look year-round, we need to look for something a little more sustainable and something that creates full-time jobs and employment,” the chief said.

This agreement is about governments working together and moving forward, he continued.

“I believe that’s what self-government is about, what our land claims agreements were about was the future and how do we do joint developments, how do we make these joint agreements work for us and people in our traditional territories?”

Pasloski said it’s too early to determine the economic impact of the projects covered under the MOU.

CommentsAdd a comment

Brice Carruthers

Dec 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

That’s great for the CTFN and they seem ambitious.  I really wish them success.  I just do not want the Government of Yukon bailing them out if their rosey projections don’t come to fruition. A 20-30 million resort seems really hard to achieve.  Whitehorse doesn’t even have a hotel or resort of that calibre.  Just seems like the return on investment would be low for a project with that much risk.  A casino would do better financially in Carcross.  I don’t believe the cruise ships that come to Skagway feature any gambling opportunities.

William Miller

Dec 17, 2013 at 12:18 am

Has any consideration of the impact on First Nations members that use these areas for their family use, such as hunting, fishing and trapping?  They should be consulted and considered before actions are taken.  I have had the pleasure of visiting Millhaven Bay on Bennett Lake for over twenty years and have found it to be very peaceful and spiritual.  What will happen if a “world class” wilderness resort is constructed there?  I can see it now, boats speeding all over, fish being depleted, animals disappearing, and trash all over the place.  Carcross/Tagish First Nations please speak up now and preserve this area.


Dec 17, 2013 at 7:48 am

They signed a final agreement for the same reasons….good luck with your ‘partners’ the Yukon government Danny.

The Electric Horseman

Dec 18, 2013 at 12:58 am

The article says Darius Elias was instrumental in making the deal happen, but fails to say what exactly he contributed.

bobby bitman

Dec 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Just be aware that Great River Journey invested about $10 million with a business plan to market to upscale tourists who never materialized.  It was a good idea with dedicated people behind it, partnerships with government and first nations and private business people, but the tourists just did not show up.

I don’t know what Pasloski meant by ‘working together’ to make this ‘$20 to $30 million dollar project’ happen but I do not believe public funds should be invested in this venture.  If the FN people in Carcross vote to put their money in that’s their business, but do not add my money to the pot.

Just Say'in

Dec 18, 2013 at 10:54 pm

This whole Hotel idea has been a boondoggle from the time they first came up with it many years ago. There is no way that a hotel of that size can be successful within 60 miles of Whitehorse. I hope the Government is not pouring any money into this project. Others have lost their shirt on this already. It will be a fiasco.

megan Swanson

Dec 19, 2013 at 12:35 am

This just ruined whole life. I’m not ever going back to my hometown now if this is what it is going to be. I’m glad I wasn’t there when I heard this I would of lost my s—- and somebody would get hurt.

megan Swanson

Dec 19, 2013 at 12:48 am

If my previous comment doesn’t get put on which it probably won’t, I have to say I am more than disappointed with all this. To say it was met with resistance by some residents would be the understatement of the year. Because of these decisions about my beautiful small and cozy hometown, it will no longer be that. It will be a big city wannabe ruined by construction and greed. And they will fail. And they’ll make a pretty darn big mess of it too. What a shame. I’m going to and try to keep myself from becoming depressed for days.

bill williams

Dec 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

My, my what a huge beautiful resort. no, no that’s the Chiefs house the resort is over there.


Dec 24, 2013 at 5:47 am

Well said Bill Williams.

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