Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 29, 2013

Kaska, premier both disappointed

The Kaska are proclaiming a moratorium on all resource development across their entire traditional territory in southeast Yukon.

By Chuck Tobin on January 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm

The Kaska are proclaiming a moratorium on all resource development across their entire traditional territory in southeast Yukon.

The proclamation was announced this morning in a press release.

It was signed by Chief Liard McMillan of the Liard First Nation of Watson Lake; Chief Brian Ladue of the Ross River Dena Council; and Chief George Millar of the Kaska Dena Council of Lower Post, B.C.

The release says the only exception will be made for companies which already have agreements with the Kaska and conclude agreements with the Kaska in the future.

The chiefs maintain they were forced into asserting the moratorium by what they describe as the unwillingness of Premier Darrell Pasloski to sit down and resolve matters.

“Unfortunately, it seems consistent with this government’s approach that they will try to march on with mining and oil and gas development in Kaska Territory without involving Kaska,” Ladue said in the press release.

“This will not happen, and in the coming months there will be clear evidence of this demonstrated by Kaska people.”

All three chiefs expressed frustration with the government and what they maintain is a preference for confrontation, not negotiation.

Pasloski, on the other hand, said at noon today from Vancouver he is disappointed with the position taken by the chiefs.

Providing economic opportunities for the residents of southeast Yukon is his priority, he told the Star.

To that end, he’s had four lengthy meetings with the Liard First Nation chief in the last three weeks, Pasloski pointed out.

He said he met with McMillan, Ladue and Miller again Monday in Vancouver during the Mineral Exploration Roundup.

“The meeting was a very lengthy meeting,” Pasloski said.

“I thought it was a constructive meeting; we talked about some specific issues, and I am disappointed that was their take-away.”

Pasloski said he spoke recently during his trip to Watson Lake about how the southeast Yukon holds tremendous economic development opportunities in forestry, oil and gas and mining.

“I firmly believe the southeast can be a leader in the territory’s economy in the next decade,” he said. “This is about the people.”

Pasloski said the residents of southeast Yukon deserve to know they will have opportunities for jobs, and students need to know there will be a future in the area as they grow up.

“My priority is southeast Yukon,” he said. “It is a priority.”

The Ross River Dena Council and the Liard First Nation are two of three Yukon First Nations without land claim and self-government agreements. The 11 other First Nations have reached settlements.

The Yukon government amended the Oil and Gas Act during the fall sitting of the legislature. It removed what was a requirement to obtain the Kaskas’ consent for any new oil and gas activity on their traditional territory in southeast Yukon.

The Kaska have promised legal action, maintaining the Pasloski government had no legal authority to remove the veto.

The consent requirement of veto, they argue, dates back to a 1997 agreement among the Kaska, the Yukon and Ottawa, and is still very much in effect regardless of the Yukon government’s view of the world.

A Yukon Court of Appeal decision in late December upheld the Kaskas’ argument that consultation with the Kaska is required before mineral claims are staked inside their traditional territory.

Both the territorial government and the Yukon Chamber of Mines argued such a system is unworkable because of the confidentiality companies require before staking new mineral claims.

The Yukon government has until Feb. 27 to decide whether it will ask the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal in the case, though the highest court is under no obligation to hear one.

“The mantra of this government is to ignore the rights of its citizens, forcing First Nations down a path of roadblocks, legal action and confrontation,” McMillan said in this morning’s release.

“In the midst of growing First Nation unrest in Yukon and across the country, this comes on the heels of the Court of Appeal recognizing how the ‘free entry’ mining process is now illegal and infringes on the aboriginal rights and title of the Kaska.

“The premier met with us without offering any tangible action to resolve matters. Very disappointing.”

Chiefs Ladue and McMillan could not be reached for further comment this morning.

CommentsAdd a comment

Just Say'in

Jan 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm

“Idle again” Nothing will change for these reserves until they embrace value added productive work for their communities and their people. Constantly looking for some way to obstruct until someone starts paying you for something going on in “Your Turf” rings of the Indian Mafia. It is no wonder these three bands have never agreed on a final agreement, they can’t agree on anything. It is also no wonder why they are having internal protests daily at their band offices, not everyone is happy with the leadership, or lack of. It is time to have some over site on what is happening with the money. How about Millions in housing money being spent on Hotels that are run into the ground in a couple of years and no idea where the money went. The best defense is a good offense.

stan rogers

Jan 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm

“The Kaska are proclaiming a moratorium on all resource development across their entire traditional territory in southeast Yukon.”

It was signed by Chief Liard McMillan of the Liard First Nation of Watson Lake; Chief Brian Ladue of the Ross River Dena Council; and Chief George Millar of the Kaska Dena Council of Lower Post, B.C.

Our Premier has the time to attend mineral roundups and cozy up to exploration companies but not much time to meaningfully engage FN’s or people who want to protect our Yukon. Its our Yukon and not the Pasloski governments.

Kaska Supporter

Jan 30, 2013 at 12:06 am

I believe the Kaska have every right to not allow mining and other things on there territory. Why…Take a look at what the Faro mine left behind. Yeah, enough said. Pretty much says it all.

Suggestion Man

Jan 30, 2013 at 4:55 am

Words words words. I suggest another occupy admin building episode again, lol. Helen Hollywood is coming back strong in 2013. But this time have it inside. We wouldn’t want her little twoes too get colds.

Masi Chow

Not In The Community

Jan 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Just Say’in needs to realize the Yukon does not have reserves. Even though I do not live in my traditional territory, because of my career choices, does not mean I am unaware of how my leaders conduct themselves. I applaud all three chiefs for working together and uniting our people. I honor these people for realizing our natural resources will be stripped; the Southeast Yukon will see very little finacial benefit and training within the communities. Over the years, I have seen companies make big promises with very few results. This affects First Nations; as well as, non First Nation community members.

Doug Rutherford

Jan 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm

“Pasloski said he spoke recently during his trip to Watson Lake about how the southeast Yukon holds tremendous economic development opportunities in forestry, oil and gas and mining.”

Would that be the meetings where the government forgot to invite the Kaska?

Josie O'Brien

Jan 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I support my leaders in this decision. Just cause I don’t agree on absolutely everything they do doesn’t mean we are divided but I am 100% on board for this. Woop go Kaska, way to assert your sovereignty!

Whsegrl

Jan 31, 2013 at 9:33 am

The Premier did not just attend the RoundUp but sponsored a whole night - socializing with the bigwigs to make deals, off the backs of the tax payers of Yukon. Free food, free information and free alcohol for attending guests. Go Kaska!

Atom

Jan 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Pasloski and co. are just puppets for Ottawa. Remove the ability for responsible resource development with the new “Improvements to the Northern Regulations…” BS and sell out the Yukon because of all the transfer dollars they are sending this way.
There is desperation evident with gas exploration as the Mining BOOM is over…and what else do we have to contribute to the Harper approach?

Not trying to inform this Gov, as it’s clear who they have to listen to, but I would suggest there is little to fear for a healthy economy in the Yukon without all the high’s and lows of this big industry boom crap.
Ottawa are not going to stop sending dollars….and we could learn to play within our means

Brian

Feb 4, 2013 at 2:41 am

Atom… The mining boom is just starting. Your probably trying to refer to the exploration boom that happened.

Atom

Feb 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Brian…of course you’re right…I’m also probably expecting my first bucket of gold to arrive any day now from the boom…a program developed to help offset the spike in housing costs, etc

Bob Graham

Feb 5, 2013 at 10:10 am

Although it seems FN leaders have difficulty agreeing on many issues,this one seems pretty straight forward! If this is FN Territory,of course they should have reasonable input,maybe even unreasonable! Is it any different than you owning property,your home is on it & someone wants to come & dig it up because they think a precious metal is there? They are required to negotiate with you & you may say “no” if you don’t like the terms! Why should FN’s property be any different?

Jackie Ward

Feb 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Lets talk facts. And this should not be taken the wrong way. There is no such thing as FN land. In the end the Queen owns it all. It doesn’t matter if its labeled Crown land or not. We are still under Monarchy rule no matter if you like it or not. Giving parcels of land to the FN is more of a feel good gesture.

God save the Queen

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