Whitehorse Daily Star

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NEW RESPONSIBILITIES – Kluane Adamek says she is ‘pleased and honoured, deeply humbled’ to be named interim regional chief to the Assembly of First Nations. Star photo by EMILY BLAKE

Interim regional chief appointed to AFN

Kluane Adamek has been named Yukon’s interim regional chief to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).

By Emily Blake on January 18, 2018

Kluane Adamek has been named Yukon’s interim regional chief to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).

The Kluane First Nation citizen was elected from among six Yukon hopefuls for the short-term position until formal elections take place in June at the Council of Yukon First Nations’ (CYFN’s) annual General Assembly in Mayo.

“I’m pleased and honoured, deeply humbled, to join Yukon First Nation leaders to advance our priorities at a national level,” Adamek said Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s an important role; it’s a responsibility, and I look forward to working with our Yukon communities and, in particular, our Yukon First Nations chiefs to advance our priorities,” she added.

While Adamek is only slated to hold the position for a short period of time, she is clear on what she hopes to accomplish.

She highlighted the advancement of financial transfer agreements, program funding for self-governing First Nations, community engagement and supporting youth as areas of focus.

Adamek also noted that Yukon First Nation leaders have identified language, education and justice as priority areas.

“There’s a number of different areas that I think are important and really what it’s about is getting direction from our Yukon First Nation leadership as soon as is practicable on what are some of the priorities that we really need to be advancing at the national level and being able to take that direction and then move forward with that,” she said.

CYFN Grand Chief Peter Johnston noted that Adamek has worked hard to reach out to the communities, and he is happy to see a female presence at the regional chief level.

He said he is also encouraged by the number of people who were interested in the interim role.

“It’s great to see the involvement of people from our communities that want to be part of where we’re going,” Johnston said.

“Unfortunately in Ottawa, even at the AFN level, there is not a lot of understanding to what’s currently happening here in the Yukon.”

Adamek brings almost a decade of experience working in support of Yukon First Nation priorities at the national level.

She began as a youth council member and has also served on AFN committees, worked as a senior advisor to former national chief Shawn Atleo, and supported many regional chiefs.

“This for me personally was about bringing that national voice and continuing to do the work that I’ve been able to be a part,” she said of the interim regional chief role.

Adamek added that this is an opportunity for a new generation of leadership.

“You’re seeing a lot of young people starting to take on different types of roles in their community,” she said, whether they be elected leadership positions, leading a language program or tanning a hide for the first time.

As for whether Adamek plans to run for the full position in June, she said her focus right now is on the interim role, creating accountability measures, community engagement and supporting youth.

“AFN as a united front represents First Nations’ voices from across the country, and it’s really important that Yukon First Nations have a strong voice at the table. I plan to continue that for the next six months,” she said.

Adamek takes over the position after the October 2017 passing of Mike Smith, who had served as the Yukon’s regional chief since 2012.

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde released a statement today on Adamek’s new role.

“I congratulate Kluane Adamek on her appointment and welcome her to the AFN executive committee,” Bellegarde said.

“I have known interim Regional Chief Adamek for many years, and I look forward to working together to pursue priorities for First Nations in the Yukon and First Nations across the country.

“Her strong voice, leadership and dedication to issues like education, the environment, economic development, child and youth development, and governance will help advance our priorities on a national level.”

Adamek was the director of government relations for Northwestel Inc., Bellegarde noted, and has worked for the territorial cabinet office.

In 2017, she was selected to participate in the Governor General’s Leadership Conference, Bellegarde added.

Comments (1)

Up 0 Down 0

Young people stepping up on Jan 19, 2018 at 10:22 am

This is a sign of future progress. Wilf Carter

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