For immediate release
FIRST NATION LEADERS DECLARE SUPPORT FOR THE PEEL APPEAL
FIRST NATIONS SUPPORT THE PEEL WATERSHED APPEAL TO PROCEED TO THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA
WHITEHORSE (February 19, 2016) – The Council of Yukon First Nations and member Yukon First Nation Chiefs advocate support for the three Plaintiff First Nations, Nacho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in moving forward the Peel Watershed Case to the Supreme Court of Canada. The member First Nations passed a resolution on February 17 at the CYFN Leadership meeting to intervene in the court case to be heard at the Supreme Court of Canada.
“We are united in our support to the First Nations involved in legal proceedings of the Peel Watershed case to the Supreme Court of Canada,” said Grand Chief Ruth Massie of Council of Yukon First Nations, “It is important to protect the integrity of our Umbrella Final Agreement and Final Land Claims Agreements in the Yukon.”
In November 2015, The Yukon Court of Appeal upheld the Supreme Court’s decision that the Yukon government did not respect the Peel watershed land use planning process in regards to the final land claim agreements with First Nations. The ruling determined the Yukon Government did not honour the spirit and intent of its treaty obligations with Yukon First Nations by not revealing consistency with the affected First Nations in its modifications to the initial recommended plan and by submitting a new plan from earlier proposals.
“On behalf of the three northern First Nations, I can confidently state that we are very pleased to hear that CYFN is supporting and looking at options for intervening in our court case” said Chief Roberta Joseph of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.
The three Yukon First Nations, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), and the Yukon Conservation Society (YCS) announced in December, 2015 a final appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada over the Peel watershed land use plan.
Council of Yukon First Nations-Communications
Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in-Director of Communications