For immediate release
October, 13, 2023 — Whitehorse, Yukon — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Through the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (the Framework), Indigenous, federal, territorial and provincial partners are working collaboratively to develop long-lasting opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and all Arctic and northern residents that support the region’s unique needs and protect its rich natural environment while building a strong, dynamic and sustainable economy.
Today, Grand Chief Peter Johnston, Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN), and the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, co-hosted the 4th annual Arctic and Northern Policy Framework Leadership Committee meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon.
They were joined by their federal, territorial and provincial counterparts including the Honourable Ranj Pillai, Premier of Yukon, and the Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The partners discussed priorities and next steps in the implementation of the Framework. Launched in 2019, the Framework sets out a roadmap toward a shared vision of the future where Arctic and Northern people are thriving, strong and safe.
CYFN Grand Chief Peter Johnston spoke to priorities shared by Yukon First Nations. These included mental health and wellness, language and cultural revitalization, climate change, sustainable development, research and Indigenous knowledge stewardship, development of energy solutions, and Arctic sovereignty.
Minister Vandal highlighted the work already undertaken which is contributing toward the implementation of the Framework’s co-developed goals and objectives. He recognized that the recent wildfire emergency in Northwest Territories has shown that much more work needs to be done to close the gaps between Arctic and Northern people and the rest of the country, in areas such as infrastructure and housing, health and wellness support, climate change and education.
Minister Joly provided an update on implementation of the International chapter of the Framework.
“The Council of Yukon First Nations is pleased to co-host the 2023 Arctic and Northern Policy Framework Leadership Committee meeting in the Yukon. The meeting provides an opportunity for focused discussions on Yukon First Nations priorities and collaboration on implementation of the Framework. CYFN continues to support the work to develop a Yukon First Nation Chapter of the ANPF to provide a mechanism for collaboration between Yukon First Nations and federal policymakers.”
Grand Chief Peter Johnston
Council of Yukon First Nations
“We have heard clearly from northern partners regarding the many challenges that persist and their priorities for action including, among other things, infrastructure, economic development, and housing. The Government of Canada is committed to continue working collaboratively with our partners to keep Northerners safe and healthy, and to provide northern Indigenous communities with the supports they need.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
“The Arctic and Northern Policy Framework provides an important platform for Northerners and Indigenous peoples to come together alongside federal partners to strengthen our vision for a strong, sustainable North. We look forward to ongoing collaboration as we work together to develop strategies for achieving our shared goals and improving the quality of life for Yukoners and the wider Northern community.”
Premier Ranj Pillai
- Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework was launched in September 2019. For the first time, the federal government worked collaboratively with Indigenous partners and six territorial and provincial governments to define and co-develop this long-term vision for the Arctic and the North. The Framework reflects the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people and is grounded in inclusive engagement across the region.
- The Framework guides the Government of Canada’s priorities, activities and investments in the Arctic to 2030 and beyond, and better aligns Canada’s national and international policy objectives with the priorities of Northerners.
- The Framework includes a co-developed policy statement and International chapter; a federally developed Safety, Security and Defence chapter; an Inuit-drafted Inuit Nunangat chapter; chapters drafted by the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Nunavut; and a Pan-Territorial chapter. Other partner chapters are anticipated to be included once released.
- Budget 2023 includes new spending commitments which will contribute to the implementation of framework goals and objectives. Many of these new investments align with the priorities which framework partners expressed at the 2022 Arctic and Northern Policy Framework Leadership Committee meeting, such as:
- supports for mental health and addictions investments in infrastructure including housing measures related to the economy including the high cost of living climate change education and training northern security and defence
- priorities identified in the International Chapter of the Framework
- Northern and Indigenous partners gather for the 3rd annual Arctic and Northern Policy Framework Leadership Committee meeting
- The Government of Canada Launches Co-Developed Arctic and Northern Policy Framework