The Self-Governing First Nations (SGFNs) at Summit II resolved to establish a Secretariat. It was recognized that it will be critical for the Secretariat, as it develops, to maintain a close working connection with the SGFNs, to operate within the authority they provide, and to be responsive to and supportive of their needs and interests.
Areas of Responsibilities of the Secretariat
SGFN Coordination and Cooperation
SGFNs recognized that stronger communications and coordination between their respective Leadership, governance organizations and negotiation tables would better utilize available resources and yield more effective results when similar matters arise in various forums or proceedings at the same time. The Secretariat will facilitate:the sharing of information; the sharing of human and financial resources; collective problem-solving; common action on political and legal strategies; and the review of proposed legislation.
SGFNs, in the context of their Self-Government Agreements, are presently engaged in a variety of activities in which the operation of a Secretariat may assist. These include core governance, financial operations, the design, management and delivery of programs and services for Citizens; the structure, scope and financing of governance in the Territory, including First Nation governance, inter-governmental negotiations and relations, including program and service arrangements, fiscal relations and financial transfers, and discussions of legislation, priorities, policies and practices by First Nations, Canada and Yukon.
The establishment of a Secretariat is seen as one step which could be taken to partially address First Nation deficits in capacity by providing a mechanism which could support the conduct of First Nation self-government, without taking its place. The SGFNs have learned from experience that the capacity required to successfully establish and maintain self-government is fundamentally different in character from that which is required to operate and maintain an Indian Act Band, and that the starting point provided by the old Indian Act administrations is not sufficient to enable the SGFNs to meet their new challenges. Collaboration on the basis of practical concerns and guided by the SGFNs was seen as one way to achieve greater efficiency in practice and more effective results overall. It is recognized that it will be critical for a Secretariat, as it develops, to maintain close working connection with the SGFNs, to operate within the authority they provide, and to be responsive to and supportive of their needs and interests.
Senior Officials Group
A Senior Officials Group has been established by Canada, Yukon, and SGFNs in order to resolve issues that cannot be resolved at the various negotiation tables and to act on directions which may be received from SGFN Leaders in their ongoing consideration with Canada and Yukon of governance matters. This group will meet on an as needed basis. The Secretariat will provide support to the SGFNs appointed Senior Officials.
An Inter-Governmental Forum has been established by Canada, Yukon, and SGFNs as the forum for the Principals to resolve issues that cannot be resolved at the Senior Officials Group and to consider matters of common interest in governance in the Yukon. The Secretariat will provide support to the SGFNs Principals at the Inter-Governmental Forum.Visit the Self Government Secretariat website