Yukon First Nation Final and Self-Government Agreements
Our Agreements

Our Agreements

Yukon is at the Forefront of Aboriginal Land Claims and Self-Government in Canada

  • 11 of 14 Yukon First Nations have Final and Self-Government Agreements (modern treaties) 

  • Yukon is home to approximately half of all comprehensive land claim and Self-Government Agreements in Canada

Settlement of Land Claims

First Nations have lived in Yukon for thousands of years. Because of this, Yukon First Nations people have Aboriginal rights and title on the land they traditionally used and occupied. 

Comprehensive land claim agreements – or modern day treaties – are agreements that exchange undefined Aboriginal rights for defined treaty rights, and title to Settlement Land.

Yukon land claims and self-government agreements are agreements between a First Nation, the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon. These agreements:

  • Promote reconciliation between First Nations, Canada and Yukon, and provide a foundation for lasting intergovernmental relationships

  • Provide for community-level decision-making and self-determination for First Nations

  • Protect a way of life that is based on a spiritual and economic relationship with the land

  • Increase certainty with regards to land and resource ownership and use, thereby creating a stable environment for investment for all Yukoners

  • Provide financial benefits and economic opportunities for First Nations governments and local communities and businesses

The Journey to Yukon First Nation Self-Government

The first steps towards Yukon land claims took place in the early 1900s.  In 1902, Chief Jim Boss (Kashxóot), the hereditary chief of the Ta’an Kwäch’än wrote letters to the Government of Canada seeking recognition and protection for his people and their lands. 

The formal modern land claims process started in 1973 when a delegation of Yukon First Nations Chiefs presented Together Today for our Children Tomorrow: A Statement of Grievances and an Approach to Settlement by the Yukon Indian People to then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

After many years of negotiation and the hard work of many visionary leaders, the historic Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA) was signed in 1993. It provided the template to negotiate individual land claim agreements (called “Final Agreements”) with each Yukon First Nation.

Since 1993, eleven Yukon First Nations have settled their land claims and are self-governing.  The federal Indian Act no longer applies to them. 

These First Nations can make laws and decisions on their Settlement Land and for their citizens, similar to those of a Canadian province or territory.

To learn more about the history of Yukon First Nation land claims and self-government, visit the Journey to Self-Government.

The Umbrella, Final and Self-Government Agreements Map the Way to a Better Future for all Yukoners

Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA):

  • was the framework for negotiating individual Yukon First Nation Final and Self-Government Agreements

  • defined the amount of land and financial compensation for each First Nation

  • called for the creation of a number of boards and committees to provide community-based input, recommendations, and decisions to government

Final (land claim) Agreements:

  • are constitutionally-protected (section 35) modern-day treaties

  • define First Nations rights on Settlement Land, and within their Traditional Territory

  • address heritage, fish and wildlife, non-renewable resources, water management, forestry, taxation, financial compensation, economic development measures and land owned and managed by the First Nation

Self-Government Agreements:

  • provide First Nations with the power to control and direct their own affairs

  • define First Nations laws and decision-making powers

  • outline the ability of a First Nation to assume responsibility for delivering a program or service to its citizens