I rise on behalf of the Liberal Party to also pay tribute to the 10th anniversary of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Carcross-Tagish First Nation for selfgoverning. I would like to start today by welcoming our honoured guests here in the gallery.
It was an absolute honour to participate in KDFN’s “Celebrating Who We Are” last Friday at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. I had the honour of sitting with Chief Roberta Joseph from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and, Mr. Speaker, we had chills as we watched the incredible performances that night, especially from our youth from across the territory. It was absolutely amazing.
Although we are standing here recognizing the anniversary of formal self-governing agreements, it is important to remember that Yukon First Nations have been governing themselves for tens of thousands of years.
Yukon First Nations have been leaders in implementing self-government agreements. Today, 11 of Yukon’s First Nations have signed self-governing agreements. It was a great year in 2005 that saw two of Yukon’s self-governing agreements signed: KDFN, which signed theirs on February 19, and CTFN, which signed theirs on October 22. These agreements are more than just legal frameworks that determine government-to-government relations. They have allowed Yukon First Nations to set the course of their own destinies, forming the cornerstones of our economic and social development for years to come. These monumental agreements have benefitted all Yukoners by providing a voice through boards, committees and councils and increasing communications among all levels of government.
Congratulations to the Carcross-Tagish First Nation and Kwanlin Dün First Nation. I look forward to the many more achievements of the next 10 years and the ones that we have had so far in the last 10 years. Together in partnerships, we can all continue to make this territory an even better place to live.
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