Yukon Final Agreements
Unlike most other Canadian land claim agreements that apply only to status Indians, Yukon First Nations have emphasized that the agreements affect all persons they considered to be part of their nation, whether or not they are recognized as Status Indians under federal government rules. In 1973, the Yukon Indian Brotherhood and the Yukon Association of Non-Status Indians created the Council for Yukon Indians (CYI) to negotiate a land claims agreement. The two organizations and the council officially merged in 1980 as the Council for Yukon Indians. In 1995, CYI was renamed the Council of Yukon First Nations. Each land claims agreement is also accompanied by a self-government agreement that gives First Nations the right to legislate in a number of areas. These agreements give First Nations the power to control and direct their own affairs and describe a First Nation`s ability to assume responsibility for delivering programs or services to its citizens.  Comprehensive land claim agreements – or modern treaties – are agreements that exchange undefined Indigenous rights for defined contractual rights and ownership of settlement land. After many years of negotiations and the hard work of many visionary leaders, the historic Final Framework Agreement (UFA) was signed in 1993. It provided the template for negotiating individual land claim agreements (called «Final Agreements») with each Yukon First Nation. At the heart of each first nation final agreement is a co-management model in which Yukon First Nation peoples and the territorial government work together to administer the Yukon Territory.
Each First Nation brought the UFA framework back to its community to think about how best to implement it on its territory. This work culminated in the Modern First Nations Treaty, which contains three main elements: the Final Framework Agreement, the First Nations Individual Final Agreements, and the First Nations Self-Government Agreements. Implementation plans have been developed to implement these final agreements. The Yukon First Nation`s individual final agreements came into force after the conclusion of the UFA and «contain all the provisions of the UFA as well as specific provisions that apply specifically to that Yukon First Nation» (Council of Yukon First Nations, Yukon Government 1997). An example of a specific provision can be found in the final agreement of the Teslin Tlingit Council. Chapter 13: Heritage contains a specific provision that reads as follows: «A person who accidentally discovers a heritage resource on teslin Tlingit Council settlement lands shall take appropriate measures in all circumstances to protect the heritage resource and shall report such discovery to teslin Tlingit Council as soon as practicable» (Teslin Tlingit Council and Canada 1993: Another example is the Tr`ondëk Hwëch`in agreement. One of the specific provisions of Section 13: Cultural Heritage states: «When drawing up a land use plan covering all or part of the traditional area of Tr`ondëk Hwëch, a regional planning commission shall take into account the cultural and cultural importance of the heritage routes and sites listed in Annex C – Heritage Routes and Sites. attached to this chapter» (Tr`ondëk Hwëch`in and Canada 1998: 163). These are specific terms that may not be included in other First Nations Final Agreements.
Yukon land claims refer to the process of negotiating and settling Aboriginal land claim agreements in Yukon, Canada, between First Nations and the federal government. Based on historical occupation and use, First Nations claim fundamental rights to all countries. Negotiations resumed in the late 1980s and culminated in the Final Framework Agreement (MFA) in 1990. The UFA serves as a framework or model for individual agreements with each of the fourteen federally recognized Yukon First Nations. It was signed in 1993 and the four First Nations ratified their land rights agreements in 1995. To date (January 2016), eleven of the fourteen First Nations have signed and ratified an agreement. .