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Mapping the Way

February 14, 2013

As you made your way down the gangway today, you will have noticed a new icon gracing our fleet—the Mapping the Way logo and website address—pointing you to an exciting Yukon initiative that brings together the territory's 11 self-governing First Nations with Canada, Yukon, and the Council of Yukon First Nations to promote and celebrate how settled land claims and self-government strengthen the social, cultural, and economic fabric of our territory.

The Yukon has 11 groundbreaking final and self-government agreements that establish each self-governing Yukon First Nation as a legal entity with powers and responsibilities similar to those of a province or territory—including the right to govern its citizens and its lands.

Yukon First Nations self-government impacts you and every aspect of your life here in the territory and positions the Yukon as a leader in land claims negotiations and self-government not only throughout Canada, but on the world stage as well.

For example, the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Final Agreement helped pave the way for the Vuntut Gwitchin to acquire a 49 percent interest in Air North, Yukon's Airline. Aside from the phenomenal flight service this partnership brings, this investment economically benefits the community of Old Crow, its residents, Air North's hundreds of employees, and you as an Air North customer.

This year marks two significant anniversaries on the territory's incredible journey toward settled land claims and self-government that Air North, Yukon's Airline is proud to help celebrate.

Forty years ago, Elijah Smith and a delegation of Yukon First Nation leaders presented Together Today for our Children Tomorrow to then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, marking the beginning of the journey toward land claims settlement for Yukon First Nations peoples.

Since that historic day in 1973, negotiations between the federal and territorial governments and what is now the Council of Yukon First Nations would take up much of the ensuing 20 years. In May 1993, the three parties signed the Umbrella Final Agreement, which is the template for Yukon First Nations to negotiate their final and self-government agreements.

Today, 11 of the Yukon's 14 First Nations have signed their final and self-government agreements—establishing them as governments no longer under the jurisdiction of the federal government's Indian Act.

Like Air North, Yukon's Airline, Mapping the Way recognizes the extraordinary power and strengths that working together for the benefit of the Yukon brings.

All Yukoners share a responsibility to understand the Umbrella Final Agreement and Yukon First Nations final and self-government agreements.

To learn more about what Yukon First Nations self-government means to you and for details about 2013 anniversary celebrations, please visit mappingtheway.ca.

Mapping the Way is an initiative of the Implementation Working Group made up of the Yukon's 11 self-governing First Nations, Canada, Yukon, and the Council of Yukon First Nations.

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