[R-G] Chiefs pull out of joint forum with Yukon gov't
mstainsby at resist.ca
Mon Oct 17 13:49:18 MDT 2005
The mentioned Eddie Skookum below picked me up while hitchhiking from
his territory to the next northern Tutchone territory, where he passed
me onto another of the mentioned chiefs, who is nameless in this article.
Chiefs pull out of joint forum with Yukon gov't
Last updated Oct 17 2005 08:58 AM CDT
Three Yukon chiefs say they're going to boycott a forum organized by the
territorial government, saying the government has proven it can't work
with First Nations.
The Yukon Forum was established last winter to bring all Yukon chiefs
together with the premier and his colleagues to discuss economic
development and the federal government's Northern Strategy.
But Northern Tutchone chiefs, representing three central Yukon
communities, say they won't take part in the meetings, and expect more
First Nations to join their protest.
The chiefs of Little Salmon Carmacks, Nacho N'yak Dun and the Selkirk
First Nations passed a resolution Friday refusing to attend the next forum.
"We won't be there, simply won't be there," says Eddie Skookum, chief of
the Little Salmon-Carmacks First Nation.
"[We're] just fed up with everything that's going on and come to a point
where there's a huge impasse, there's three First Nations, there's
Skookum's band and the Mayo-based Nacho N'yak Dun have indicated they
want control over their own school systems.
The Carmacks First Nation has been locked in a fight over the
construction of a new school in the community for more than a year.
NDP leader Todd Hardy says the consequences of the chiefs' actions are
"I think the First Nations are recognizing that Mr. Fentie does not
necessarily follow through with what he says and I believe this is an
indication of the frustration and the distrust that has been brought
about by the Yukon Party government and Mr. Fentie in particular."
Skookum and his fellow Northern Tutchone chiefs, who have attended at
least two forums in the past, are planning to meet with the
Whitehorse-based Kwanlin Dun in the near future, to hold what he calls a
"mini conference" of their own.
A date for the next Yukon Forum has not yet been set.
Premier Dennis Fentie has so far refused to comment about it.
In the contradiction lies the hope
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