Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final Agreement
|Date: ||23 July 2007|
|Sub Category:||Final Agreement (Canada)|
|Subject Matter:||Access | Cultural Heritage | Economic Development | Environmental Heritage | Fishing | Forestry | Land Management | Land Planning | Land Settlement | Land Use | Leadership | Marine | Mining and Minerals | Self Government | Water|
|Summary Information: |
|The Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final Agreement was signed by representatives of the Cacross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN), the Government of Canada and the Government of the Yukon at Carcross on 22 October 2005. The Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final Agreement is a constitutionally protected land claim agreement which provides certainty with respect to ownership and use of land, access to resources, and governance and fiscal responsibilities.|
|Detailed Information: |
|Background to the Negotiation
The CTFN first began working towards the recognition of rights to land and culture in 1902, when then Chief Jim Boss wrote to the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs seeking recognition of his people’s land and culture. In 1973 then Chief Elijah Smith petitioned the government of Canada alongside leaders of other Yukon chiefs for formal recognition of Aboriginal rights in the Yukon. In 1980 the Council for Yukon Indians was formed, amalgamating a number of different Yukon organisations, to represent all Yukon First Nations in land rights claims. In May 1993, the Yukon Umbrella Final Agreement was signed by the Council for Yukon Indians, the government of Canada and the government of the Yukon. This established the framework by which negotiations of final and self-government agreements would be negotiated.
In 1996, the CTFN entered into tripartite negotiations with provincial and federal governments. The Final and Self-Government Agreements were recommended to all parties, and ratified by the CTFN on 28 May 2005.
Nothing in the Final Agreement affects any ‘aboriginal claim, right, title or interest of a Carcross/Tagish First Nation claimed in the Yukon.’ The Agreement does not affect the identity of Carcross/Tagish First Nation Aboriginal people as Aboriginal people of Canada, nor their rights as Canadian citizens. The process for ratification is outlined in the General Provisions. Amendments to the Final Agreement can only be made with the consent of the parties to the Agreement. The General Provisions also require the implementation of Settlement Legislation at State and Federal levels in order to accommodate the terms of the Agreement. Clauses 22.214.171.124 – 126.96.36.199 deal with the surrender of Aboriginal claims, rights, titles and interests to the Canadian Crown where they are not contained within the agreement. The General Provisions also specify arrangements pertaining to Internal Overlap and Transboundary Agreements between First Nations.
The primary concern of the Agreement was the settled ownership of approximately 1561 square kilometres of land within the Yukon Province. This includes ownership of both the surface and the subsurface resources, including any minerals. The agreement also provides for the establishment of two Special Management areas, over which rights are stipulated to fish, and the harvesting of wildlife and to engage in economic opportunities.
Heritage and Natural Resources
Under the agreement, CTFN will also have authority to legislate in relation to wildlife, including fish, and all hunting practices. The agreement also grants ownership to CTFN over heritage resources contained within the settlement area, and provides for the development of measures to promote the preservation of the Tagish and Tlingit language and culture for the benefit of future generations.
Funding and Economic Development
Under the agreement, the government of Canada agrees to provide CTFN with:
$38 million in financial compensation over 15 years, and another $5.28 million as a ‘re-indexation’ payment;
Economic Development Strategic Investment funding of approximately $5.6 million for economic development projects, and training and education programs;
funding to deliver programs and services;
mineral royalties earned on settlement land; and
employment opportunities within the settlement land.
The agreement briefly outlines the nature of self-government and the legislative powers of CTFN, as outlined in more detail in the Carcross/Tagish First Nation Self-Government Agreement.
Alongside these primary provisions, the agreement also establishes dispute resolution mechanisms, the processes for the distribution of resource income as well as mechanisms for resolving disputes with adjacent First Nations in relation to boundary lines. The agreement now provides the fundamental basis for 'government-to-government relationships and provides for a strengthened and forward looking partnership'.|