Who better to speak for First Nations than First Nations?

Who better to speak for First Nations than First Nations? This is to bring some clarity to the truncated and out-of-context quote that appeared in "First Nations slam Bill C-45" (Dec. 12). While I think the article covered one perspective in detail, it

This is to bring some clarity to the truncated and out-of-context quote that appeared in “First Nations slam Bill C-45” (Dec. 12). While I think the article covered one perspective in detail, it failed to outline in proper context the comments that I made during the interview with Jesse Winter on the topic.

Instead of dwelling on that, I urge anyone interested in seeing the complete interview which I have posted on my website, at www.ryanleef.ca. I will also be sending the complete interview to our Yukon First Nation leaders. Should anyone wish a complete record of the interview, please feel free to contact my office at ryan.leef@parl.gc.ca and we will be more than happy to forward that to you.

The essence of my remarks and comments can be summed up in this manner. I firmly believe that our self-governing First Nations deserve the right to deliver their message directly to senior ministers of our government. It is my job to be the conduit to facilitate that, so they are able to deliver their message with my assistance. Who better to speak for First Nations than First Nations?

I articulated clearly that I am always happy to carry their message forward, and have done so continuously throughout my tenure. I have also been a strong advocate for making the linkages necessary to see our First Nation leaders sit directly at the table, delivering their message to Ottawa, not through me to Ottawa.

We have been finding success in this approach and could certainly identify numerous occasions where they have had the ability to speak directly with cabinet ministers here in Ottawa and in the Yukon when ministers have attended the territory. This is a clear advantage to having an MP on the side of the government.

I continually seek opportunity for our First Nation leadership to provide testimony to parliamentary committees to ensure not only a northern perspective but an essential First Nation cultural and socio-economic picture. In partnership we have resolved key issues, identified and supported critical initiatives through direct funding. We continue to work to resolve outstanding concerns and take advantage of tremendous opportunities our territory has because of the Yukon’s progressive systems of First Nation governance.

Just last week, I was pleased to host several of Yukon’s chiefs and grand chief at a reception in my office, where they were able to spend valuable one-on-one time with several senior ministers. I know all sides of that occasion were very pleased to have had that opportunity and look forward to a continuance of the accessibility I have been able to create.

Ryan Leef

Member of Parliament, Yukon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read