Skip to content

First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun marks 30 years of self-government

Meetings held between premier, First Nations
Premier Ranj Pillai speaks to reporters in the Yukon government cabinet office on March 30, 2023. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

Premier Ranj Pillai visited Mayo on May 28 to celebrate 30 years of self-government with the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun.

People gathered at Galena Park for dinner and traditional performances to recognize 30 years of self-government and the completion of the sewing rediscovery program, according to a statement from Renée Francoeur, senior cabinet communications.

The premier will be returning to Mayo later this month for a more formal meeting with the community, the statement read.

“Our government remains committed to fostering true partnership and working directly with First Nations communities, honouring their rights, respecting their knowledge and ensuring their voices are valued and heard in decision-making processes,” Pillai said in a release after the visit.

“By forging stronger relationships, the government aims to pave the way for a brighter future that respects and upholds the rights and ambitions of all Yukoners for a strong, resilient Yukon where everyone can thrive.”

During the visit, Pillai also toured the Village of Carmacks with Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN) Chief Nicole Tom and spent time at some of the community’s fish camps.

Discussions during the visit focused on continuing to work together to respond to the Substance Use Health emergency and other shared priorities, such as traditional educational programming, the statement added.

Tom said the premier’s visit means much to building relationships with the community, especially in the signing of the Final Agreements.

“In discussions with the premier we have agreed to sign an accord for government to government planning for the community of the Little Salmon Carmacks,” she said.

She added that discussions during the visit included the opioid crisis and having support throughout all levels of administration.

“As the crisis continues it is important the LSCFN has alcohol and drug treatment support, on the land initiatives, opioid agonist therapy availability and second stage treatment upon returning,” she said.

Tom added what will benefit the Yukon most is keeping the communication and relationship open, as to how to collectively tackle the crisis.

“Our hopes are for maximum support to the individuals who are affected by addiction,” she said.

“LSCFN also wants to direct maximum support to the children who are the future and to maximize prevention in the communities. This requires concentration, education, recreation and support to the children and youth. Our elders have given us the mandate of Together Today for our Children Tomorrow. There is no better time to prove to our future generations that we care and we are there for them. We can work together to hear their voices and make them a priority.”

On his tour of the Ross River, Pillai met with the Ross River Dena council, including Chief Dylan Loblaw. They discussed ways that the Yukon government can support the community following the declaration of a state of emergency by the council on May 12.

The statement said the Yukon government will continue to work with the community and provide resources to support the search for Ramona Peter, who was reported missing on April 28.

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
Read more