Resource royalty deal to be reviewed

The territory has agreed to consider proposals from Yukon First Nations to rejig the current resource royalty sharing agreement. The equation-based scheme is set out in a chapter of the Umbrella Final Agreement, which was signed in 1993.

The territory has agreed to consider proposals from Yukon First Nations to rejig the current resource royalty sharing agreement.

The equation-based scheme is set out in a chapter of the Umbrella Final Agreement, which was signed in 1993.

“Back when land claims were being negotiated, no one foresaw how big the mining revenues were going to be,” said Chief James Allen, of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations.

The current $2-million cap is curtailing the benefits that Yukon First Nations could and should be sharing with the territory, said Allen.

Just as the Yukon is doing with Canada, First Nations want to revise its deal with the territory.

“Between Canada and the Yukon, they have looked at a new formula for royalty sharing and we, as First Nations, would like to see a new formula developed between ourselves and the territorial government, too,” said Allen.

In February, Yukon First Nations asked to sit in as observers on talks between the territory and Canada.

According to the Council of Yukon First Nations, Ottawa said it was up to Premier Darrell Pasloski, and he said no. Pasloski’s office denies the premier said no, adding that the decision was up to Ottawa.

But at a news conference following Friday’s Yukon Forum, Pasloski did promise to review their proposals and speak to them before he signed any new deal with Ottawa.

The leaders also agreed to revive the forum on a more regular basis.

It was originally established in 2005 as an annual get-together. But no forum was held in 2008, 2010 or 2011.

Pasloski and Ruth Massie, the Grand Chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations, said they already have plans for the next forum later this year.