YG releases ‘snapshot’ report on TRC recommendations

The Yukon government released a report this week that looks at what has been done in the territory to address recommendations issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The Yukon government released a report this week that looks at what has been done in the territory to address recommendations issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

But the report is not an action plan, meaning it doesn’t offer any recommendations on what should be done. There’s no clear timeline for when such a plan would be done.

“Essentially it was an inventory of where we were at,” said Sherri Wright, the assistant deputy minister at the Department of Health and Social Services.

“It’s meant to be a document to sit down and help us begin discussion with First Nation leaders.”

The TRC issued its 94 recommendations in June 2015.

The residential school system led to the deaths of over 3,000 children, and the abuse of many more. Many suffered poor nutrition, poor health conditions, and extensive physical and sexual abuse.

When the TRC report came out, Premier Darrell Pasloski didn’t make any specific commitment to implement the recommendations, saying the government would look at the report and work with First Nations to address the call to action.

Wright said both First Nations and the Yukon government “confirmed” their intention to work together at an April forum where Yukon First Nations met with the territorial and provincial government.

The Yukon government report breaks down the 94 recommendations into 22 themes, looking at which are relevant for the territorial government.

The document is dated January, 2016, but was only released this week because the government had to have approval from First Nations before making it public, Wright said.

Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) Grand Chief Peter Johnston wasn’t available for an interview.

CYFN sent the News a statement in which Johnston said implementing the TRC recommendations is important to Yukon First Nations.

“This is an opportunity to look at the social determinants of health of First Nations and to build a healthier people,” he said.

The report also had to go through some editing, and “internal process,” Wright said. There’s no clear timeline for when an action plan will be released, though Wright said she expects work to begin after the election.

“I don’t think that it would be another year before we get rolling on any of the TRC calls to action.”

Both the Yukon government and Yukon First Nations presented their approach to the federal government, which delayed the report, Wright said.

First Nations have also requested federal funding to support implementation of the recommendations and are waiting to hear back, though it’s not clear why that would slow down working on a draft action plan, she said.

In contrast, the City of Whitehorse adopted in May a draft action plan to guide the implementation of 11 of the 94 recommendations.

The report also details scores of programs and initiatives completed before January, 2016. It includes a wide variety of initiatives, from the Umbrella Final Agreement finalized 25 years ago, to a totem built by the Northern Cultural Expressions Society with TRC money.

The totem was included because it’s one of the initiatives that took place in the territory, the Yukon government’s Aboriginal Relations spokesperson Shari-Lynn MacLellan said.

“While YG didn’t commission the totem pole we are very supportive of it and as the report mentions, YG will assume maintenance responsibilities for the pole.”

The report notes that the government and First Nations “have also made strides beyond some of the TRC’s specific calls to action through the Final and Self-government Agreements.”

“Yukon is at the forefront of land claims and self-government in Canada.”

It doesn’t mention that the Yukon Court of Appeal ruled the government went against some of those self-government agreements during the Peel watershed land use planning process.

“The Yukon government is in various stages of negotiations for reconciliation agreements with the non-settled Yukon First Nations and the Kaska Dena Council,” the report notes.

Negotiations between the Kaska and the federal and Yukon governments have been on and off for the past decade.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon Fish and Game Association opposed to moose management proposals

Executive director Eric Schroff said he thinks Yukon government needs to be more transparent

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Casino taking more time with mine proposal

Statement not expected to be submitted to YESAB until Dec. 31, 2021

New act allows Yukon College to become Yukon University

The official launch of Yukon University will happen May 8 with a convocation ceremony

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Commentary: Highway plans will negatively impact safety

The proposed Alaska Highway work will impact our safety, our communities and our environment.

Olivia Webster is the final musher to finish the Yukon Quest

‘I guess I’ve always been a grandpa’s girl and he’s my best friend, so I kind of wanted to be like him and so I did it’

Yukon’s Rob Cooke and company finish 10th in the 2020 Yukon Quest

Cooke and his 14 Siberians crossed the finish line at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Whitehorse

Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament bigger than ever in sixth year

“Honestly, it was the smoothest tournament I think we’ve run yet”

Most Read