Yukon government, First Nations sign mining MOU

The Yukon government and the territory’s self-governing First Nations have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to work together on mining issues.

The Yukon government and the territory’s self-governing First Nations have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to work together on mining issues.

The MOU was announced at the Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver on Jan. 24.

The agreement means that the government and First Nations will have “one negotiation table” for discussing issues ranging from exploration to mine licensing, development and reclamation, Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Ranj Pillai told the News.

“Yukon First Nations recognize that the mining industry is an essential component to Yukon’s economy,” Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston said in a news release. “This MOU will assist in providing certainty for all parties, so we can build economic prosperity for the territory.”

The Yukon government made several other funding announcements at Roundup this week, including a commitment of $1.6 million for the Yukon mineral exploration program for the 2017 field season, up from $1.4 million last year.

The government has also pledged $375,000 over three years to the Yukon Chamber of Mines. Executive director Samson Hartland said $75,000 will go toward developing a guidebook for mining companies to help them engage with Yukon First Nations, while the rest is for regular operations.

Hartland said he hopes the guidebook will help reduce misunderstandings and conflicts between First Nations and the resource industry. He said the chamber is planning to visit every Yukon First Nation this summer to discuss what should be covered in the guide.

The government also announced $360,000 over three years to support the Klondike Placer Miners’ Association, most of which will fund standard operations. President Mike McDougall said $30,000 of the total will fund a research project with Ducks Unlimited, aimed at understanding the impacts of placer mining in the Indian River valley near Dawson City.

McDougall said the mood at Roundup this year is fairly bright.

“I get the sense that there’s a quiet sense of optimism,” he said. “And there’s certainly interest in the Yukon right now.”

Contact Maura Forrest at maura.forrest@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

City of Whitehorse tells taxi passengers who feel unsafe to not travel alone

Suggestion criticized by advocates for placing burden of safety on passengers, not taxi companies

Whitehorse’s new emergency room slated to open in early January

40,000-square-foot building will be more efficient, officials say

Judge finds Whitehorse man not guilty of raping teen in 2015 after second trial

Judge Raymond Wyant found Jackie James Kodwat not guilty of sexual assault.

Whitehorse’s sidewalks are a deathtrap

In the interest of safety and simplicity, the city should just plow the sidewalks

Police, coroner investigating suspicious death in Pelly Crossing

Investigators have ordered an autopsy, which will take place in Vancouver Dec. 18

Two Yukon projects shortlisted for the Arctic Inspiration Prize

Projects from Whitehorse, Carcross up for cash

Lower Post, B.C., man suing Yukon RCMP over assault allegation

Suit alleges man ended up with ‘ended up with bruising on his arms, biceps and chest’

Yukon needs a better plan for long-term care

The government can find solutions if it has the will. Does it have the will?

Hard travel over the Yukon’s winter trails

The overland trip to Dawson City today is a cakewalk compared to a century ago

Globalization infiltrates the Yukon’s recycling bins

You’re going to have to do a better job sorting your junk or else China won’t take it

Driving during the holidays

It’s hectic on the roads at Christmastime

Whitehorse council chambers needs new audio-visual equipment

‘More than 10 people’ watch city’s televised meetings

Most Read