CHAMPAGNE AND AISHIHIK FIRST NATIONS AND THE VILLAGE OF HAINES JUNCTION WORK TOGETHER FOR OUR COMMUNITY

    

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

October 9, 2018

Dakwäkäda (Haines Junction, Yukon) – Today, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations’ Dän nätthe äda Kaaxnox (Chief Steve Smith), and Mayor of Haines Junction, Michael Riseborough, announced the signing of an Agreement in Principle (AIP) between the two governments.

The AIP lays out important elements for discussion, including the potential amendment of the municipal boundaries of the Village of Haines Junction, the provision of municipal services across the municipality, joint infrastructure, economic development projects, municipal voting, and more.

“This is an important document that will help us move forward together in building a productive and mutually beneficial working relationship,” stated Dän nätthe äda Kaaxnox. “This clearly demonstrates our shared commitment to bring together our community and create new opportunities for the people of Dakwäkäda.”

“This is a really exciting development for the community, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, and the Village of Haines Junction. With this AIP, we have laid a solid foundation for us to explore ways to move forward as one community through the development of stronger relationships. Relationships which will yield great benefits to the entire community,” stated Mayor Riseborough.

On February 26, 2018, the two governments along with Yukon Government announced the beginning of discussions. In less than a year, the two governments have moved towards formal negotiations.

Please refer to the attached AIP and Fact Sheet for additional details.

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For more information:

Amy McKinnon                                                Cathy Clarke
Communications Manager                             Chief Administrative Officer
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations           Village of Haines Junction
Tel.: (867) 332-1973                                       Tel.: (867) 634-7100

Email: almckinnon@cafn.ca                           Email: cao@hainesjunction.ca
Web: https://cafn.ca/                         Web: http://www.hainesjunctionyukon.com/


Please click here to view the Agreement in Principle


FACT SHEET

What does Dakwäkäda mean?
Dakwäkäda means “high cache place” in the Southern Tutchone language. Dakwäkäda is the traditional name for the area known today as Haines Junction.

What is an Agreement-In-Principle (AIP)?
It is an agreement between Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) and the Village of Haines Junction (VHJ) that outlines high-level goals, general process guidelines for negotiations and a commitment to work together.

What are the goals of these negotiations?
The main goal is to develop a Principles of Partnership Agreement which will include provisions for:

  • Bringing our community closer together;
  • Developing better government-to-government relations and cooperation;
  • Reviewing and updating municipal services agreements;
  • Jointly developing community plans for Dakwäkäda – Haines Junction; and
  • Adjusting the current municipal boundaries.

What are the next steps?
Establishing an Inter-governmental Working Group to negotiate the details of a Principles of Partnership Agreement. This group will meet regularly to achieve stated goals and report regularly to the respective governments and the community.

Who is involved?
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Yukon Government, and the Village of Haines Junction. Up to this point in the process, negotiations have largely consisted of discussions between CAFN and the VHJ. An Intergovernmental Working Group of equal representation will lead the negotiations on behalf of each government.

When will the negotiations be completed and a Principles of Partnership Agreement be achieved?
The negotiations will take some time to complete, as there are many processes and elements involved in achieving such an Agreement. It is important to take the time needed to get a Principles of Partnership Agreement that benefits our community. We are committed to developing the best Agreement for our community.

What benefits can be expected in a Principles of Partnership Agreement?
There are numerous and significant potential benefits to these negotiations. These include but are not limited to:

  • Increased community engagement and participation (voting rights, input in the Official Community Plan and other public policy areas);
  • Stronger and more collaborative community planning and development (infrastructure projects, housing projects, Land Use Planning, etc.);
  • Efficient service delivery (water, sewer, snow clearing, grass cutting, etc.);
  • Stronger relations and greater government-to-government cooperation.

Why are CAFN and VHJ discussing the potential of expanding the municipal boundary?
The aim of these discussions is to incorporate into the municipality an area that is part of the community but outside the existing municipal boundaries. On February 26, 2018, CAFN and VHJ issued a joint statement announcing plans to discuss the potential of expanding the municipal boundaries. There are other benefits to this potential change including efficient municipal services provision and increase community participation and engagement.

Why are CAFN and VHJ negotiating potential municipal boundary adjustments now?
Both governments can create efficiencies by working more closely together. Changing the municipal boundary to include CAFN lands that are already within the municipality is a part of reshaping our way of working together. As a community, it is time move forward in designing the future of Dakwäkäda – Haines Junction. These negotiations are another step towards healing, truth and reconciliation – a step that is very important for the community to advance together.

Who will benefit from a Principles of Partnership Agreement?
All residents of the Village of Haines Junction and Citizens of Champagne and Aishihik First Nations residing within the municipality will benefit from this Agreement. By working together everyone benefits!

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