The 39th annual Council of Yukon First Nations general assembly was held in Dawson City where 14 Yukon First Nations came to discuss priorities like education, child welfare, mental wellness and climate action.
Delegates came together for three days of serious discussions and strategic planning but also had the opportunity to take part in celebration of culture through music and feasts.
On the first day of meetings, Grand Chief of the Council of First Nations Peter Johnston was voted in for a second term in office. Johnston said the real work begins after the meetings.
“The general assembly is a tool utilized to help bring us together to update,” he added. “It has other meanings such as celebration and bringing us together as people, but at the end of the day we get the mandate from the general assembly through resolution then we go out and start making the mandate come to life.”
Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek was one of the the many delegates that attended the meeting. With the recent report by the auditor general saying the education system is failing Indigenous, rural and special-needs students, education was a main topic of debate.
Regional Chief of Alberta Marlene Poitras was also invited to the meetings and said that climate change is one of the topics that is also important to talk about.
“if you look at across the country, I mean even across the world, the fires and the natural disasters that are happening. I think that we really need to start having those discussions especially when the scientists are saying we have five years,” she said.