04 Apr Government of Yukon
“What is important in this work is building the self reliance of Yukon First Nations people, economic self reliance.” says Chief Smith. Harwood attests to the importance of reconciliation. ‘It is important to remind ourselves and everyone that this is an important step in the process of reconciliation. Reconciliation is about acknowledging the injustices of the past and committing to doing better now, and in the future, so that we can move forward together- in particular as Yukoners, but of course, as Canadians, and as human beings.” “The connections they we’ve made over the last few years developing this procurement policy have been a great success, and together we are committed to continuous improvement.” “First and foremost, we have seen success in forging new relationships and building trust, especially with our First Nation government counterparts. I firmly believe that these relationships have made this policy possible- these relationships have been the foundation for us to create the policy and to get endorsement and approval of the policy.” Harwood, Assistant Deputy Minister of Yukon. “This collaboration was further along than engagement or consultation processes because we work as all representatives from our governments, all equal in the room. Dän nätthe äda (Chief) Steve Smith of the Champagne/Aishihik First Nations shared, “When we went for our land claims in 1973, one of the main areas of focus was our participation in the economy. Chapter 22 of our land claim agreement stipulates an increased economic participation- so we’re seeing that today with the, implementation of the new Yukon First Nations procurement policy as an implementation of chapter 22 of the land claim agreements. We are excited to see how that is going to lay out a framework for us to have greater participation in the regional economy. An outcome of this new procurement policy is to ensure that First Nation businesses have the opportunity to have equitable access to the 400+ million-dollar budget from Yukon government, especially in the areas of infrastructure capital, and service agreements. Chief Smith further describes “Being able to plan and get information, so that we can ensure that we can tailor some of our training programs or employment employability programs to match what is sort of coming on the horizon that is what this policy can do. And then, with greater employment, we can strengthen our communities through increasing social indicators and having positive community economic development processes.