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Press Release
October 24, 2005

CARCROSS/TAGISH FIRST NATION SIGNS AGREEMENTS

WHITEHORSE - The Carcross/Tagish First Nation, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Yukon signed land claim and self-government agreements in a ceremony today in Carcross, Yukon Territory. The Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final and Self-Government Agreements are expected to come into effect early in 2006.

"The team and community effort to get to this point in time has proven to be a huge task. It has not been without its pains and tribulations," said Khâ Shâde Héni Mark Wedge, Carcross/Tagish First Nation. "I trust our ancestors are looking down and celebrating this accomplishment with us today. I hear the people expressing the need to move forward and to continue our building and healing process."

Under the terms of their self-government arrangement, the Carcross/Tagish First Nation will have a wide range of law-making powers. These include laws that apply to Settlement Land, as well as laws that will apply to Carcross/Tagish First Nation citizens who live outside the Yukon.

"The Carcross/Tagish First Nation's land claim and self-government agreements are the beginning of a new government-to-government relationship and a stronger, more forward-looking partnership," said the Honourable Andy Scott, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-status Indians. "These agreements represent an important achievement for the Carcross/Tagish First Nation and for Canada. They help fulfill Canada's commitment towards building practical, effective and flexible self-government arrangements that meet the needs and aspirations of the Carcross/Tagish people."

Under its land claim agreement, the Carcross/Tagish First Nation will retain approximately 1560 square kilometres (603 square miles) of settlement land along with approximately $38.8 million in financial compensation over fifteen years, another $5.28 million as a "re-indexation" payment, less the loan repayment amounts for land claim negotiations and the elders benefit program. Carcross/Tagish First Nation will also receive a one-time payment of $5.6 million for economic development, training and education projects.

"These agreements will bring real and meaningful benefits to all of us -- Carcross/Tagish First Nation members, Yukoners and all Canadians alike," Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie said. "It provides for certainty and creates clarity for the future. It will allow us to build on the partnerships we have established and to work towards economic growth and healthy communities."

"The self-government agreement will provide the Carcross/Tagish First Nation with tools to renew its historical self-reliance, to protect its land, language and way of life, and to strengthen its economy and community," said Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon. "The progress the Carcross/Tagish First Nation has already made on governance has put the community on a path to self-reliance and a brighter future."

Once the Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final and Self-Government Agreements are brought into effect, the next phase begins for the parties which includes implementing the many provisions contained in the agreements.

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Corinne Carvill
Carcross/Tagish First Nation
(867) 821-4262
Samantha McCulloch
Communications Officer
Executive Council Office
Government of Yukon
(867) 667-5341
Katy Mead  
Communications Officer  
Indian and Northern Affairs  
Canada
(867) 667-3803

Related Media Coverage:

Negotiators prepare to pass torch as treaty signed
A Yukon First Nation completed 30 years of work Thursday, initialing a land claim and self-government agreement with the federal government. The Carcross Tagish First Nation will receive land, money and self-government powers.
Full Story - CBC North