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It is important to understand that Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in is another level of government, a self-governing First Nation – not a client, a stakeholder, an interest group, a municipality or a ‟Band″. You need to negotiate with us accordingly, on a government to government basis.


Our status as a self-governing First Nation was legally ratified in 1998 by Canada, the Yukon and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in with the signing of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Final and Self-Government Agreements. See the section on governance in OUR SOCIETY to learn more about how this works here. It may be helpful to consult sections of the agreement that are relevant to your work and project.    


With that in mind, when communicating with us the premier or prime minister would speak to our chief. Ministers would talk to our chief and council. When in doubt about the best person to deal with, contact our Communications Dept. or our Executive Director.


“As a government our sights are growing. We are bringing back our cultural values into everyday decisions. We have always been resourceful, using what is here.”

Jackie Olson, 2015

When visiting us, understand and respect that you are a guest within our traditional territory. 


Although there may be some similarities in how we are organized, we are not a mirror of your government and our priorities may be quite different.


Particularly for staff of federal and territorial governments, it is important to understand that your government is much larger than ours with many more resources. Don’t assume our priorities will be the same as yours. Ensure that we are on board with your project, consult us in a timely manner throughout the project, and realize that you may need to provide us with additional resources to complete our part. Don’t overload us with work and tight deadlines.


Be aware that although our citizens are Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, they are also Yukoners with many of the same interests and concerns as their fellow Yukoners. We also vote for territorial and federal governments.

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