Yukon Final Agreements

Comprehensive land agreements – or modern contracts – are agreements that trade indefinite Aboriginal rights for defined contractual rights and the title of settlement country. While the framework agreement provides a framework in which each of Yukon`s 14 First Nations will reach a final claims settlement agreement, all provisions of the UFA are part of each First Nation final agreement (FNF). The final agreements contain the entire text of the framework agreement with the addition of specific provisions applicable to the First Nation. The final First Nation agreements include the actual legal agreements of the three parties, the federal government, the Yukon government and the First Nation. These agreements are protected by the Constitution and can only be amended with the agreement of all three parties. They are often referred to as “modern contracts.” The FNFA contains all the provisions of the framework agreement, adding “specific provisions” applicable to the First Nation. The final agreements reach habitat areas and address issues of economy, wildlife, land and resource management and other issues such as cultural heritage. After many years of negotiations and the hard work of many visionary leaders, the historic final agreement of the Umbrella (UFA) was signed in 1993. It provided the model for the negotiation of individual land agreements (called “final agreements”) with each Yukon nation.

Land rights are established in areas of Canada where Aboriginal land rights have not been governed by previous contracts or other legal means. In the Yukon, a number of modern contracts of the future, also known as final agreements, have been negotiated to settle these land rights. Negotiations resumed in the late 1980s and culminated in 1990 with the final umbrella agreement (UFA). The UFA serves as a framework or presentation of individual agreements with each of yukon`s 14 federally recognized First Nations. It was signed in 1993 and the four First Nations ratified their focal claim agreements in 1995.