We recently hired our new Senior Policy and Planning Advisor: Joe Copper Jack. With his long work history in the Yukon and western Canada, he is sure to be a great asset to Yukon regional planning. Welcome Joe!
Joe Copper Jack, is the grandson of Chief Jim Boss (Kishwoot) of the Ta’an Mun (Headwaters People) of Lake Lebarge, Yukon, and of Copper Jack of Chitina, Alaska.
As a former Council for Yukon Indians Vice-Chairman, Yukon First Nation (YFN) Chief, senior self-government negotiator, aboriginal relations manager, economic development manager and tourism businessman, Jack brings to the Yukon Land Use Planning Council (YLUPC) a very good understanding of YFN cultural, economic and political issues regarding land and resource development activities in Yukon. As a team player, he looks forward to working with the YLUPC and senior staff, Governments’ officials, industry and community peoples to achieve the Yukon Land Use Planning goals & objectives. Joe possess a two-year Renewable Resource Diploma, Yukon College Business Administration Certificate, Justice Institute of British Columbia Conflict Resolution Certificate and is completing a MBA Degree program in Community Economic Development.
Overall, Copper has 25 years of Land Claims Agreement & Self-Government Agreement negotiations experience (12 years Table time) that includes governance, program & services, and resource development agreements. His negotiation experience also includes leading complex, multi-party negotiations between First Nation, Territorial/Provincial and Federal Governments in the Yukon Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA), Gwich’in Tribal Council SGA, and Northern Shuswap Tribal Council negotiations processes.
In the area of governance, Jack has thirty years’ experience in leadership and management roles with YFNs, at the local and regional levels. At the local level, his governance experience includes being elected Chief for two different YFNs. At the regional level, Joe’s experience includes being elected Vice-Chairman to the Council for Yukon Indians (CYI) for three consecutive two-year terms (1977-1982). As Vice-Chairman, he managed and directed the Land Claims, Economic Development and Social Programs Departments’ portfolios. Presently, Copper is one of the TKC Family Headmen representing the Chief Jim Boss family. The role and responsibility of a Headman is to represent a traditional family, as it pertains to governance decisions within the TKC traditional territory.
In economic development, Joe advised northern First Nations of potential impacts and benefits of the Alaska Highway and Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline projects. In 1977, he travelled ahead of the Alaska Highway Pipeline Inquiry panel advising YFN communities about the effects of a proposed Alaska Highway Pipeline. In January, 2000, he was a participant in the formation of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group that represented aboriginal peoples of the NWT who wished to participate in the building of a proposed Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline. In 1982-83, Copper advised Amax, an American-owned multi-national mining corporation, on YFN people’s involvement in mining. Consequentially, Amax signed one of the first Impact Benefit Agreements in Canada with a YFN community. In 1988, Joe coordinated the Whitehorse Trough Oil and Gas Project for the City of Whitehorse and the KDFN. The project conducted a participatory research survey among KDFN and TKC elders regarding their traditional knowledge of the possibility of hydrocarbon presence in the Whitehorse/Lake Lebarge areas. Copper also owned and operated a small adventure travel and cultural tourism business in the Yukon, called Atsi Tan (Grandpa’s Trails) Tours that included elders’ home visits, entertainment shows, high-mountain trekking and river canoe trips.