On August 22, 2019, the regional plan for the Peel Watershed was approved by all five Parties: Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, the Gwich’in Tribal Council, and the Yukon. Hundreds of people gathered in Mayo for the festivities, many attending a signing and water ceremony on the shore of the Stewart River. This marks the second regional plan to be approved under chapter 11 of Yukon's Final Agreements, and a milestone for reconciliation in the Yukon.
We won this year's Bike to Work Workplace Challenge! After entering the challenge for the past several years, we finally logged enough people and kilometers to win. Some days we had almost everyone in our office commuting to work on their bike, making bike parking tight. Congratulations to everyone who took up the challenge.
From April 8-10th, the Commission attended their Orientation and Training workshop in Dawson. Over those days, the new members learned about each other, about their planning task, and started building their team. It was a constructive and often fun few days where the Commission heard many of the from the leaders from the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in (Chief Roberta Joseph), Government of Yukon (Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Ranj Pillai), members of the Yukon Land Use Planning Council, and past Chairs of other commissions. The Commission also met with support staff, and colleagues within the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and Government of Yukon. During the "cabin-building exercise", the Commission tried their hand at planning out what (and when) could go into a cabin.
The Yukon Land Use Planning Council was proud to support and organize this workshop. Special thanks to facilitator John Glynn-Morris.
It is with great excitement that we report the official appointment of the Dawson Region Planning Commission! The Yukon and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in governments each nominated three people to the six-person Commission in accordance with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Final Agreement.
The Parties to the Peel Watershed planning process consulted on the Final Recommended Plan in late 2018. They recently released a report detailing what was heard during that consultation. These results will help inform their discussions on finding a shared position on the Plan, and ultimately finalize and approve the Plan. The consultation and report were done by a consultant, Stantec.
We will work with the Parties to train and orient the new members over the next few months. Depending on the Commission's schedules and directions, we can anticipate some public events or engagement early in 2019. We anticipate that the Commission board meetings will most often be in Dawson City.
Tim Van Hinte was recently hired as the Senior Planner for the Commission. He can be reached at his Whitehorse office at 867-667-7397.
This Commission will be given a Terms of Reference that was developed by the Council in collaboration with the Parties, who have now approved it. This document provides the Commission with their mandate, general expectations, and relationships with the Parties and others. It builds on, and is consistent with, the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Final Agreement.
The Yukon Land Use Planning Council has hired Tim Van Hinte as the Senior Land Use Planner to assist the Dawson Regional Planning Commission. Tim brings a range of planning experience from across Canada and is looking forward to assisting the Commission in developing the regional plan.
Since late 2014, we have been focussing much of our effort on reviewing the Common Land Use Planning Process (CLUPP) in an effort to make future planning projects more efficient and successful. One question that has come up is about sub-regional planning. The Yukon Land Use Planning Council is mandated under Chapter 11 - Land Use Planning of the Umbrella Final Agreeement. However, this chapter references sub-regional planning minimally and provides even less guidance for the application of a sub-regional planning process. The need to develop greater clarity with respect to sub-regional planning was expressed by the Council in a submission to the10 Year review of the land claim agreements in 2004 and again in a letter to the First Naton of Nacho Nyak and the Yukon Government October 5, 2017. To explore how sub-regional planning could be a part of regional planning under Chapter 11, we recently contracted Ryder Communications Management to provide this analysis.
The Council is please to release its annual report for 2017-2018. It gives highlights on its membership, roles and relationships, the status of Yukon regional planning, and Council and their staff activities. In particular, 3 successes and 2 challenges were highlighted:
Re-establishment of high-level communications with Yukon Government Yukon First Nations
The Council hosted the successful gathering Peel Decision and Beyond
Development of a Terms of Reference for the Dawson Regional Planning Commission
The lack of establishment of a senior staff-level regional planning committee