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    VGFN General Assembly and Constitution Review Wraps Up in Old Crow

    Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Chied Dana Tizya-Tramm received a "Salmons Journey" photograph by Council of Yukon First Nation leaders during the assembly. (Photo courtesy of CYFN)

    It was a busy week in Old Crow last week with the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation General Assembly and constitution review. Here are some of the highlights.

    The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation General Assembly and constitution review officially wrapped up in Old Crow late last week.

    The constitution review ran from last Tuesday to Thursday, and reviewed 189 amendments in the First Nation's constitution with the help of lawyers and a committee over the last two years. The General Assembly portion took place from Thursday to Saturday and and Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston was also there to talk about First Nation initiatives occurring at the territorial level.  

    Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm says there were many key issues discussed during the constitution review.

    "Whole entire sections (from the review) will now be drawn into legislation.That includes updates to our Lands and Elections Act. We still want to work towards our Privacy Act as well. There was also more clarification given around changes to the General Assembly and the some of the roles in government such as council itself."

    Chief Tramm says there was also some more clarification made during the event regarding who can run for office.

    "Another interesting thing worked on was our residency clause during elections. Now, any Vuntut Gwitchin member can run for office in Canada. However, upon their successful election, they have 14 days to move back to the community." 

    Chief Tramm says members on the First Nation's  Trust, members of different  First Nation bodies of  government, and members of the RCMP were all at the events throughout the week.

    Chief Tramm says mental health and education were other key resolution issues discussed.

    "Education-wise, we worked on what we want to see around our Memorandum of Agreement between the Yukon government. Now with land-based orientation and outside resources coming into the community, whether it's RCMP or teachers, we bring them all out on the land. Another interesting initiative was around suicide prevention... it speaks about giving direction to our government to create a Community Mental Wellness Plan that addresses suicide prevention and intervention."

    Vuntut Gwitchin First National Traditional territory covers much of northern Yukon, the NWT and Alaska. The territory covers approximately 50,000 square miles.

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