Prime Minister and Minister Duncan Promise to Resolve First Nation Funding Issue

CARCROSS, YT, Aug. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The Carcross/Tagish First Nation (C/TFN) met with Prime Minister Harper and the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development yesterday in an attempt to resume negotiations to secure fair and equitable funding for the First Nation. Both the Prime Minister and Minister Duncan acknowledged the funding issue and indicated that the government would work to resolve it.

The meeting with Minister Duncan took place in Whitehorse before a Conservative Party fundraiser attended by Prime Minister Harper on C/TFN territory.  The Minister claimed to be unaware of the extent of the dire issues facing the First Nation and said that if funding was unfair, the government would make it right.

"We had a frank and honest discussion with Minister Duncan," said C/TFN Khà Shâde Héni (Chief) Danny Cresswell. "He listened and assured us that he would immediately look at C/TFN funding and if it was unfair compared to other self-governing Yukon First Nations, he would fix it."

The C/TFN Chief, a guest at the Conservative Party fundraiser held three kilometres from their First Nation Council offices, also spoke to Prime Minister Harper about the government-inflicted situation the First Nation finds itself in and handed him a letter, explaining the funding disparity and the need for the government to resume negotiations.

"Prime Minister Harper acknowledged that there was a funding issue, and that Minister Duncan would resolve it," said Cresswell. "We have heard promises like this before from the federal government, but coming from the Prime Minister, we trust that Minister Duncan will be true to his word and work towards a speedy resolution of fair and equitable funding for our First Nation."

The C/TFN is a self-governing First Nation located in the Yukon's southwest. Their territory surrounds a portion of the Klondike highway that runs from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon, including the Nares River Bridge, which is a vital gateway for Yukon commerce and trade.

The Carcross/Tagish First Nation is mandated to protect the environment, health, education and Aboriginal rights of its people; to continue to preserve and protect its culture and traditions; to protect and develop its natural resources and strengthen its economy and the government of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation for future generations.

SOURCE: Carcross/Tagish First Nation

For further information:

Beverly M. Sembsmoen Phone: (867) 821-4251 extension 8210

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Carcross/Tagish First Nation

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