The first steps towards Yukon land claims took place in the early 1900s. In 1902, Chief Jim Boss (Kashxóot), the hereditary chief of the Ta’an Kwäch’än wrote letters to the Government of Canada seeking recognition and protection for his people and their lands.
The formal modern land claims process started in 1973 when a delegation of Yukon First Nations Chiefs presented Together Today for our Children Tomorrow: A Statement of Grievances and an Approach to Settlement by the Yukon Indian People to then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
After many years of negotiation and the hard work of many visionary leaders, the historic Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA) was signed in 1993. It provided the template to negotiate individual land claim agreements (called “Final Agreements”) with each Yukon First Nation.
Since 1993, eleven Yukon First Nations have settled their land claims and are self-governing. The federal Indian Act no longer applies to them. These First Nations can make laws and decisions on their Settlement Land and for their citizens, similar to those of a Canadian province or territory.