The Council of Yukon First Nations is publicly supporting three first nations and two environmental groups in their fight to have the Peel Watershed case heard by Canada's highest court.

Members of CYFN passed a resolution at a recent leadership meeting about the Peel, agreeing that if the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, it will apply to be interveners.

Grand Chief Ruth Massie said it's important to protect the integrity of the the Umbrella Final Agreement and Land Claims. 

The First Nations of Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, Nacho Nyak Dun and Vuntut Gwitchin, along with CPAWS Yukon and the Yukon Conservation Society, have applied for leave to appeal the Yukon Court of Appeal's November decision to send the Peel planning process back to an earlier stage.

All parties have now submitted documents to the Supreme Court and are waiting to hear if the case will be heard. 

Earlier this month, the Gwich'in Tribal Council filed its application for intervener status in the case

Meanwhile, the Yukon Government is urging the Supreme Court to not hear the case, arguing there is no issue of national or public importance at stake.

The Supreme Court is expected to take a couple of months before reaching a decision. 

Chris Rider

Chris Rider takes the helm of the Yukon chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society in April. (Submitted by Chris Rider)

CPAWS has new director

One of the environmental groups involved in the Peel dispute has a new executive director. 

Chris Rider, who worked in the top position at BYTE Empowering Youth for four years, will take up his new position with the Yukon chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society in April. 

Rider will replace Jill Pangman, who has been the organization's interim executive director since Gill Cracknell retired in the fall. 


  • A previous version of this story stated that Gill Cracknell was the outgoing director at CPAWS Yukon.
    Feb 22, 2016 2:55 PM CT