First Nation calls Yukon's draft fracking strategy 'a betrayal'

The Trondek Hwechin First Nation says documents indicating that the Yukon government is pursuing a draft strategy for hydraulic fracturing represent a serious breach of trust.

Trondek Hwechin First Nation opposes fracking, angry with Yukon government's documents on hydraulic fracturing

The Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, of the Trondek Hwechin First Nation. Trondek chief Roberta Joseph says the Yukon government has had "closed ears" when it comes to listening to her people and to Yukoners as a whole. (Trondekheritage.com)

The Trondek Hwechin First Nation says documents indicating that the Yukon government is pursuing a draft strategy for hydraulic fracturing represent a serious breach of trust.

A presentation by the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources that was intended for caucus recommends the government focus on fracking — notably in the Eagle Plain basin in northern Yukon, and the Liard basin in the southeast corner of the territory. 

Chief Roberta Joseph says it was a blow to learn what the government was planning behind closed doors, especially considering that her First Nation, which is based in Dawson City, passed a resolution stating it was diametrically opposed to fracking.

"This brings a real lack of trust," says Joseph, "when these things are being planned out without even sitting down, talking to First Nations." 

Joseph says elders were vehement in their opposition when they spoke to the Yukon legislature's select committee on hydraulic fracturingShe says the government has decided to disregard not only First Nations, but Yukoners as a whole, and that revelations in the documents will damage an already brittle relationship between the territorial government and First Nations.

"The Yukon Party government basically has closed ears on Yukon people," she says, "in terms of how we want to ensure that we have a sustainable environment for future generations."

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