Taku River Tlingit FN challenges Yukon over campground
The Taku River Tlinglit First Nation is taking the Yukon Government to court over a planned campground at Atlin Lake, saying the plan ignores the First Nation's constitutional rights.
John Ward, a member of the Taku River Tlingit, says unless the government consults at a treaty level, the First Nation's constitutional rights are being breached.
"[We're] viewing this as one of the last straws after so many things have taken place with the Taku River Tlingit regarding the treaty," he said.
"We would forever lose the access to that land, to use it for our way of life. That's just about it in a nutshell. We'd be forced to pay fees to go there."
Ward says taking the government to court is the only way to ensure his First Nation retains its rights. He says they want the government to negotiate a land settlement with the First Nation before building any campgrounds.
Lesley McCullough, Yukon's assistant deputy minister of justice, says the government consulted in the same way it would on any treaty land.
"We have and continue to consult First Nation governments regularly on a wide range of subjects in order to fulfil our legal obligations," she said.
Ward says the problem is that the consultation process didn't take into account the Taku River Tlingit's way of doing things.
The campground is planned to open in May 2015.