mi-ruth-massie-grand-chief-yukon

Ruth Massie, grand chief of the Council of Yukon First nations says First Nations don't want to continually be in court, but she says consultation needs to be more than e-mails or publications. (CBC file)

Yukon First Nations are applauding the Yukon government for creating a new staff position that will focus exclusively on consultation with First Nations.

The new staffer will help government meet its legal obligations to consult with aboriginal governments.

"Well, I think it's about time,” says Ruth Massie, grand chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations. “I'm very, very pleased that they're considering this position.”

She’s hopeful the new position signifies a thaw in government-to-government relations.

“We've been talking about improving our working relationships and I really think any type of improvement to communication always helps, gives you a better understanding, brings clarity, and I think there would be some positive dialogue coming forward."

Massie says First Nations don't want to continually be in court, defending their traditional title or agreements.

She says consultation needs to be more than e-mails or publications.

Massie adds the Yukon Forum has not met for a year and a half, and she would like to see it resume.