'New engagement, new co-operation' in Yukon, First Nations mining deal

'I think I learned a lot as a leader,' said Premier Darrell Pasloski upon announcing a new government-to-government protocol with First Nations that will bring both groups closer together on mining issues.

'I think I learned a lot as a leader,' said Premier Darrell Pasloski

'I think I learned a lot as a leader,' said Premier Darrell Pasloski upon announcing a new government-to-government protocol with First Nations that will bring both groups closer together on mining issues. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

The Yukon government and the territory's self-governing First Nations have reached a deal to bring the two sides closer together on mining issues.

Among other things, they've developed a government-to-government protocol to improve communication. They've also come up with a work plan on mining-related priorities.

They unveiled their plan this week at the annual Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver.

Premier Darrell Pasloski says this protocol can lead us to a more productive way of engaging in mining projects.

Mineral prices are down, and rocky relations between First Nations and the government have left many wondering whether it's a safe place to invest.

"I think I've learned a lot as a leader and I think as a government we've learned a lot," said Premier Darrell Pasloski, "and as a result of that what you're seeing now and what you've seen in the last year that we have been building is this new engagement this new co-operation."  

Council of Yukon First Nation Grand Chief Ruth Massie says she's also pleased with the new protocol, but cautious.

"We worked very, very hard in improving our communications," she said.

"We are all in it together right now and we are all from the territory and it's for the benefit of the territory."