Northern premiers head to Old Crow, Yukon for annual meeting

Get ready, Old Crow - the premiers are coming. 'That's great that they're going to be here,' said the deputy chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.

Pasloski, McLeod, and Taptuna to stop in Dawson City en route

Premiers Darrell Pasloski (Yukon), Bob McLeod (Northwest Territories) and Peter Taptuna (Nunavut) arrived in Dawson City on Thursday afternoon. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

The three territorial premiers are again going off the beaten track for the annual Northern Premiers' Forum. Last year they travelled to Kugluktuk, Nunavut, while this year, they're headed to Old Crow, Yukon. 

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, N.W.T. Premier Bob McLeod and Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna will first go to Dawson City on Thursday, before heading to Old Crow on Friday morning for a second day of meetings.

"They could have met anywhere, in any of the three capitals in the North, but they chose Old Crow," said deputy Vuntut Gwitchin Chief Stan Njootli in Old Crow. 

"We're isolated and that's great that they're going to be here — come here to meet, and meet the people." 

Njootli hopes it will be eye-opening for the premiers to see the Gwitchin community, and he hopes they pay particular attention to the impacts of climate change.

"There's a lot of land erosion and there isn't very much discussions about that," he said. He mentioned permafrost melting along the river, lakes draining, and vegetation growing in strange ways.

Njootli also hopes the three premiers will spend time discussing the economy.

The visiting premiers will be introduced in the Yukon Legislative Assembly Thursday morning before boarding a plane for Dawson City. 

On Friday, a special lunch will be held for the premiers and the public at the John Tizya Centre.