Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Issue#07 Vol#04 - October 2005  

October 2005
"Caribou" Month
In This Issue
Chief and Council
Caribou Coordination
Youth Health and Fitness
Education and Training
Human Resources
Government Services
Natural Resources
Social Programs

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Vuntut Gwitchin Government
Joe Linklater.....................Chief
Roger Kaye........Deputy Chief
William Josie............Councilor
Glenna Tetlichi........Councilor
Esau Schafer............Councilor

Chief and Council

Dorothy Frost - Executive Director, C&C

Where to begin. There are so many aspects to this government that I want to share with you and I need to in order for you to understand the processes we are going through right now. This will also help explain the real need for our elected officials to travel and meet with various Government agencies.

Chief and Council are elected officials who are the political body which advocates and lobbies on your behalf in terms of securing and providing services for you in our traditional territory.
It’s true we have ratified and settled the Umbrella Final Agreement, The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Final Agreement and the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Self Government agreement with the Government of Canada and Yukon.

However, all these chapters have obligations to be followed through in terms of implementing each chapter, not only to the Federal, and Territorial Governments but also to our own Government.

Implementing the Chapters of our final agreement is the process by which negotiators must once again sit across the table with whichever Government of the day is, to come to terms of what and how each Chapter will get transferred. Programs and Services that will get drawn down and how much funds would be negotiated to each specifically to provide services reasonably comparable to Yukon.

We have years of implementation to go through yet. It takes dedicated and knowledgeable people to negotiate on our behalf. If we do not travel and meet face to face, more than likely we will not be able to secure the funding to offer you better services and programs. In other words we may miss real opportunities out there that may benefit our organization and the community.

During the course of the next year, I will dedicate my newsletters to "Good Governance" and what it means to you and I. You will have an opportunity to join in on this via email, phone or by dropping in to see me, should you choose to. Please feel free to ask questions pertaining to this government and I will do my utmost to accommodate those questions, concerns, etc.

Good governance has 8 major characteristics.

It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, fair and inclusive and follows the rule of law.
It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.

Chief and Council roles and responsibilities for Good Governance

We have been working hard on developing policies, and procedures and also a Strategic plan which should define the following roles, responsibilities, and accountability of Council members, the Council as a whole and the Directors of each department. It has 4 parts, planning, leading, organizing, and controlling.
Planning, states the vision and values of this First Nation. It decides what it wants to accomplish over the year
Leading, contains rules that Council follows to manage Council business. It includes the process of policy development. It will also contain an orientation process for new council members.
Organizing, explains how Council interacts with staff. It also contains rules and procedures for appraising and evaluating the Directors.
Controlling, these will define the limits Council place on the Directors authority. These will express the trust that Council has in the ability of the Directors to manage the First Nations business.
These will ensure that the operations are effective and achieve Council’s goals. It also prevents Council from becoming too involved in the day-to-day operations of the office, while making sure the Council governance is appropriate and efficient.
When using discretionary powers, Chief and Council must ensure that all the relevant facts and merits of each case are considered. The rules of natural justice require that people affected significantly by a decision have a right to put forward their case and for the decision to be made impartially. They must observe these principles.
Should an ethical or moral objection to a task they are asked to undertake arise, they should seek resolution of the issue through discussions with senior management.
All in all Good Governance is the process and structure clearly defined whereby Council direct and manage business that enhances the well being of community members and protects their assets.
Until next time

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Alisa Kelly - Executive Assistant Chief and Council

First, I just wanted to say how happy I am to be back working at VGFN and living in Old Crow. Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming again.

Well, its been three weeks since I started working for Chief and Council and its been incredibly busy. I wanted to use the newsletter as an opportunity to report back to you on the activities in the office of Chief and Council.

Senator Ione Christianson met with Council on October 6th to discuss community issues and concerns and to see how she would be able to assist. Chief and Council hosted a public meeting on October 11, 2005 where a number of recommendations were suggested by community members and the Elders. Following is a brief list of the issues raised at the meeting and recommendations:

• Ice Safety
• School Council:
- Irregular Attendance
- Children without indoor shoes
- Support Physical Education teacher
- Bullying and Behaviours
- Discipline
- Public encouraged to join meetings (1st Tuesday of every month 6pm)
• Vuntut Hunters and Trappers Assoc.
- New non-profit for all VGFN beneficiaries
- Mandate to encourage pursuit of traditional and healthy lifestyles, and traditional economic pursuits
- Applying for funding through the Community Development Fund and VGFN
- Encourage all VGFN beneficiaries to attend meetings (1st Thursday of every month 6pm)
• Alcohol & Drugs
• Young people not getting jobs, not being trained
• Young people not having anything to do
• Concerns with Porcupine Enterprises not fulfilling agreement (shut down when caribou come)
• Housing concerns, rent prices

• VGFN raise assistance for Trappers this year due to increasing cost of living
• Community and Chief and Council support RCMP
• In-camera session for VGFN Beneficiaries
• Fulfill GA resolution to review prohibition law
• Monthly meetings by Chief and Council for community
• Curfew for Children – Community members enforce together
• Encourage foster parenting
• Establish Elders’ Council
• Leaders should lead by example

Following the public meeting VGFN held a staff meeting to hear suggestions and concerns from VGFN’s staff on October 14th. Chief and Council attended a YESAA training session on October 25th hosted by NR. This was a great opportunity for Chief and Council to find out more about the YESAA process and legislation and how VGFN will be a part of this process.
The Chief has been busy in October attending meetings with the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse, CYFN Leadership meetings, October 25th to 27th …
The Chief also attended the funeral of Annie Henry in Dawson on October 29th, along with Donald Frost, Dick Nukon, Charlie Thomas, Edith Josie, Fanny Charlie, Lydia Thomas and Marion Schafer.
Upcoming in November, Chief and Council will host another public meeting. As well, on November 1st and 2nd I, along with Megan Williams and Mary Jane Moses, will be attending a workshop on Communications in Whitehorse. This workshop is being funded by INAC and will provide us with tools to develop a communications strategy.
Chief and Council will be meeting with the Vuntut Hunters and Trappers Association on November 3rd; the Education Reform Project Co-Chairs on November 14th; and the Corrections Consultation team on November 15th. Following the meeting with Chief and Council, the Corrections Consultation team will host a public meeting to report back to the community on their findings: November 15th at 6pm in the Community Hall – supper will be served.
If you have any questions or would like more information on any of the above items, you can come see us in our office or email me at, or phone at 867-966-3262, extension 231.

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Ron Daub - Executive Director, Vuntut Development Corp

203-100 Main Street, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada Y1A 2A8
Tel: 867-633-8972 Fax: 867-456-7139 email:

North Yukon Partnership Agreement

The North Yukon Partnership Agreement was first conceived in the winter of 2004 and the agreement was signed in the summer of 2004. The agreement focuses on economic opportunities in North Yukon and is in partnership with Na Cho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondek Hwech’in, Vuntut Gwitchin and Yukon Governments.

As your representative for this file I would like to report that we are finalizing a plan for leadership approval, which outlines the areas of economic opportunities that the group will focus on. Since the Dempster Highway ties the four Governments together geographically, the highway corridor is our focus in the short term with looking at opportunities in other areas as time goes on.

Some of the economic opportunities identified are tourism, construction and maintenance along the highway, resource based opportunities, environmental opportunities and spin-off opportunities such as jobs, training and business opportunities.

Once the plan is approved by leadership the group will proceed to implement the plan.

Mahsi Cho,

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Greg Charlie - Implementation Review

Canada, Yukon and 7 Self Government First Nations including VGFN are doing a complete review of the Self Government and Final Agreements. These include a detail review of all chapters of the agreement and implementation plan activity sheets. The assessment could result in amending the agreements or implementation plan. The main purpose of the review is to assess the status of implementing the agreements. The Implementation Review Group develops recommendations to the parties to consider in order to complete an implementation obligation. The end results will be a comprehensive report for the parties. Currently we are expected to have most of the recommendations completed in early of 2006. This is important step in the process for developing a mandate to re-negotiate VGFN FTA.

Adequacy Review
The review is to consider the adequacy of implementation funding. This clearly refers to whether the quantum provided is reasonably sufficient today for the intended purpose. It could also include a review of the adequacy of the mandate under which that quantum was determined.

Canada did not engage meaningfully until May. FNs have now tabled adequacy assessments in relation to heritage, governance, capital and economic development. Land and resource matters are in progress. Canada’s response on heritage has been encouraging. Discussions on economic development continue. A response and discussion on all other matters is not expected until January 06 at the earliest. CYFN has tabled its approach to the adequacy of UFA implementation support. A response is not expected until January to March.

FTA Renewal
Seven FTAs will expire March 31/07. If renewal agreements are to take effect as of April 1/07, renewal negotiations (yet to begin) will need to be completed by the end of December of 2006, in order to allow sufficient time to secure federal and FN renewal approvals in March of 2007.

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Hugh Monaghan - Senior Financial Arrangements Committee

Proposed Amendments To The Yukon Wildlife Act

Yukon Government proposes to amend the Yukon Wildlife Act:
· to bring the Act into conformity with the Chapter 16 (fish & wildlife) provisions of the UFA; and,
· to introduce endangered species legislation in Yukon, within a national program, and to compliment Federal Legislation.
Yukon sent letters to each YFN with a brief description of their intent concerning both legislative amendments and seeking input from YFNs within 30 days – just past. While it is positive that Yukon is finally coming to grips with these two issues that are important to YFNs; but both the unilateral way in which Yukon has developed its proposed legislation, and its approach to and short frame for consultation with YFNs are inadequate.

Resolution and Recommendations in Moving Forward
VG Government, in partnership with CYFN, intervened at the political level to have Yukon withdraw both draft legislative changes from the present sitting of the legislature. Other YFNs, some RRCs and the Yukon Fish & Wildlife Management Board had also written in seeking this proposed legislation be deferred. We succeeded in having Yukon defer this legislation; and, the Leadership has recommended:
• YFNs and Yukon jointly develop this legislation and the species at risk program, including formal Consultation for the review of both pieces of legislation in a manner that will meet the needs of YNFs, to involve -
• Yukon and YFNs strike a working group to collaboratively develop both pieces of legislation;
• Yukon enter into formal Consultations as prescribed by the Yukon-YFN Consultation Protocol with each YFN to ensure these consultations are conducted within the full intent of the UFA and YFN Final Agreements; and,
• the schedule for the development and consultation of the respective legislative amendments be extended to achieve these requirements.

Where to From Here
While Yukon has pulled this proposed amendments back, and indicted a intent to proceed in more of a partnership with YFNs; we are now waiting for the formal notice from Yukon on how, and on what schedule they propose to proceed. With this information, the Leadership will determine how to respond to Yukon.

Cooperation in Governance Act

The Yukon Forum – a meeting of the YFNs Leadership with the Premier and his Cabinet – was agreed to by the self-governing YFNs about 2 years ago when they signed a memorandum of understanding to that effect. The Forum is to deal with Yukon wide issues and programs and is essentially directed at YFN and Yukon governments collaborating to provide the best level of services to all Yukoners. The Yukon Forum also helps develop ‘in-Yukon’ solutions to the Intergovernmental Forum which includes Canada (the Minister of Indian & Northern Affairs). Examples of the work done to date by the Yukon Forum include setting the basis for the major break-through achieved with Canada last February to fully include adequacy of (federal) funding during the current 9 year review, a process to collaboratively consider and make decisions on all of the 9 year recommendations in a timely manner (which did not occur on the 5 year review), and to provide interim funding at present levels during the extension of the FTAs to see the review fully and properly through. The Yukon Forum also produced joint ‘in-Yukon’ positions of YFNs and Yukon on the $40 million Yukon Strategy and $27 million Northern Economic Development Fund that are referred to in more detail below.

It has been the intention of Yukon and YFNs to create a special act of the Yukon legislature to enshrine the Yukon Forum so that it will continue with future Yukon political administrations. We have successfully drafted this legislation with Yukon and it will be debated and hopefully passed - during the present sitting of the legislature.

Northern Strategy – Yukon Chapter

At a meeting of the 3 northern Premiers and Prime Minister late last winter the Prime Minister committed $120 million to the North in increased program money - $40 million to each territory over 5 years. The purpose of the strategy is to advance governance, the economy, infrastructure and social conditions in the North by funding 7 themes, with the direction for spending to be guided within these themes by a strategy for each territory – in our case the Yukon Chapter which we have jointly developed wit Yukon.

Without going into all the detail here (we can provide copies of the Yukon Chapter to any that are interested) the 7 themes are:
1. Strengthening Governance, Partnerships and Institutions
2. Establishing Strong Foundations for Sustainable Economic Development
3. Protecting the Environment
4. Building Healthy and Safe Communities
5. Reinforcing Sovereignty, National Security and Circumpolar Cooperation
6. Preserving, Revitalizing and Promoting Culture and Identity
7. Developing Northern Science and Research

We drafted the Yukon Chapter last May which was agreed to by Yukon and YFNs at a Yukon Forum called for that purpose. The direction made it clear that it is important that sustained actions be taken to create change that will foster economic and social development and result in tangible improvements in the lives of Yukoners. Cross-cutting themes link the various goals: youth, gender issues, capacity building, infrastructure development, data collection and information management, community development and promotion and building collaborative and cooperative intergovernmental relationships through the Intergovernmental Forum and the Yukon Forum and other arrangements such as bilateral agreements.

It is also important to design measures that will inform governments and Yukoners about how well the Northern Strategy is being implemented and how and when the Yukon chapter will be reviewed and renewed. This $40 million is in a trust account and totally under the control of Yukon which has offered this partnership with YFNs on how to use it most effectively.

The Premier and Leadership have recently provided direction that we draft for their review and decision the detailed implementation plan for the Yukon Chapter (guidelines for projects, fund administration, etc.). We will begin this task shortly and will seek input of the FNGOs and departmental staff in that regard.

As soon as the Leadership has agreed on the implementation plan the funding can flow to both large territorial projects and smaller local and individual projects. This should provide real opportunities for our citizens, including the private sector, and our government.

Northern Economic Development Fund

In the March 2004 Budget, the federal government committed to spend $90 million over five years in support of northern economic development in the three territories. Of these monies, it has allocated $9 million for federal administration costs, and $27 million to each territory. This fund for northern economic development was established to augment, not duplicate, existing funding for programs in the North, including the Northern Strategy.On June 20 and August 31, 2005, INAC distributed draft principles and criteria for the Northern Economic Development Fund. This document did not reflect the input provided to INAC by YFNs, and separately with Yukon. As a result Leadership and Premier agreed to follow the general outline of the themes of the Fund while directing a YFNs & Yukon working group to develop the detail of the criteria for projects under each of the 4 themes and the project decision making process to reflect ‘in-Yukon’ developed priorities for the most effective use of this Fund in Yukon – while acknowledging the financial accountability of the Minister of INAC. Three and a half years remain for the use of this fund which has not as yet been used.

The Yukon investments will focus on four thematic areas chosen by the federal government:
1) Building the Knowledge Base in key economic sectors or areas of activity that will help set the stage for further economic opportunities and investments. (e.g. Resource inventories related to high potential economic areas; socio-economic indicators; data analyses; increased access to information through publication of maps, analyses or on-line databases.)
2) Increasing Northern Capacity of First Nation governments, First Nation development corporations, organizations, associations, mirco and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) including social enterprises and individuals so that they can take advantage of economic opportunities. (e.g. Strengthening industry organizations’ service to members; access to expert advice; development of certification standards, curriculum and materials, and training to match labour demand.)
3) Enhancing the Infrastructure Base by supporting the development of multi-user physical infrastructure critical to economic growth. (e.g. Demand/feasibility studies, design, and construction of physical infrastructure in the communities, feasibility studies for new public transportation links; telecommunications investments.)
4) Expansion and Economic Diversification in all sectors and markets through provision of investment capital for small and large enterprises. (e.g. Projects that encourage growth, or establishment of new small and large enterprises, technology clusters; cultural industries; tourism product development and marketing.)

Sounds a bit bureaucratic and formal – we tried to stick closely to some of the original federal text, but we’ve modified it so it can work to good effect in practical ways.

A considerable portion of the funding for the first three themes is intended to flow directly to governments (including YFNs government); while the Expansion and Economic Diversification theme is intended to involve applications from the private sector and YFN development corporations.

The YFN Leadership and Premier agreed to the program description developed by the working group in consultation with the Leadership and First Nation Government Officials. As there are significant operation differences from INAC’s original draft, the Premier, Grand Chief and Chief Linklater will be meeting with the Prime Minister, Minister of INAC and MP Larry Bagnell during late November to seek their support for this ‘in-Yukon’ description of the most effective use of this fund. (A copy will be provided on request to VG citizens or agencies on request.)

In the meantime, the YFN working group was directed to proceed to recommend a detailed investment plan for each of the four themes – which is now in draft form following a workshop with FNGOs and YFN development corporations, including YIDC. This draft is currently under review and we expect to have it completed by late November – although this will not be circulated to Canada until after the pending meeting of principals.

Ongoing Intergovernmental Relations

Considerable support continues to be provided to Chief & Council and the VDC, working at the senior officials level, including the Premier’s office, to help ‘grease the skids’ to get things done operationally with VG programs and projects that are linked to other YFNs, Yukon and the Federal governments.

An recent example is a meeting of the Senior Liaison Committee (Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines & Resources and I) met recently with the North Yukon Planning Commission Chair Shirley Frost and their planner. We were very pleased to see the ground breaking progress of the Commission, and discussed how we would gear up to provide further support to the Commission, and prepare a timely and thorough review for the Commission’s draft land use plan when they have that in hand.

This also relates to our IRG review of the Land Use Planning chapter of the UFA which we have provided a lead the review of the limited progress of this program to date territorially, while focusing on the recent positive working relationships and progress during the past two years amongst the Parties (VG and Yukon), the Yukon Land Use Planning Council, and the North Yukon Land Use Planning Commission. We are now gearing up to do a similar review of the natural resource elements of the YFN Final Agreements.

Various other intergovernmental projects continue to be monitored including the Northern Yukon Oil and Gas Strategy, and the Northern Yukon Economic Development Strategy.

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Youth Health and Fitness - Recreation

Dustin Davis - Physical Education Teacher / Recreation Manager

Hello Old Crow! There is a great deal of good news coming from the Recreation Department during the past month and more to come. The Old Crow Health and Fitness Pilot Project is up and running again this year, and at present I have ten students participating with more joining each week. We have celebrated our success and commitment to the program by making homemade pizza and throwing ourselves a party. If you are interested in having your child participate in regular physical activity twice a week by joining the Old Crow Health and Fitness Pilot Project, contact me at 966-3100 in the evenings.

Although not a program of the Recreation Department, Derek has his Tae Kwon Do program up and running and as a participant myself, I can say without a doubt that he runs excellent classes for both youth and adults. I highly recommend Tae Kwon Do as a great solution to the cold, dark, days ahead.

Hope everyone enjoyed the candy-free Halloween celebration and the homemade sweets. The Recreation Department will strive to ensure that our activities convey a message of healthy, active living. Just a few weeks ago the first weekend event was held of the fall, an afternoon of skating . Approximately twenty people, adults and youth alike, enjoyed a beautiful sunny afternoon of skating. Thanks to Joe and sons for helping move gear with their truck and for shoveling a rink. Expect to see more active weekend events happening this fall. A new initiative has been started to help the community to become directly involved in providing its own recreation activities. Please consider if you would be willing to donate a few hours per month to supervise the gym, weight room, or skating rink. Starting the week of November 7th, I will be opening the gymnasium to community sports on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 until 8:00 pm. As you can see lots is happening with more activities to come. Hope to see you recreating! Feel free to contact me with your ideas for recreation or if you are interested in becoming a supervisor.

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Carihou Coodination

Kim Blake - Caribou Coordination

Hello Everyone;

The beginning of October was busy for myself, busy writing letters to the US Senators and faxing off to them. Planning presentations at the school for November, this presentation will be on the Washington Wilderness Meetings held in September. We want to let the students know why we travel to the States and get them more familiar with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The vote on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is coming up in November on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. There will be Chief Joe Linklater, Vernon Kyikavichik, and Florence Thomas who will be heading down to Washington to work on convincing the US Senators who are unsure on their vote on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This vote is very critical, as it will determine the future of our community, our people, and the whole entire Nation that depends on this untouched land.

We will definitely keep Joe, Vernon, and Florence in mind all week as the represent our community, and the whole Nation. At this time, I would also like to say a big heart felt Mahsi to the community for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time that I am journeying through, I am truly thankful.


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Education and Training

Tracy M. Rispin-Kassi - Director, Education

This department has been busy non-stop since the schools opened in August and September. Both CELCs are preparing their work plans for the school year, organizing events and being the key person at the schools in Old Crow and Whitehorse for our students. Jimmy Linklater is our Bus Driver for 2005/06, and we have a back-up driver now, who is Marvin Frost. The Employment Training Officer, Donna Frost, is also busy with members who are inquiring about training. Donna has also taken over some of my administration work in processing cheque requisitions. The IS installed a new program for issuing cheque requisitions which helps Directors monitor their own budgets. Donna has become very skilled in this area and with the AIS program that runs our Post Secondary program. This leaves me to concentrate in other areas of our Education department.

A posting for the Home work Tutor is posted. This year we were faced with a delay in posting this due to late submission for the funding, but all in all, we have received the funding. We hope to bring on someone who will visit student homes and work with some students who are taking high school correspondence. We also received $ 5000.00 of funding for the Elder In The School program, this year, Mabel and I will be brain-storming different ways of utilizing our Elders in the School.

In September, I attended a two-day Post Secondary meeting with the Assembly of First Nations in Whitehorse. At this meeting, all First Nation went through a document to give feedback to the AFN on what we felt about the Post Secondary Education and it’s guidelines. On the last day, we were then asked to deliver a questionnaire to our Post Secondary students. A lot of First Nations did not agree with this because of the timeline that was needed to have this done and we felt that our students had enough stress on them by organizing their lives around their new enrolled courses, but there were our past students, who were just as familiar with Post Secondary funding, therefore their valuable information was contributed to the questionnaire. At this meeting, I suggested to the AFN representatives, that they consider an incentive for the students to fill out this questionnaire, over some lengthy discussions amongst the senior AFN representatives, a ACER lap top was up for the grand prize! I emailed all our students and received 12 questionnaires, these were to be sent to CYFN and the names be put in a hat, with other student names from across the Territory. Out of all the students in the Territory, our very own Michael Peter won the Laptop!! Congratulations Michael! This year this department wants to be more involved with other organizations in the community, in delivering positive education programming. Roger and I have already had meetings with the School Council and want to build on this relationship. There are a lot of resources in Old Crow that wish to see our students succeed in their education, as well in Whitehorse. We all have the same goals. With this thought, I would like to inform the community that YTG has approved the services of Randall Tetlichi to work with the students of Chief Zzeh Gittlit School. Randall does work in the Territory for the Territorial Government. This information was just discovered by Glenna and myself, therefore, we requested his services and was approved! His first session with the students will be between November 1st and the 11th. After meeting with Randall, we hope to have this consistent every month. Consistency is very important. Having parents in the school observing classrooms would be an added bonus, please drop in at the school to visit your child’s class and see what they are doing. The Principal, Mr. Vokey, is very open to this and encourages it.

It is good to see and hear all the good things that the Physed/Outdoor Teacher, Mr. Davis is doing in the gym and with the Health & Fitness Project after school, each Tuesday and Thursday. He is not only focusing on exercise but also making it fun for the youth. Recreation is about ownership, if we want to see something happen, we need to be part of making it happen. It’s good to see Recreation’s wheels turning once again in Old Crow. Thank you Dustin and Myranda.

In May 2006, VGFN has NINE High School graduates!! Wow, that is the highest number I’ve ever seen in Old Crow history! Congratulations to all of them! Hard work pays off!!
Our graduates are:
Malinda BRUCE
Travis FROST
Amanda FROST

November, already is looking to be a busy month with Budget reviews and the upcoming Community Consultation meeting with Bob Sharp and Tina Jules on the 29th. This will be the final report of the work Mr. Sharp and Ms. Jules have done on the 1999 Strategic Plan.

Also, through the coordination of the Home & Care worker, Renee Frost, the Hot Lunch Program will start on November 4th, three times a week through to December 19th. Any parents that would like to help Renee out can give her a call.

In closing, I would like to extend an invitation out to everyone to drop by the office, if you have any concerns/issues regarding our education programming and or the staff. Written submissions are also welcome signed by yourself. Our goal in this department is to enhance our education programming and our students’ needs.

Take care everyone and Massi Cho. Happy Birthday to all the November people!

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Donna Frost - Employment and Training Officer

Vanh Gwinzii

It sure has been a busy couple of months. At the end of August I went to visit my children in Comox B.C. I had the most wonderful time. My twins are twelve years old and my youngest will be nine on the 6th of November. I visited for a week and we were busy all the time. It was nice to go to the beach and hang out every day. We also hung out by the warf where all the boats dock. It was beautiful. There were so many different beaches to go to and we checked them all out. There were little crabs running around and jelly fishes. It was awesome. It was very nice to spend the time with my children. If you would like to see pictures of them please ask. They sure look like their mom, that’s for sure.

On other notes I went to Whitehorse for Contact 4 and Aboriginal Information Systems Training from September 27th to October 6th. The Contact 4 training is a system that I use to do my reporting to AHRDA (Aboriginal Human Resource Development Strategy) for the Council of Yukon First Nations. I enter all the information into the system and export it to them and that is how we acquire our training dollars. The AIS program is a new system that we are using within the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nations building for certain departments. It seems easier than the Contact 4.

I also spent a couple of days job shadowing with the Champagne Aishik First Nation working with Vera Owlchild. I saw how they operate within their First Nation Office and it is much different than our First Nation. Vera is one person doing a job of two or three people. It was very nice to meet her and enjoyed my time working with her for the two days Iwas there. It is good to see how other First Nations operate and the difference in their work characteristics.

On October 4th and 5th 2005 I had the opportunity to attend the 1st Aboriginal Education Conference at the Council of Yukon First Nations building in Whitehorse. Tracy Kassi, Kim Rumley and Mabel Tetlichi made presentations on Education in our community of Old Crow along with five other First Nation Education holders. It was interesting to listen in on how the other communities organize the programs they have. As from what I listened to, we are lucky to have Mabel keeping our tradition as strong as she does with our children. Some of the communities do not have the amount of tradition we still have with our children today. So a big “job well done” to Mabel for that. Strong Mahsi.

October 10th to the 20th,2005, James Smarch (the AIS Technician) came to the First Nations Office to train some staff members on the Aboriginal Information System. This program will make it easier for us to keep track of all our clients. It will very useful within the First Nation Building.
James Smarch also taught the FAC (Firearms Certificate Course) on October 17th- 19th, 2005 at the Community Hall. When I first put notice up of this happening in Old Crow, there was a mass amount of interest in it. When the course actually happened there were 3 people who took the course. Citizens are encouraged to at tend these course that come to Old Crow. We have brought quite a few courses up here with very little turn out. It discourages us from bringing other courses to Old Crow due to lack of participation. So once again please, if you sign up for a course, attend it when it comes to town. Hope everyone is finally enjoying the snow, I am sure all the skidoos will be out and about. Just to remind people with skidoos, “Remember there are children out playing on the roads and trails where you are driving, so be on a watch for the little ones. They can pop out of anywhere”

I would also like to thank everyone in the community for all the support and donations for my grandmother, it is greatly appreciated in our family. It is amazing how this community comes together in a time when needed. Once again Mahsi to everyone.

So thank you in taking the time in reading my newsletter submission and will talk you all again next month.

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween.


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Mabel Tetlichi - CELC, Area I - Old Crow

Good day every one.

All indoor activities started on October 7/ 05. The students from all classes participate in culture classes that offer sewing, making bannock or donuts with an Elder and industrial arts. These activities takes place every Friday.

Nine students and four chaperones attended the Dream Catchers Conference in Edmonton. This conference offers many tools for the youth to learn and put into practice in their daily lives. Sessions are taught by selected role models across Canada. For the youth to experience and see people who where teenager at one time to have the youth hear their stories gives them confidence and sense of belonging.

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Kim Rumley - CELC, Area II - Whitehorse

Hello Shah Gwitchin Kat;

My new phone number is 867-456-3826 here at F.H. Collins, note: I can still be accessed by calling the 1-800-661-0408.

We are currently 50% through First Semester and time is going fast. The students have only eight weeks until they fly home for Christmas.

Many of the students are buckling down and getting into the routine of being back in Whitehorse for school. It is also great to see some of the students trying out new extra-curicular school activities or new sports outside of the school setting. Keep up the good work.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for the preservation of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Your time, effort and energy does not go unnoticed, and it is greatly appreciated. Mahsi Cho to all of you for your tremdous efforts.

All Yukon Schools were closed on September 29th and 30th, 2005 in order for educators around the territory to attend the Yukon Teachers Association Conference. The conference was very well organized, and had some excellent Keynote speakers, as well as innovative and motivating workshops. Mabel Tetlichi and myself as CELC’s were able to attend this conference, and it was very worthwhile.October 4th and 5th, 2005 saw us attending yet another Conference on Education in the Yukon. The CYFN Education Conference was very well attended by VGFN, Chief; Joe Linklater presented some excellent information on where we are at with First Nations Education in the Yukon. In addition to this, Tracy Rispin-Kassi, Education Director for VGFN, Mabel Tetlichi, CELC – Area 1 and myself were all asked to speak on VGFN Education initiatives, Challenges and Best Practices. Our presentation was well received, and it was an honor to be invited. Copies of our presentations will be available in the near future so if anyone would like a copy please feel to contact Tracy or myself.

On October 6th,2005, Randal Kendi, Dave Sloan, John Ritter, Gwitchin Elders, and myself attended a meeting regarding the Gwitchin Language Program, at the Native Language Center. We had a very productive morning, and commenced plans for the Gwitchin Literacy Week, being held at Yukon College, November 21st-25th, 2005. We are inviting 10 High School Students to participate in the literacy week, and will be transporting and chaperoning the students to the college. Lunch will be provided. This will be treated as a field trip, and therefore they will not be marked absent. There will be a delegation from Fort McPherson traveling down, as well as our very own Annie Lord. We are looking forward to this exciting language event. Mahsi Cho to Randal for all his hard work.

On October 12th, 2005 I coordinated a lunchtime presentation by Alcohol and Drug Services. Adam Thompson presented to 15 of our students on a drug called “Crystal Meth” the presentation was very well received. The students were polite, interested and asked many excellent questions. This lunch was sponsored by VGFN, Health & Social Department. Mahsi Cho to them for recognizing the importance of educating our youth on the dangers substances our there, and also for providing the funds for a healthy lunch from Tim Horton’s. The annual F.H. Collins Awards Night was held on October 13th, 2005, the recieptants of the Gwitchin Language

Award were Kathie-Marie Charlie, Floyd McGinnis and Malinda Bruce. Crystal Frost received an award for Math 9 and Dale Kakfwi received the Yukon College Award. Congratulations to all of the students who received an award. All your hard work and dedication paid off. Mahsi Cho to the Native Language Center for sponsoring the Gwitchin Language Award.

There will be a Community Consultation on Education held in Old Crow on November 29th, 2005 at 5pm at the Community Hall. Bob Sharpe and Tina Jules in partnership with VGFN will be presenting on the research they performed in Old Crow, and the next steps. Dinner will be provided, everyone is welcome. Hope to see you there.

Parent Teacher Interviews: were held at F.H. Collins, Porter Creek and Vanier High School on Thursday, October 19th, from 5-7 pm, and Friday, October 20th, 2005 from 10am – 1pm. I will be attending on behalf of most parents and will forward an attendance report and have forwarded a progress report.

Crime Prevention Yukon: Once again VGFN Education Department and Recreation Departments have applied for CPY funding in order to host Winter Activities for the students both in Whitehorse and Old Crow. This funding will allow us to purchase swimming passes, Mt. Sima passes and to host a variety of activities throughout the winter. Stay tuned for a schedule of activities.

In closing, I would like to say it is an honor to work with all the students, and each and everyone of the students are a pleasure to have here in Whitehorse. Should you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to call, or even come in to see the CELC-Area 2 Program for yourself. Take Care.

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Randall Kendi -Native Language Instructor

Hello shah Gwitchin Kat,

Shii Randall Kendi Diinch’uu

Well how’s it going with you all, as for myself at F.H Collins I am working with Linda Netro and we are doing very well.

I have been working with the Yukon Native language Center in developing a curriculum that would fit for the students at F.H. Collins.

I am very pleased for this opportunity to challenge myself, in the direction of our language. It is hard work but I have sure been enjoying it.

I will be doing sewing with the students three times a week until the end of the school year. At the present time I do not have a classroom, but will be receiving one by next semester. I am looking forward to teaching 19 students and maybe more. I have been approached by a couple of parents that are none-native which is good for the program. This is also a credit course and can be used to graduate from F.H. Collins.

At times it can get very lonely down here but I keep looking forward to going home for the Christmas holidays. One thing that I truly miss is my traditional food, especially caribou meat and dry meat.

I have been working with the native language center and having workshops for all languages at the college, so I have been very busy. I was hired at the Gadzoosdaa residence to hold sewing classes three times a week which I really enjoy, I like to sit and enjoy the students’ company.

With this I would like to say good-bye until I see you all at Christmas. Take care and god bless you all.

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Human Resources

Cheryl Itsi-Charlie -Director, Human Resources

I hope everyone took in the Halloween events hosted by the recreation department. It’s always nice to get together with others community members and mingle. In this newsletter I would like to touch on a few areas relating to the human resource department that have come up as concerns in the workplace as well as the public information meeting held on Oct 11th.

When we have a project approved, we post a notice for 2 weeks asking for interested members to apply. Once the posting is closed, resumes are reviewed and workers are selected. Lately, it’s been hard finding workers; we have gone out of our way to call people who we think may be looking for work. Sometimes we may have a project that needs workers to start tomorrow, so we have an on-going list of laborers that we call upon to fill the positions. This works for us, plus we can refer laborers to other employers that may be looking for workers too. So far this process works for everyone involved. It’s been hard finding qualified drivers for the bus, fuel truck and home & community care van, if you are interested in obtaining your licence, please get in touch with Tammy Josie to do testing. There are also places that offer training assistance for class 3 or 1 licencing. All hiring is done through the Human Resource Department at Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. If you know of anyone interested in applying for a specific job or just leaving their name for upcoming projects please have them contact the HR dept. HR will not be accepting applications from anyone on their brother, sister or partners behalf.

Grievance Process
Once an employee is offered a position, they are required to sign a job offer letter. In the job offer letter there is a paragraph that states if they have any questions or concerns regarding their employment. They are to contact their immediate supervisor which in most cases is the director. Unfortunately, concerns are still being forwarded to Chief & Council to be dealt with. We would appreciate if you are unsure about how to go about dealing with an issue that you come to HR for assistance or direction.

Leave (Sick, Special, Leave w/o pay, or Leave w/pay)
Staff may from time-to-time request leave to attend conferences, meetings, or a day off for personal reasons. Under the VGFN policy if a staff member has accumulated comp, vacation, or sick leave credits, they have the right to use that accumulated time to take the leave requested as long as operational requirements are met.
Sometimes for unforeseen reasons an employee may have to leave their position suddenly. In this instance if no one is designated as a backup worker, VGFN will find someone to fill certain positions, so services can continue to be offered to the community.

Staff Security
In the past, there have been instances where community members have come into the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Administration Building upset and verbally abusive towards staff. This is of great concern to workers and the organization as a whole. We as Vuntut Gwitchin government employees do our best to offer many services to the community; often times multi-tasking throughout the day to meet deadlines and people’s request for assistance. We as workers do not deserve to be treated in a selfish manner. I have noticed that after an out burst how down-and-out the employee feels. Lately we have been assisting staff to overcome their dissatisfaction of working with Vuntut Gwitchin Government due to lack of appreciation from the public. For this reason, we have posted a sign at the front doors asking all visitors/clients to respect the workplace. If staff feel threatened, the RCMP will automatically be notified to help deal with the situation. If you find yourself in a situation where a discussion is getting heated, please excuse yourself and return at a later time to follow through. No one gets anywhere when an argument takes over. Thank you for your understanding in helping us to help you.

Thank you for your time in reading the November newsletter, I hope I helped clarify information surrounding human resources. It works for everyone when were working together on the same page. Happy jiggling, hooking or ice fishing…

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Government Services

Kathie Nukon - Operations Officers, Housing/Government Services Departments

Hello to all;

I was hired full-time on August 3, 2005, as the operations officer for the Housing/Government Services departments. I have been getting familiar with the operations of the departments and performing many tasks. I work under the guidance of Barry Drury. I supervise Brenda Kaye, who gives administrative support to the director and myself. I also work closely with Florence Thomas, the custodial supervisor.

In August, Brenda replaced Tracy Bruce who is attending college to further her education. I thank Tracy for providing administrative support and for her demonstration of skills with excellent efficiency. Tracy, I know you are enjoying campus life! We wish you success in achieving your goals.

Some of the duties I am responsible for are contacting suppliers and ordering supplies, getting quotes on prices to get supplies at a reasonable price, keeping in communication with the director, project manager and other parties regarding projects, communicating with community on project progress, completion and any concerns citizens may have, and acting as a support, resource to the Housing at their monthly meetings and taking notes at meetings. Brenda and I spend a lot of time on processing work orders and material releases. For material releases it takes time to find prices for the materials. Please keep in mind that sometimes we cannot have your releases ready on the same day. Each workday at the office is different and it is always very, very busy.

With the support of the leaders the Housing Committee will make decisions regarding the housing needs of the community. This responsibility will also make the job of the operations officer and the director less cumbersome. The members of the Housing Committee, so far are Florence Thomas, Alvie Josie, Myranda Charlie, Helen Charlie and possibly Robert Bruce. The requirement for the number of people on a committee should always be uneven for voting purposes, so there is no tie. Seven people on the housing committee would be ideal to work with.

A top priority of the housing committee and GS Department is getting citizens that occupy Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation-owned housing sign rental agreements so the rents are paid every month. There are some agreements that are signed and rents being paid. If you have not signed an agreement, please come to the housing office. The goal is to have everyone complete and sign agreements in the next coming months. For the older homes the rent amount is lower than the newer ones. The rental amount is arrived at depending on when the home was built.

On October 13 and 14 I attended an information session in Whitehorse. At the meeting we looked at Housing Committees that work. Some of the topics on the agenda were: what is a housing committee, the different models, selecting and recruiting members, terms of reference for members, common challenges housing committees face, doing a work plan for the Housing Committee.

There were nine communities represented at this workshop, which was sponsored by the CMHC. Two communities have its housing committees up and running and have citizens paying rent. These communities did not reach its goals overnight. As a team, they involved citizens and they were able to reach a goal they saw as a far-reaching one. There is an invitation by these people to share their experiences and to offer expertise on how to establish an effective committee. At this workshop, it was brought up that First Nations across the country continue to experience similar problems with housing. I found the workshop helpful and interesting.

Concluding, some of the projects that are being worked on, or are coming up are the arena-repair, more washroom add-ons, assembly and setting up of playground equipment and building of the skateboard park for the youth. Some of this work will happen in the spring. If you would like information on some of the work we are doing, please contact Barry, or myself.

Mussi cho. I hope you were good the little witches, ghost, ghouls and goblins.

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Natural Resources

William Josie - Councilor / Director, Natural Resources

Drin gwinzii shalut kut.

The NR Dept is in the process of updating our strategic plan, and to help us in that process NR has been holding weekly staff meetings on Mondays. Another initiative that NR is looking at is the establishment of a Lands and Resources Working Group. This working group will be a source of advice to the dept.

The Fishing Branch River Weir was decommissioned on Sunday Oct 19th, and the crew is safely home. The count at the weir this year is 121,000 Chum salmon; we haven’t seen these kinds of numbers since 1979.

I would like to congratulate the hunters and trappers of Old Crow for establishing a new society, the Vuntut Hunters and Trappers Association. At this time I would like to inform our trappers that our Trappers Assistant Program is up and running again.

Darius Elias our local Parks Warden has accepted a term position with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board. I wish Darius well in his new position. My department is assisting Parks Canada in recruiting a warden to replace Darius.

Our government participated in a Yukon First Nation User Porcupine Caribou Herd Summit along with the Tr’ondek Hwech’in and the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun at Dawson City on Oct 19 and 20th. Our delegation consisted of Elder Phares Thomas, Game Guardian Robert Kaye, NR Planner Melissa Valja, community members Georgie Moses, Dennis Frost and myself. We met to discuss the PCMB proposed regulations. These are:

1) to reduce the hunting season for resident hunters from six months to three months,
2) to reduce the 500m no hunting corridor to three key areas, and
3) the required use of a blaze orange safety vest when hunting on the Dempster Highway.

Other non regulatory regulations that were also proposed, deals with:
1) Educational programs,
2) Harassment of caribou from snow machines, and
3) Encouraging a voluntary hunting ban of mature bulls from Oct 10 to Nov 1.

At the Summit, we expressed Old Crow’s blanket support for the Dempster Highway Regulations because of our conservation concerns with the herd. Alternatively, Tr’ondek Hwech’in and the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun expressed their concerns with the Dempster Highway Regulations. To promote working together, we invited a delegation from Dawson and Mayo to come to Old Crow to explain to us as a community what they are going through on the Dempster Highway. They’ll be here on November 3, 2005. If you have any questions, please call.

At this time I would like to congratulate the Carcross/Tagish First Nation on the signing of their Self Government and Final Agreement, I wish them well, and the work has just begun.

The Yukon Legislature reconvened on Oct 27 for its fall session. I would like to express my thanks to our MLA Lorraine Peter for the good job she has been doing.

I would also like to express my sympathy to the family of the late Annie Henry, she will be remembered for a long time for all the work she has done in her lifetime.

With that I wish you a safe and warm winter. Please be careful when traveling on the river. To the trappers, good luck on your trapline. Muhsi.

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Megan Williams - Heritage Manager Report

Now that winter is finally here the Heritage Office is settling in to our winter work. Below are some of the highlights. Please feel free to stop by the Heritage Office and talk to Mary Jane Moses, Frances Bruce or myself any time.

Vuntut Gwitchin Cultural Geography Project.
After a very enjoyable and productive summer of helicopter interviews, seminars and planning we are starting to work with some of the results. This month we focused on producing interim reports, reviewing educational materials, securing funds for next year and planning for heritage projects over the next five years.

We have started compiling feedback from teachers and other educators on the educational materials. We have five draft packages, ranging from material on old stories to information about Crow Flat. These packages are completely based on the oral history materials and will eventually allow teachers of all age groups the ability to offer culturally relevant education.

The VG Heritage Committee has been instrumental in directing this project. I would like to welcome Marion Schafer as our newest Heritage Committee member.

Old Crow Visitor Reception Centre.
The VRC is on schedule for construction in 2007. Currently project partners are working on lease agreements, funding and finalizing space requirements. We are also concurrently developing the exhibits. On November 1 we will meet with all the project partners to update on the building project.

Online Atlas
This is an exciting new project for the Heritage Office. The Online Atlas will be an interactive way to use GIS to pull together all the information we have about locations in the Vuntut Gwitchin traditional territory. The Online Atlas will allow students to click on a location, hear the audio of the Gwich’in place name, see footage of the area and hear stories about the location. This project will also continue with plans to develop our GIS capacity to assist with management.

Currently we are compiling lists of data about each location in order to select which data to display through the map interface. We have secured the services of Jeff Hamm in Whitehorse to assist with developing our online mapping capability. This project will be completed by the spring 2006.

Searching For Our Heritage
In early October, Sarah Charlie of the Yukon Government Department of Tourism and Culture, brought the Searching For Our Heritage database of Yukon artefacts to Old Crow. The database is a long term collection of information and photos of Yukon artefacts that are held by museums world wide. There are many beautiful Gwich’in artefacts photographed in the database. Elders gathered in the afternoon to hear Sarah’s presentation and to provide more information on the makers and origins of the artefacts. After a community supper, Sarah presented the database again to the whole community. Although it does not replace being able to see the artefacts in person, the photo database is a very effective way to keep track of artefacts that would not otherwise be seen in the Yukon.

Rampart House
The Rampart House Reconstruction Project wrapped up later than usual this year. In spite of many glitches including extremely low water levels, the crew did excellent work at Rampart House. The current work is on the two story Cadzow House. The crew managed to jack up the short time period. Many workers for the Rampart House project return year after year and get to know each other well so we were all saddened to hear the news that log building reconstruction expert and long term worker at Rampart House, Andy Johnsgaard, broke his neck recently in a dirt bike accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

Yukon First Nations Heritage Group
The Yukon First Nations Heritage Group continues its work on heritage matters. Our Executive Director, Alison Blackduck had requested a shortened work term so will be completing her contract on November 4th. A replacement has not yet been hired.

Projects for the coming year include continuing work with the very important and timely Traditional Knowledge Policy Framework, developing YFNHG governance, assisting with developing a cultural resource management program and as always, expressing a united voice on First Nations heritage matters of mutual concern.

Researchers – Caribou Fences, Palaeontology
Research projects of note this year are Ray LeBlanc’s caribou fence review and Paul Matheus’ palaeontology work in the Old Crow area. It was great to see Ray LeBlanc back in Old Crow this summer. Ray is pulling together all the previous information collected by various researchers about the caribou fences. This summer he was able to collaborate with the VG Cultural Geography Project for helicopter time to visit the Driftwood, Berry Creek, Thomas Creek, Timber Creek and Blackfox caribou fences. Ray worked with Stephen Frost Sr, Joseph Bruce and Tracy Rispin-Kassi. We are looking forward to working more with Ray on this project over the next few years.

Palaeontologist Paul Matheus from Yukon Government was also able to coordinate with the VG Cultural Geography Project on helicopter time. Paul, his collegue Natalia Rybczynski from the Canadian Museum of Nature and student assistant Keith Rispin spent time at palaeontological localities on the Crow and Porcupine Rivers. Their most exciting find was a possible prehistoric beaver dam. We will know more about this after they have had a chance to analyze results over the winter.

Both of these research projects are very beneficial to the community through the knowledge gained and shared. We are looking forward to working more on these research projects in the future.

Media attention to Old Crow has not diminished this year. We have received applications from various photographers, reporters and filmmakers wanting to come to Old Crow. We track these projects and work with the media as much as possible to ensure that they are well informed and comfortable, can gain access to what they need and that they portray accurate information about Old Crow and the Vuntut Gwitchin. Administrators Training

During the first week of October I attended Administrator’s Training with three VGG directors. The training covered everything from time management to staff moral to workplans, leadership styles and information management. This was a very productive and inspiring session.

Archival Assistant
I would like to welcome Frances Bruce as our Archival Assistant. Frances will be working in the Heritage Office until Christmas. Frances has worked for

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Melissa Valja - Natural Resources Planner

Hello Everyone!

Old Crow Flats SMA
The Technical Working Group met in Whitehorse on October 18th. We are getting ready for the first open house to be held in Old Crow on November 30th. At the open house and meeting, information that has been gathered about the flats will be presented. Resource people will be there to answer your questions and the TWG will look for community feedback. Another open house will be held in Whitehorse for the Vuntut Gwitchin members living there, but a date hasn’t been selected yet.

Porcupine Caribou Summit
Vuntut Gwitchin, Tr’ondek Hwech’in and Nacho Nyak Dun attended this summit in Dawson. There was good discussion about the PCMB proposed regulation changes, and other issues of concern for the Caribou. I know William mentioned these in his report, and feel free to come in and share your concerns with us.

PCH Harvest Management Strategy
Dorothy Cooley came to Old Crow on October 13th and talked about the development of a Harvest Management Strategy for the Porcupine Caribou Herd by the PCMB. A strategy is important since all user groups can plan what steps to take when the caribou population increases or decreases.

Climate Change
Awareness Projects: The NYRRC, Community Steward and I will be coordinating two projects. One is a mural by the youth, and the other will be a Gwich’in/ English brochure on ways to cut down Greenhouse Gasses (GHG’s).
Permafrost Research: We are continuing to work with Chris Burn on setting up the permafrost monitoring project and starting to look into some other research concerns. Chris Burn has been researching permafrost linked to Climate Change for over twenty years. He is a world acclaimed researcher in this area. We are lucky that he came to Old Crow on October 20th to drop off equipment. At this time, he indicated that he would be in Old Crow at the beginning of January 2006 to discuss what concerns the community has about the water levels in the lakes. The research will start next June with the help of VGFN and an interested community member.
ANCAP: The ANCAP committee continues to have conference calls on a monthly basis. This month we may be able to meet face to face to discuss how to make ANCAP work better for us. We have a few ideas that we are working on, these are: researching wind turbine technology, district heating systems, building retrofit, and environmental design for a new large scale building.

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Mary Jane Moses - Heritage Researcher

I welcome Frances Bruce to the Heritage Branch as Archival Assistant. Congratulations!

I began this busy month by reviewing the educational kits that the Heritage Branch and Committee are working on. Other reviews were of the 2005 Cultural Geography Project, listening to the audiotapes of the Elders and listing any new place names that they mentioned in their interviews to plan for the upcoming summer project.

A meeting was held with Gwich’in Language Consultant, Jane Montgomery to plan for the winter 2005-2006 Gwich’in classes. The classes so far indicate interest and we are happy with more people coming forward to learn. Along with Jane Montgomery, the Gwich’in Language apprentices are Marion Schafer and myself. We help out and it’s great learning for us, to keep our language alive and thriving. Gwich’in Language Classes are held every Wednesday from now to March 31, 2006 from 7-9 pm at the college campus.

Shirleen Smith, consultant with the Cultural Geography Project and the educational materials arrived to meet and plan with the VGG Heritage Committee for ongoing projects. Funding proposals have to be written for the different projects we undertake in the Heritage Branch. Thank you to Shirleen Smith and Megan Williams for all the detailed work that goes into applying to outside funding agencies to see that the valuable work of heritage continues on for the benefit of future generations. Thank you also for the hard work and dedication of the Heritage Committee that consists of Robert Bruce, Jane Montgomery, Marion Schafer along with Heritage Manager, Megan Williams and the Heritage Researcher.

Updates were made to the Lexicon database with new entries and more to come yet from last summer’s Cultural Geography Project.

The last week of October was spent working on a PowerPoint presentation for the November 3-4 Aboriginal Language Services meetings in Whitehorse. I have never done a PowerPoint presentation before and it was a real learning experience. I quite enjoyed it, as I like to be creative in seeing something come to life. I thank Michael Peter of IS department for helping me out.

To close off I just want to caution people when traveling out on the river. It has been an unusually warm fall and there’s overflow conditions so be careful out there. Happy trails to all the dog musher’s. There’s plenty of snow out there now. To the trappers, good luck for the trapping season. This activity gets people on the land more and I believe the fur prices are up.

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Sonja Foss - Lands Manager

September Report

Happy Harvest Season Everyone,

I am pleased to say that in between emailing, reading, researching, meeting, filing, and writing, many things were accomplished this past month. Strategic planning for our department is being led by Megan Williams and myself this will determine our priorities for the next few years. A wildlife monitor was hired to observe the caribou reactions during activities at the rock quarry (on the mountain). I have been very active outside of the office and have been very fortunate to participate in many activities over the last month.

I went up to the school cabin for four days to participate in the culture camp led by Mabel Tetlichi. It was a very well organized with a lively bunch of good people to spend time with. While there, we went on a hunting trip, visited the chum recovery station, sang, made bannock, told stories by Danny Kassi, played games, collected lots and lots of chum salmon that were then cut and smoked on the beach, and ate great food! When I returned to Old Crow I unfortunately heard that my grandmother passed away and I went to be with and support my family during a very sad time. Thank you all for your understanding and support, my family thanks you too.

After being with my family, I was expected in Whitehorse to attend an erosion and sediment control workshop. It was a three day intensive study with two long and full days in the field. I took this course to help with some reclamation projects in areas along the roads in Old Crow, especially up the mountain. I have to speak with some permafrost experts and decide what the best route of erosion control is, but I am hoping not to have large rilling and gullying next year. I will be sharing this information with this department as well.

My responsibilities as Lands Manager include being involved with the YESAA (Yukon Environmental & Socio-Economic Assessment Act) networking sessions and caucus meetings. Last week I did a presentation to over one-hundred people about the process VGFN has adopted over the last few years when deciding whether or not to allow certain land uses like the mountain road. I would like to say here a big thank you to all because VGFN came out on top last week! Our Government is much further ahead in YESAA than any other Government in the Yukon – that includes Canada.

October Report

This month was a busy one that started off with the YESAA Networking Session where I did a presentation on how Old Crow is getting prepared for the new legislation. Did you all know that there are new regulations of the Yukon Environmental & Socio-Economic Assessment Act coming into effect that could affect you and your building plans around Old Crow? We hosted a community-wide training session on Oct. 25th for YESAA, but if you’d like more information about this, please come on into the office and I can answer your questions over a cup of coffee.

From the Networking Session I jumped right into a meeting with Yukon Government about the different options there are for land registries. Like I said at the General Assembly, establishing a system for a land registry is a top priority for me and this department. Eventually, all Vuntut Gwitchin Citizens & members and non-Vuntut Gwitchin using land will have to apply for a permit or a Certificate of Allocation or a Lease for their camps and houses. These will be kept on file in our department for years to come. So, we’ll be starting off small and trying to follow the paper-trails from yesteryears. This will be a slow process, but it will start to make more sense as time goes on for everyone.

Our department has also been updated as to the purchase of Eagle Plains Lodge. Last spring, the lease to McNevin Construction ended and the company put in an application to LARC (land application review committee) to switch the lease to title. VGG and NYRRC submitted a letter wishing for more input, but LARC approved the application of allotment with some guidelines. The guidelines indicate that McNevin Construction must prove that outstanding permits must be brought up to speed before Title to the lot is approved.

Activities up at the quarry have been extremely busy and Porcupine Enterprises is racing weather trying to finish up the first phase of the riverbank erosion control project. The permit has been extended until weather no longer permits work or when Jason Abel decides to wrap up the season. At that time, more monitoring and a community report will be available letting everyone know where the projects stands. If anyone is interested, we can organize a community prayer at the mountain to help it heal.

We are also working on an oil spill plan for Old Crow. How we deal with spilled oil and waste oil is a big concern. An interesting fact is that 90% of the oil found in the world’s oceans and seas comes from the improper handling of oil throughout municipalities. So, when changing your bikes’ or skidoos’ oil, make sure to catch the oil – DO NOT LET IT LEAK ONTO THE GOUND – in a bucket and dispose of it properly.

We’ll be dealing with how to dispose of it properly and will fill you all in once it has been established.

There are also many regulations and legislations changing for the territory that VGFN NR Dept has input to. Oil & Gas Disposition process is changing, Mining Land Use Regulations are changing, YESAA is coming into full effect, and VGFN Fish & Wildlife Legislation will be enacted soon. I reviewed the VGFN Lands & Resources Act this month and am hoping to start re-editing it within the next month.

Other departmental and organizational priorities are in full swing like strategic planning; ordering GIS software, plans for a central filing system (need to find space) and every day is full of activities. If you have any ideas as to how we can do even more for the community, please let us know.

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Issac Anderton - Field Biologist

During 2005, VGFN undertook a chum salmon mark-recapture program and a coho radio-tagging & telemetry project, both funded under the Yukon River Restoration and Enhancement Fund (R&E).

All field components of the chum mark-recapture project were completed between August 15th and September 23rd. A total of 3,574 chum were tagged in this operation, and a total of 5,995 chum were captured in the test fishery and the VGFN fishery, with 188 tags recovered. It should be noted that this does not include all chum caught in the VGFN fishery, rather only the catch of those fishers from which usable information was collected. A total estimate of 113,415 chum with a 95% confidence interval of +/- 15,485 was generated using the available information. This estimate includes only those fish having passed Old Crow during the sampling period of August 15th and September 23rd. It is expected that significant numbers of chum also passed Old Crow after sampling for this project wrapped up.

Field work for the coho radio-tagging/telemetry project is currently awaiting safe ice conditions to conduct the capture/tagging through the river ice. It is expected that that telemetry flights to track the destination of the coho may begin in late November.

Planning for 2006 Old Crow R&E projects was undertaken in early October, in order to meet the deadline for conceptual proposals on October 11th. VGFN has submitted eight conceptual proposals for next year.

These include the following:
• Project Assistant Mentoring/Capacity Building
• Porcupine River Juvenile Chinook/Coho Habitat Assessment
• Preliminary Assessment of Porcupine River Juvenile Salmon Migration Patterns
• Porcupine River ChumMark/

Recapture Program
• Porcupine River Chum Salmon DNA Sampling
• Porcupine River Coho Radio Tagging/Telemetry Project
• Commercial Chum Roe Economic Feasibility Assessment
• Old Crow/Fort Yukon Salmon Gathering

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Social Programs

Renee Frost - Home & Community Care Coordinator

Good day to all:

It’s been a busy month, with getting orientated with my new job and, getting to know my clients and workers.

The long-term goal is to provide a full range of preventative, therapeutic and restorative health services to the Vuntut Gwitchin people. However, we anticipate that it may be a decade or more before this goal is met.

The community members living with illnesses or handicaps that restrict self care but do not require acute care or continuous supervision will be able to continue living at home for as long as desirable and feasible.

The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation will provide service to anyone in the community who has a physical, emotional, mental or social need for assistance, in order to continue living independently in their own community.

I attended a “Food Safety Course” October 25, 12:30noon to 9:30pm. Thiscourse was an eye opener as to health wise. And, those we hire to do our cooking or serve food.
I like to congratulate each that attended with me.

Meals on Wheels Program will begin November 12- for elders 65 years old & over Once a week.

Elders Tea is held each Wednesday-place and time will be announced each week.

School hot lunches will be each, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Community members and Elders are welcome to join our students on Fridays, we will send out notices.
We need volunteers each week to set tables/chairs/supervise during lunch/help serve lunch. Sign up with me at my office.
We need parents to sign-up aweek ahead, enable we run a successful lunch program until Christmas break.
Donation of caribou, moose, fish and desserts will be appreciated.

The Social Department will host the annual Health Fair-November 23 & 24, 2005 at The Community Centre. Posters will be post this week
To attend the Health Fair we will provide daycare for persons that will attend the Fair.
I encourage you to register with Human Resources if you’re interested towork as,
Home Care Workers. And, help take care of our Elders. Renee E. H & C.C.

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Joe Tetlichi - Justice Coordinator

I would like to first welcome all the new employees to the Health & Social team, hope you all enjoy yourselves in your new positions. To everyone else hope you are enjoying the fall season and that you all have a good harvest season. With the summer months gone we are getting busy with new initiatives within the Justice Department. I will brief you on a number of issues that we are working on. The last Territorial Court was on August 23. 2005. This was done through the phone. At that time we diverted seven Clients to the Old Crow Diversion program. It is important to note that this is a choice that individuals enter when charged with an offence. After informing the Client on the program and their roles and responsibilities an agreement is signed. We are always looking at the program as a positive initiative and geared towards leading a happy and healthy lifestyle. Over the five years I have seen a very positive change in the community and changes in individuals that I have had the pleasure to work with. Keep up the good work. The next court date is November 1st, 2005. We are looking at the possibility of a community dinner during the Fall months just to make the community aware of what’s happening in the department, and how you can be a part of the decision making process. In the coming months we are also looking at the Administration of Justice and how the community members can have their input. Our first task is to set up a caucus group and we envision a member from each department and a Youth/Elder from the general public. I also assist the probation officer oversee Clients that have community service work or are on a condition. If you are charged with an offence and do not know what to do please come in and see me, and I will direct you through to the proper department. It is also important to note that it is the Clients responsibility to make appointments with me if they are on conditions or if they have a court appearance order. Do not wait until court day to make appointments. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas please come to the office. We are always open to new ideas. Until next time be careful during freeze up and always travel with a friend or let someone know where you are going and when you are expected back.

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Catherine Mbae - Director, Finance

It continues to be very busy here in finance department. It seems every season brings new demands to our office. We continue to work very hard to deliver services to other government departments and to the members of the public.

I will start off with an overview of the duties of the various positions in the finance department.

Accounts receivable-Marla Kaye
This position is responsible for the accounts receivables of the government. This includes invoicing, receipting, banking and collection of outstanding debts.

-Invoicing and receipting -we invoice and receipt for the following services:
•Water and sewer- this is done at the beginning of each month for the services of the prior month (for example the invoice you get on November 1, 2005; this is for service for the month of October 2005.) These details are shown on your invoice.
•Rent-this is also done at the beginning of the month. This is for rent for the month for which you receive the invoice. (For instance the invoice you receive for November 1,2005 is for rent for the month of November 2005.) Any outstanding balance from prior months is also shown on the invoice.
•Commercial customers invoicing-This is for customers like Yukon Government, Vuntut Development Corp, Parks Canada, RCMP etc that have given various contracts to VGG. This includes fuel delivery, repairs and maintenance etc
•Contribution agreements progress invoicing- VGG enters into various agreements with other governments to deliver services or to carry out certain projects for which we get reimbursed. In liaison with the project managers this position sends invoices for progress payments as the project continues as we as the final project invoice when the project in complete. Examples of recent projects include Old crow school fence project, Fish weir project, Rampart house project, Salmon research projects etc.
•Reimbursements for travel to various meetings- other governments or agencies pay for workshops our staff attends. Examples of these are all the CYFN Leadership meetings that are covered by CYFN, Child Revision Act meetings that are covered by Yukon Government etc.

-Collection of debts includes the follow-up of all outstanding invoices that are over 30 days old by calling the person or company to follow- up on when the payment will be done. Statements stamped OVER DUE are sent out as well every month.

It is VGG finance department goal to keep all the customers account current at all times to ensure we are not acting as a lending agency.

-Internal fuel consumption record keeping- this is done by entering information in a spreadsheet from the fuel slips and heating fuel delivery slips. This information is used to update our accounts of usage of fuel by various departments.

Accounts Payable/ Payroll- Ida Tizya This position is responsible for ensuring payments to suppliers and processing the payroll is done on a timely manner.

Under the Accounts payable duties include:
-Receiving all invoices, matching them to purchase orders and distributing them to the departments. The departments confirms goods or service has been received or rendered and prepares a check requisition that is sent back to finance for processing

-Reviewing the check requisitions to attached invoices all invoices are included in the requisition and that coding of expense is accurate before processing. If all is in order then we process them, otherwise they are returned to the department for corrections/amendments. This is an ongoing process with invoices being distributed to departments and payments being processed in the system.
Cheques are distributed to the suppliers per our accounts payable schedule -Tuesday afternoon for in town suppliers. Mailing for out of town suppliers is ongoing (mainly Tuesday and Thursday afternoon to ensure they go out on the plane either on Wednesday or Friday).

Also included in this position is follow-up with departments for invoices that are showing to be outstanding for a long time per the list of distributed invoices before they are brought back for processing. There is also follow-up with suppliers regarding invoices showing as outstanding on supplier statements and reconciling this with what is in our accounts system.

Under payroll, duties include
-Receiving and reviewing all timesheets for accuracy and approval and processing the payroll on a bi weekly basis for regular employees. The payroll schedule is available at It is each employee responsibility to complete his/her timesheet and hand it over to the supervisor/ director for approval.

-For short-term assignments like cooking or for honorarium for attending meetings or committees we have a payroll for this as well. Per CCRA regulations this income is pensionable and subject to taxation. This is payroll is processed once a week and cheques distributed on Thursday afternoon of each week.

-Elders’ monthly payments. This are processed once a month and distributed on the 1st of each month, or the next working day if the 1st falls on a weekend or statutory holiday.

-Keeping the Vacation, sick time, comp hours tracker up date. This excel spreadsheet keeps a record of employees vacation days, sick time and comp hours. Employees can assess this information on under my finance data.

-Timely remittance of CCRA deductions, WCB payments and Pension contributions.

-Keeping employee files up to date and when an employees leaves employment preparing a separation slip or ROE. It is each department responsibility to inform the Payroll clerk the last day of work of their staff to ensure timely processing of the ROE. The position of the finance manager is currently vacant and has been advertised. The incumbent would oversee and review the work of both the Accounts receivable and Accounts Payable/Payroll clerk in addition to other duties like keeping the general ledger up dated with the accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll data, month end journal entries, bank reconciliations and other accounts reconciliations.

The finance director position includes
• Overseeing and reviewing the work of the finance manager
• Cash management for VGG government which includes ensuring that all contribution agreements amounts are received, payments are properly scheduled to ensure there is adequate funds in the bank etc
• Budgeting process facilitation and working with departments to develop and monitor their budgets
• Working with departments to ensure that adequate internal controls are in place to ensure VGG assets are safeguarded
• Provide support to Chief and Council on financial related issues
• Providing financial support to various consultants in the ongoing negotiations with the government on various tables like the Tax Negotiations, Implementation review and PSTA table.
• Various reporting to the government- GST reports, CCRA year-end work etc
• Preparation of financial statements


With the summer season now behind us and many of the summer projects completed or very near completion I am preparing to do a 6-month financial review with all departments the week of November 7-10/2005. The dates when the review is happening for each department are posted on
A new excel system has been put in place for departments to enable monitor their expenses very closely. This is an important tool for staff to use to keep on top of their expenditure as well as an excellent training tool for project management for our program managers.

Summer is a busy time for the government as a whole and finance departments finds itself busier as well to ensure we keep up with the workload from the departments. The summer students program is now complete and we had about 30 students working for us.

Projects that are now complete or being finalized include under Natural resources-Salmon research projects, Fish Weir Project (At fishing branch), Caribou fences and Rampart house Restoration. In Government Services we have Fishing branch cabin construction, Water waste management system (Washroom additions) and the Old Crow school fence project.

Also complete is the Old Crow Rock Quarry gravel project that was contracted out to Porcupine Enterprises.

We will soon start to prepare for the CCRA year-end. It is again time to prepare the T4s, T4As and T5007s. We will be contacting you in the near future if we do not have your SIN # on file for the purpose of this reporting. Also if the name we have in our records is not the same name on your SIN card, please advise us immediately.

Other ongoing tasks I am working include the revision of the VGG finance policies.

A copy of the 6-month Income Statement will be included in the November 2005 newsletter.

Enjoy the fall season!

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Marla Kaye - Accounts Receivable Clerk

Drin Gwinzii, The month of October has gone by pretty fast for me. But all-in-all work has been going well and I’m trying my best to keep up. Thanks to the people for having patience with me while I’m trying to do my job the best I can.

Since I have been in this position Account Receivable Clerk for a little over two months, I’m feeling pretty good about this job and really enjoying it, especially with the people I work with in Finance and all the other Departments.

Information for the People

GS is working on getting rental agreements for all rental units that should be paying monthly rent. They are starting with CMHC Housing and then move on to First Nation housing. This is a slow process but it will get resolved and most people will start getting billed monthly for rent. We have people who pay rent to their houses and I send out monthly invoices to them.

Water & Sewer:
Please inform Government Services if you will or have moved to another place or will be out of town for a long period of time. It gives them time to call YTG so they know not to service your home for the time you are away.

Also with the winter season here, this is very important to avoid freeze ups.

If any person would like heating fuel for their residence/home, you will have to go to the Northern Store to purchase a Fuel Slip. Inform the clerk at the store if you want Gas or Heating fuel.

Please take the fuel slip to Government Services and they will get the fuel delivered to your home per their delivery schedule. The fuel delivery person will issue to you a fuel delivery slip to sign and you will keep the original white copy for your records. The white slip you received from the store is left with the fuel delivery person. Massi Cho and Have yourself a wonderful Day

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