For the second time in eight years, the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun is challenging the Yukon government in court over a land-use plan.
“This kind of litigation isn’t good for anybody and it’s really disappointing that, now twice, two successive Yukon governments have approached land-use planning in a way that has resulted in judicial action being the only recourse available to the First Nation,” said Nuri G. Frame, legal counsel for Na-Cho Nyäk Dun.
On March 15, the First Nation filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Yukon challenging the Yukon government’s decision to approve Metallic Minerals Corporation’s (MMC) application for quartz mining in the Beaver River land-use area.
The Nation is arguing that no development should be allowed until the Beaver River land-use plan is approved. MMC’s project is located entirely in Na-Cho Nyäk Dun’s traditional territory and entirely within the Beaver River land-use area.
The Nation is also arguing that the Yukon government “breached its duties … flowing from the honour of the Crown” to consult through a number of existing agreements, including Sect. 35 of Canada’s Constitution.