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Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act (S.C. 1994, c. 35)

Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2022-06-23. Previous Versions

Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act

S.C. 1994, c. 35

Assented to 1994-07-07

An Act respecting self-government for first nations in Yukon

Preamble

WHEREAS representatives of Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, the Government of the Yukon Territory and the Council for Yukon Indians signed the Umbrella Final Agreement on May 29, 1993, the provisions of which are intended to be incorporated into final agreements for the settlement of land claims of first nations in Yukon;

WHEREAS the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun, the Teslin Tlingit Council and the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation have each entered into a final agreement with Her Majesty and the Government of the Yukon Territory, incorporating the provisions of the Umbrella Final Agreement and including provisions specific to each first nation;

WHEREAS those final agreements provide that Her Majesty and the Government of Yukon are to enter into negotiations with those first nations for self-government agreements appropriate to the circumstances of each of them and in accordance with the Constitution of Canada;

WHEREAS self-government agreements have been concluded with those first nations, and have been signed on behalf of each first nation, Her Majesty and the Government of the Yukon Territory;

WHEREAS other first nations of Yukon may conclude self-government agreements;

AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada has undertaken to recommend to Parliament the enactment of legislation to bring self-government agreements into effect;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

    1994, c. 35, Preamble; 2002, c. 7, s. 260.

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

citizen

citizen, in relation to a first nation, means a citizen as determined in accordance with the constitution of the first nation; (citoyen)

constitution

constitution means the constitution of a first nation, as referred to in section 8; (constitution)

final agreement

final agreement means a land claims agreement for a first nation that includes provisions specific to the first nation and incorporates the provisions of the Umbrella Final Agreement, and includes any amendments made to it from time to time in accordance with its provisions; (accord définitif)

first nation

first nation means a first nation named in column II of Schedule I; (première nation)

Minister

Minister means the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; (ministre)

predecessor band

predecessor band, in relation to a first nation, means the band or bands, within the meaning of the Indian Act, named in column I of Schedule I opposite the name of the first nation appearing in column II of that Schedule; (bande antérieure)

self-government agreement

self-government agreement means an agreement concluded by a first nation with Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada and the Yukon Government respecting government by and for the first nation; (accord)

settlement land

settlement land means land identified in a first nation’s final agreement as settlement land of the first nation; (terres désignées)

Umbrella Final Agreement

Umbrella Final Agreement means the Umbrella Final Agreement signed on May 29, 1993 by representatives of the Council for Yukon Indians, Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada and the Yukon Government, and includes any amendments made to it from time to time in accordance with its provisions; (accord-cadre)

Yukon enactment

Yukon enactment means a law of general application enacted pursuant to the Yukon Act; (loi territoriale)

Yukon Government

Yukon Government means the Commissioner of Yukon acting with the consent of the Executive Council of Yukon. (gouvernement du Yukon)

Marginal note:Conflicts with other Acts

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), in the event of a conflict or inconsistency between this Act and any other Act of Parliament, this Act prevails to the extent of the inconsistency or conflict.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) In the event of a conflict or inconsistency between this Act and the Yukon First Nations Land Claims Settlement Act or a final agreement or transboundary agreement, within the meaning of that Act, that Act or the final agreement or transboundary agreement prevails to the extent of the inconsistency or conflict.

Purpose and Effect of this Act

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act and orders of the Governor in Council made pursuant to this Act is to bring into effect self-government agreements concluded with first nations.

Marginal note:First agreements

  •  (1) The self-government agreements of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun, the Teslin Tlingit Council and the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, signed on May 29, 1993, are brought into effect on the day this Act comes into force.

  • Marginal note:Subsequent agreements

    (2) Where a self-government agreement is concluded with a first nation after this Act comes into force, the Governor in Council may, by order, bring the agreement into effect and add the name of the first nation to Schedule II.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (3) The Minister shall publish in the Canada Gazette notice of the day on which a self-government agreement is brought into effect under subsection (2).

Marginal note:First nation succession

  •  (1) When the self-government agreement of a first nation is brought into effect, the first nation, subject to sections 21 and 22, succeeds to the rights, titles, interests, obligations, assets and liabilities of its predecessor band and that band ceases to exist.

  • Marginal note:Recognition of band

    (2) In the event that the members of the first nation known as the Ta’an Kwach’an Council are recognized by the Governor in Council or a court of competent jurisdiction as a band within the meaning of the Indian Act before the first nation’s self-government agreement is brought into effect, the band so recognized is deemed to be the predecessor band of that first nation for the purposes of this Act.

First Nation Constitutions

Marginal note:Capacity of natural person

 A first nation named in Schedule II is a legal entity having the capacity, rights, powers and privileges of a natural person.

Marginal note:First nation constitution

  •  (1) The constitution of a first nation named in Schedule II shall, in a manner consistent with its self-government agreement, provide for

    • (a) a citizenship code that includes the requirements for citizenship in the first nation and the procedure for determining whether a person is a citizen;

    • (b) the governing bodies of the first nation and their composition, membership, powers, duties and procedures;

    • (c) a system of reporting, by audits or otherwise, through which the governing bodies are financially accountable to citizens;

    • (d) the recognition and protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens;

    • (e) challenging the validity of the laws of the first nation and quashing invalid laws; and

    • (f) the amendment of the constitution by the citizens.

  • Marginal note:Citizenship

    (2) The citizenship code in the constitution of a first nation named in Schedule II shall entitle all persons who are enrolled in accordance with the eligibility and enrolment provisions of the first nation’s final agreement to become citizens of the first nation.

  • Marginal note:Registering of constitution

    (3) The constitution of a first nation named in Schedule II and every amendment to it shall be entered in the register of laws referred to in section 10 forthwith after the first nation’s self-government agreement is brought into effect or forthwith after the adoption of the amendment, as the case may be.

Marginal note:Exercise of powers

  •  (1) The powers of a first nation named in Schedule II shall be exercised in accordance with the first nation’s constitution and, subject to subsection (2), by the bodies and persons specified in the constitution.

  • Marginal note:Delegation of powers

    (2) Any power of a first nation named in Schedule II, including a power to enact laws, may be delegated by a law of the first nation to any other first nation or to any other body or person to the extent that the delegation is consistent with the first nation’s constitution and self-government agreement.

First Nation Laws

Marginal note:Register of laws

  •  (1) A first nation named in Schedule II shall maintain at its principal administrative office a register of laws, containing the constitution of the first nation and all laws enacted by the first nation, to which any person may have reasonable access during normal business hours.

  • Marginal note:Central registry

    (2) First nations may establish a central registry of their constitutions and laws, to which any person may have reasonable access during normal business hours.

  • Marginal note:Registration of laws

    (3) On the enactment of a law by a first nation named in Schedule II, the original of the law signed and dated by the person presiding over the body that enacted it shall be deposited in the first nation’s register of laws and a copy of the law certified by that person to be a true copy shall be provided to the central registry established under subsection (2), if any.

  • Marginal note:Commencement

    (4) A law enacted by a first nation named in Schedule II comes into force at the beginning of the day following its enactment, or at such later time as is specified in the law.

  • Marginal note:Evidence

    (5) In any proceedings, evidence of a law enacted by a first nation named in Schedule II may be given by the production of a copy of the law, certified to be a true copy by a person authorized by the first nation, without proof of that person’s signature or official character.

  • Marginal note:Judicial notice

    (6) In any proceedings, judicial notice may be taken of a law enacted by a first nation named in Schedule II that is held in a central registry established under subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act

    (7) The Statutory Instruments Act does not apply in respect of laws enacted by a first nation.

  • 1994, c. 35, s. 10
  • 2002, c. 17, s. 31(F)

Marginal note:Legislative powers

  •  (1) A first nation named in Schedule II has, to the extent provided by its self-government agreement,

    • (a) the exclusive power to enact laws in relation to the matters enumerated in Part I of Schedule III;

    • (b) the power to enact laws applicable in Yukon in relation to the matters enumerated in Part II of Schedule III; and

    • (c) the power to enact laws of a local or private nature applicable on the first nation’s settlement land in relation to the matters enumerated in Part III of Schedule III.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) To the extent provided by the first nation’s self-government agreement and subject to any limitations contained in it, a first nation named in Schedule II has the power to enact laws in relation to taxation as described in Part IV of Schedule III.

  • Marginal note:Administration of justice

    (3) The power of a first nation under paragraph (1)(c) to enact laws in relation to the administration of justice is suspended until the earlier of

    • (a) the effective date of an agreement respecting the administration of justice entered into between the parties to the first nation’s self-government agreement, and

    • (b) the expiration of any interim period provided by the self-government agreement for the purpose of reaching an agreement respecting the administration of justice.

  • 1994, c. 35, s. 11
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 262

Marginal note:Powers restricted on certain lands

  •  (1) Where a first nation’s self-government agreement so provides in relation to certain of its powers to enact laws, those powers may not be exercised in respect of portions of settlement land identified in the agreement.

  • Marginal note:Agreements with local governments

    (2) Where a first nation’s self-government agreement so provides, the Yukon Government or a municipal corporation in Yukon may agree to the exercise by the first nation of any of the powers referred to in subsection (1), for which that Government or corporation has responsibility, in respect of portions of settlement land identified in the agreement.

  • 1994, c. 35, s. 12
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 263(E)

Marginal note:Offences

  •  (1) The power of a first nation to enact laws in relation to any matter enumerated in Part II or III of Schedule III includes the power to establish offences punishable on summary conviction by fine or imprisonment or both.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) The fine that may be imposed on a person convicted of an offence under a law of a first nation may not exceed $5,000 and the term of imprisonment that may be imposed for such an offence may not exceed six months, until an agreement respecting the administration of justice is in effect between the first nation, Her Majesty and the Yukon Government, or until the expiration of any interim period provided by the first nation’s self-government agreement for the purpose of reaching such an agreement, whichever occurs earlier.

  • Marginal note:Fines in relation to lands and environment

    (3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), until the earlier of the events referred to in that subsection, and to the extent provided by a first nation’s self-government agreement, a fine not exceeding $300,000 may be imposed on a person convicted of an offence under a law of the first nation enacted pursuant to paragraph 11(1)(c) in relation to

    • (a) the use of settlement land and of natural resources on settlement land; or

    • (b) the control or prevention of pollution and the protection of the environment.

  • 1994, c. 35, s. 13
  • 2003, c. 7, s. 130

Administration of Justice

Marginal note:Administration of justice

 Until an agreement respecting the administration of justice is in effect between a first nation named in Schedule II, Her Majesty and the Yukon Government, or until the expiration of any interim period provided by the first nation’s self-government agreement for the purpose of reaching such an agreement, whichever occurs earlier,

  • (a) the courts of Yukon have, subject to paragraph (b), jurisdiction in respect of laws enacted by the first nation according to the respective jurisdictions of those courts under territorial laws;

  • (b) the Territorial Court of Yukon has exclusive original jurisdiction in relation to the prosecution of offences under laws enacted by the first nation;

  • (c) offences under those laws shall be prosecuted in accordance with the Summary Convictions Act (Yukon), as amended from time to time, as if they were offences under Yukon enactments, by prosecutors appointed by the Yukon Government; and

  • (d) terms of imprisonment imposed for offences under those laws shall be served in a correctional facility in accordance with the Corrections Act (Yukon), as amended from time to time.

  • 1994, c. 35, s. 14
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 264

Marginal note:Supreme Court of Yukon

  •  (1) For greater certainty and subject to section 14, the Supreme Court of Yukon has jurisdiction in respect of any action or proceeding arising out of this Act or out of a self-government agreement of a first nation named in Schedule II.

  • Marginal note:Federal Court of Appeal or Federal Court

    (2) Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to limit the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Appeal or the Federal Court.

  • 1994, c. 35, s. 15
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 265, c. 8, s. 180
 
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