Yukon First Nations Salmon Stewardship Alliance
The Yukon First Nation Salmon Stewardship Alliance (YFNSSA) is a new entity to be created through AAROM funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The YFNSSA would join a network of approximately 30 indigenous AAROM’s already established throughout Canada. The YFNSSA is considered a watershed and technical advisory type of AAROM within the national network
YFNSSA is envisioned to be an ecosystem-centric organization that speaks with “one voice” in advocating for healthy populations of salmon, freshwater fish, and aquatic resources in the Yukon. Our primary goal is to contribute to the restoration of Yukon’s salmon runs. We also strongly emphasize upholding Yukon First Nations traditional practices, recognizing Aboriginal titles and rights, and supporting Indigenous approaches in the Yukon.
The YFNSSA is a salmon, aquatic resources, and ecosystems-focused entity that functions without prejudice to Aboriginal rights, title, and existing self-governance agreements, through membership with participating YFN governments in the Yukon, Porcupine, and Alsek river watersheds. YFN members of the YFNSSA commit to an open and transparent process that:
• Develops and implements watershed-level cooperative priorities and programs to support Yukon salmon, aquatic resources, and ecosystems and their connection to communities, citizens, and other First Nation governments that rely on them.
• Coordinates the AAROM program and administration of other agreed upon cooperative funding initiatives to support the YFNSSA’s programming, improve use of resources, and represent salmon, aquatic resources, and ecosystems at a coordinated watershed level.
• Benefits member governments and their membership by identifying and developing First Nation training and capacity development, strengthening cultural connections, and enhancing economic opportunities associated with fisheries.
• Develops partnerships by taking an integrated approach with YFN governments, federal and territorial governments, and, where appropriate, other parties with an interest in the conservation of salmon, other aquatic resources, and healthy ecosystems.
• Develops and implements priorities and programs holistically, based on an Indigenous approach, and using the best available western science and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK).
Yukon First Nations, Watersheds, and Salmon
There are 14 YFNs in the Yukon Territory within eight language groupings. Of the 14 First Nations, 11 have signed modern treaties between 1993 and 2005. These self-governing YFNs make laws and decisions on their settlement land and for their citizens.
The purpose of the YFNSSA is to support salmon, Yukon First Nations, other aquatic resources, and healthy ecosystems at a watershed level through coordinated and collaborative programs, initiatives, and partnerships. For the first five years, from 2021 to 2026, the YFNSSA Strategic Plan will focus on salmon as a key priority.
YFN ancestors have had a lifelong connection to salmon and their aquatic ecosystems and have stewarded a reciprocal relationship based on natural law and respect. YFNs will work together, and with partners, to address opportunities and issues related to salmon, ecosystems, and other aquatics species for the benefit of salmon, YFN citizens, communities, land, water, animals, and future generations. Through shared stewardship at a watershed level, YSFNSSA will speak with “one voice” and contribute towards rebuilding the Yukon’s salmon abundance, and ecosystem health, reinforcing YFN traditional practices, and supporting Indigenous approaches in recognition of Aboriginal title and rights.
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) – Yukon Region
Council of Yukon First Nations
The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council
Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association
Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee