Unlike most other Canadian foeal claims that apply only to status Indians, Yukon First Nations insisted that the agreements involve all those they considered to be part of their nation, whether they were recognized as status Indians or not under federal government rules. In 1973, the Yukon Indian Brotherhood and the Yukon Association of Non-Status Indians founded the Yukon Indian Council (YC) to negotiate a land agreement. The two organizations and the Council merged in 1980 as the Council for Yukon Indians. In 1995, CYI was renamed the Yukon First Nations Council. “25 years ago, Canada, Yukon and the Yukon Indian Council (now the Yukon Council of First Nations) signed the framework agreement. This document provided the model for the 11 modern contracts we have today in the Yukon and also provided for the negotiation of self-management agreements. The first four final self-management agreements were signed in 1993 by Champagne and Ashihik First Nations, Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation, Teslin Tlingit Council and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. Other provisions of the Land Claims Agreement are the removal of tax exemptions for the Yukon First Nations (effective January 1, 2001), a limitation of the hunting rights of other Aboriginal people in the traditional territory of each First Nation, etc. The current process began in 1973 with the publication of Together Today For our Children Tomorrow by chef Elijah Smith. Negotiations took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s, culminating in an agreement that was ultimately rejected.
Negotiations resumed in the late 1980s and culminated in 1990 with the final umbrella agreement (UFA). The UFA serves as a framework or presentation of individual agreements with each of yukon`s 14 federally recognized First Nations. It was signed in 1993 and the four First Nations ratified their focal claim agreements in 1995. To date (January 2016), eleven of the 14 First Nations have signed and ratified an agreement. Currently, white River First Nation, Liard First Nation and Ross River Dena Council are not negotiating.