This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic ground-breaking document Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow .
This document was developed by the predecessor to the Council of Yukon First Nations, in close consultation with Yukon First Nation Elders and community members. It laid out the past and present state of Yukon First Nations. It also made recommendations for a better future, including land and cash settlements. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau accepted the statement on behalf of the Government of Canada, and Together Today for our Children Tomorrow became the basis for negotiating Yukon First Nation land claims.
This document holds immense significance as it symbolizes a crucial milestone in the ongoing reconciliation process between Indigenous peoples and the Canadian government. The document not only paved the way for self-determination and recognition of Indigenous rights but also served as a catalyst for Indigenous land claims across Canada.
In February, Boughton team members Daryn Leas and Tammy Shoranick attended the week-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Together Today for our Children Tomorrow, hosted by the Council of Yukon First Nations in Whitehorse, including attending events in the community remembering and celebrating the creation of the document, speaking at workshops and enjoying the festive atmosphere surrounding the anniversary.
“It’s important to celebrate this anniversary of the Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow agreement,” says Daryn Leas, counsel at Boughton. “You have to remember, when this was signed, it was 1973. Reconciliation and Nation-to-Nation agreements were in their infancy. For the Nations to embark on this journey and negotiate the final agreement is nothing short of remarkable.”
Celebrating the agreement wasn’t the only objective of the festivities. Celebrating the CYFN’s nations and people was also a key aspect of the week.
Tammy Shoranick—counsel at Boughton—explains.
“Being in the community for the anniversary celebration was incredible. The events highlighting the meaningful impact of Together Today for our Children Tomorrow for the people culture of the Yukon First Nation communities was very powerful and moving. We’ve been working with the CYFN for years—on important cases like Dickson and Quebec—but when you’re deep into the legal aspect of your relationship with a client, you can lose focus on the human element of that work and the monumental efforts Elders went through to have their communities’ rights recognized. This was a great chance to connect with that aspect.”
With additional programming planned throughout 2023, the Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow celebration continues.
For more information, please contact Daryn Leas or Tammy Shoranick.