Legal Action commenced by First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun
following unanimous decision at General Meeting on February 27, 2021
March 15, 2021—Yukon, Canada: The First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (“FNNND”) today
filed a petition for judicial review in the Supreme Court of Yukon to quash and set aside Yukon
Government’s decision to proceed with a mining project in a pristine, highly sensitive part of its
On February 19, 2021, Yukon Government issued an authorization for Metallic Minerals
Corporation’s advanced mineral exploration activities in the Tsé Tagé (Beaver River) watershed.
The Tsé Tagé watershed is an area of significant ecological and harvesting importance to
FNNND and is integral to its citizens’ culture and way of life.
“We object to the Yukon Government attempting to authorize a project in a highly sensitive part
of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun traditional territory without consulting us,” said
FNNND Chief Simon Mervyn. “A land use planning process is currently underway for the Tsé
Tagé watershed, and this disrespectful decision by the Yukon Government undermines that plan
before it can even be completed and before we’ve even seen a draft plan. We had hoped—and
expected—that the treaty promises made to us would be lived up to and we will not stand silently
by as they continue to trample on our values, our land and our rights. We have been waiting for
more than 25 years for land use planning and real joint decision making. We won’t wait any
FNNND repeatedly objected to the project being authorized and repeatedly asked Yukon
Government to consult directly with its citizens in order to hear and understand their concerns.
Yukon Government officials refused to consult with the FNNND community, stating that
consultation was “not feasible.”
“Yukon Government’s decision to authorize this mining project—without hearing from our
elders, our youth, and our community who cherish this land and are now further dispossessed
from it—is a flagrant violation of our rights. Yukon Government did not even do us the courtesy
of listening to our people, especially the elders who know this land best. To have our requests for
community consulation denied in this day and age was truly disheartening,” said Chief Mervyn.
The Chief explained, “the decision to file the lawsuit was discussed at length at a citizenship
meeting held on Saturday February 27th, based on our participatory model of governance, and
there was not one dissenting voice among all those in attendance. Every citizen present
supported taking legal action against the Yukon Government and this wrongful decision.
Historically and culturally, we have always attempted to negotiate and compromise. Negotiations