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Deputy Premier McLean and Yukon First Nations delegation to visit United Kingdom

by ahnationtalk on June 12, 202416 Views

June 11, 2024

Deputy Premier Jeanie McLean and a delegation of Yukon First Nations are travelling to London, UK this week on a mission of cultural diplomacy, reconciliation and industry engagement. This trip will continue the Government of Yukon’s commitment of building relationships and collaborating with First Nations to advance reconciliation.

The cornerstone engagement of the mission will be the opening of the Honouring Our Future: Yukon First Nations Graduation Regalia exhibition, a collaboration between the Yukon Arts Centre and the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. The exhibition will take place at Canada House from June 14 to October 6, 2024, showcasing graduation regalia from across the Yukon.

A visit to The National Archives in London to see the Yukon’s holdings is scheduled along with a tour of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford to see artifacts from the Vuntut Gwitchin and Tlingit First Nations.

The Yukon First Nations delegation includes Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Chief Barb Joe, Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Sean Smith, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation Chief Nicole Tom, Ross River Dena Council Chief Dylan Loblaw, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Hähkè Darren Taylor,  Teslin Tlingit Council Executive Elder Barbara Hobbis and the Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston.

The Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mellisa Murray and President Tiffany Eckert-Maret will also attend the mission and host a business community engagement alongside the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce for all delegates to engage with  stakeholders in the UK.

This is a significant opportunity to advance reconciliation through international collaboration and meaningful roundtable discussions on business development, responsible investment and cultural perspectives. I’m thrilled to see the Honouring Our Future: Yukon First Nations Graduation Regalia exhibition presented on the international stage. These handcrafted regalia pieces celebrate the artists and will carry their stories overseas. We deeply appreciate the dedication of all the First Nations leaders who have joined us on this important trip.

Deputy Premier Jeanie McLean

Joining the Yukon delegation to London is an opportunity not only for the celebration of our cultural heritage of Yukon First Nations but also in reinforcing our commitment to reconciliation and international collaboration. This journey opens doors for new cultural exchanges and deeper understanding.

Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston

Quick facts

  • The annual Yukon First Nations high school graduation ceremony, established in 1975, celebrates graduates adorned in handmade regalia.
  • The handmade regalia showcases local materials, intricate beadwork and creative designs from each graduate’s ancestry.
  • The exhibition was first unveiled at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in January 2021 and subsequently travelled throughout the Yukon and was displayed in communities over three years.
  • The UK Prime Minister called for a general election on July 4. Although this changed some engagement opportunities, the commitment to Yukon First Nations, the regalia exhibit opening, and other related conversations, ensured that this mission remained a priority.

Media contact

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications
867-332-7627
Laura.Seeley@yukon.ca

Myra Nicks
Communications, Executive Council Office
867-667-5339
myra.nicks@yukon.ca

NT4

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