Kluane Adamek acclaimed for second term as AFN regional chief in Yukon, Canada

Kluane Adamek will serve a second term as Yukon regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations after being acclaimed to the position last week. (Submitted by Kluane Adamek)

Adamek, who first became regional chief in 2018, said she plans to build on the work AFN Yukon has done

Kluane Adamek (Aagé) will be serving a second term as the Assembly of First Nations’ Yukon regional chief.

Adamek, a citizen of Kluane First Nation, was acclaimed to the position last week after being the lone candidate to put her name forward in the election. She was first acclaimed as regional chief in June 2018 after serving as interim regional chief following the death of her predecessor.

In an interview on Yukon Morning Monday, Adamek said her priorities for her second term included three “really important focus areas that I’ve heard and shared over the last few years” — people, place and progress.

“[Progress means] continuing to share our stories, continuing to build upon the work that we’ve done and looking at ways in which we can continue to press for what we continue to hear,” she said.

While she said it was an issue all northerners could appreciate, Adamek noted that First Nations people in the Yukon face “a lot of issues relating to inequity in relation to programs and funding and services,” and that it was important for the Yukon First Nations’ perspective to be understood at a federal level.

“The regional office is to create that space so that Yukon First Nations can directly have that opportunity with our federal officials,” she said.

“Humbled” to be acclaimed

Asked about the Canadian government’s recent appeal of a federal court decision upholding a landmark Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling on Indigenous child welfare compensation, Adamek said “this ongoing battle of fighting First Nation kids in court” was “unacceptable.”

“We cannot continue to fight First Nation kids in court,” she said, adding that she would be taking direction from Yukon First Nations chiefs and looked forward to “continued dialogue with our region in this regard.”

In a written statement released Oct. 28, Adamek also said she was “humbled” to be acclaimed for a second term, and that she was committed to “doing my very best; to lead with courage and respect, and to uphold humility and vulnerability, always.”

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver congratulated Adamek in a press release on Oct. 29, noting she had “championed action on climate change, advocated for the inclusion of women and youth in decision-making forums and has proven to be a powerful voice on issues impacting Yukon First Nations.”

“I look forward to continuing to work with Regional Chief Adamek to advance the goals and priorities of Yukon First Nations and I am excited to continue moving forward together on our journey towards reconciliation,” he said.

Adamek will be formally acclaimed during the Assembly of First Nations’ annual regional summit later this month.

-With files from Elyn Jones

Related stories from around the North: 

CanadaWith election over, Ontario Inuit org calls on federal government to increase support for urban population, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Climate change worries Finland’s young reindeer herders, Yle News

Norway: Silje Karine Muotka is new President of the Sámi Parliament in Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Land use rights a key issue in this year’s Sami parliamentary elections in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Inuit leaders call for “unprecedented and massive” action on climate as world leaders gather for COP26, Eye on the Arctic

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