The Fight for the Peel Watershed Continues


On August 20 and 21, 2015 the Peel court case will be heard at the Yukon Court of Appeal in Whitehorse. At this hearing, the Yukon Government will argue that the Yukon Supreme Court ruling by Justice Ronald Veale be dismissed. The respondents (the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, CPAWS Yukon and YCS), supported through an intervention by the Gwich’in Tribal Council, will defend against this appeal and argue that Justice Veale’s ruling be upheld.

The public is encouraged to attend the appeal in-person at the Yukon Law Courts (2134 Second Avenue, Whitehorse).  The appeal begins each morning at 9 am.

For those unable to attend in person the proceedings will be live tweeted @CPAWSYukon and #ProtectPeel.  Photos, video, audio podcasts, and daily summaries will be posted at

There are a number of other ways for the public to get involved:


Peel Pep Rally

Wednesday, August 12, 11:30 am – 1 pm

Whitehorse Wharf, at the end of Main Street

A citizen-organized event to get everyone energized for the big event the following week.  Bring your lunch and come for music, cheers, pep, information and cake.


Prints for the Peel

Hands Together to Protect the Peel.

Drop by the Yukon Conservation Society office at 302 Hawkins St. during office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays to stamp your hand on our Unity Wall. Watch for us at Thursday’s Fireweed Market and other upcoming events where you can make your mark.

Check out the Facebook event here:


Water Ceremony for the Peel

Thursday, August 20, 12 (noon) – 1pm

Front steps of the Law Courts (2134 Second Avenue, Whitehorse, Yukon).

At noon on August 20, join us on the steps of the Yukon Laws Courts in Whitehorse for a First Nations-led water ceremony for the Peel.

We invite you to take part by bringing water from a Yukon water body that has special meaning to you. Water vials are available at the Yukon Conservation Society office (302 Hawkins St) and the CPAWS-Yukon office (506 Steele St).

Check out the Facebook event here:


BBQ for the Peel

Thursday, August 20, 5-8pm

Official welcome 6 pm

Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (1171 First Ave, Whitehorse, Yukon), Fire pit

Join us for a BBQ, a chance to celebrate the public’s tireless efforts to protect the Peel, and the conclusion of the Water Ceremony as the water collected is poured into the Yukon River. All are welcome.

Get Involved During the Week of the Peel Watershed Legal Case


The Trial

The Peel Trial will run from July 7th until July 11th, 2014 inclusive.

It will take place in Courtroom 1 at the Yukon Law Courts (2nd floor, 2134 Second Avenue, Whitehorse, Yukon).

The courtroom can accommodate 100 people, and seating is first-come, first-served.  Recognizing the high level of public interest in this case, and the fact that a large number of community members intend to travel to Whitehorse to witness the trial, the court will live-video-stream the proceedings into Courtroom 3 (2nd floor of the Yukon Law Courts) in order to accommodate an additional 100 members of the public.

The typical trial hours are 10 am to 4 pm with a break for lunch and a short recess in the morning and afternoon sessions.

Recognizing that not all members of the public with an interest in the case will be able to physically attend the trial due to work commitments, limited space for the public to attend in person, and challenges with travelling to Whitehorse; CPAWS Yukon will be live-tweeting the entire proceedings from @CPAWSYukon using the hashtag #protectpeel.

In addition a Peel Trial Blog has been established at  that will feature a daily audio podcast summarizing the day’s events, inside and outside the courtroom, with interviews from participants; written updates from the trial and associated public events; and photos.

The plaintiff’s (the First Nation of Na Cho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Yukon Chapter, and the Yukon Conservation Society) outline of  argument can be found here, and their statement of claim here.  The defendant’s (Yukon Government) outline of argument can be found here.


A Note for the Media:

If you wish to record the proceedings with video, audio, or photography (note that photography is typically not allowed in the courtroom); or you wish to live-tweet or live-blog the proceedings an official application must be made to the court registry.

You can contact the courts at: 867-667-5441 or

Background information on the Peel Trial can be found at:


Public Events:

Silent Vigil for the Peel (Whitehorse)

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Noon – 1 pm

Front steps of the Law Courts (2134 Second Avenue, Whitehorse, Yukon)

Gather on the front steps of the Law Courts in silence to show your support for the legal case on its opening day.

Stand Up to Protect the Peel (Dawson City to Inuvik)

Monday, July 7th – Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Klondike Highway and Dempster Highway between Dawson City, Yukon and Inuvik, NWT

Don Curry will be travelling from Dawson City, Yukon to Inuvik, NWT standing up on his motorcycle to raise funds for the Peel legal case.  Help send him off in Dawson City on Monday July 7th; give him a wave or a honk somewhere en-route; or greet him as he arrives in Inuvik on Tuesday July 8th.  Donations to the legal case in honour of Don’s ride can be made here, noting that “this donation support’s Don Curry’s ride” in the “Additional Information” box at the bottom of the page. 

Fire for the Peel (Whitehorse)

Monday, July 7th – Friday, July 11th, 2014

9 am – 5 pm, each day, except Friday when it will only burn throughout the morning

Behind Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (1171 First Ave, Whitehorse, Yukon), next to the Yukon River

A ceremonial fire will be burning for the Peel Trial Monday morning to Friday morning.  All are welcome and encouraged to gather around the fire during the week.

Prayer Circle for the Peel (Dawson City)

Monday, July 7th – Friday, July 11th, 2014

Noon – 1 pm

Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre (1131 Front Street, Dawson City, Yukon)

Everyone is welcome to join a daily prayer circle for the Peel during the court case.

Voices of the Peel – Together Today for our Children Tomorrow (Whitehorse)

Thursday, July 10th

7 pm

Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (1171 First Ave, Whitehorse, Yukon)

On July 10th we invite you to come together on the eve of the last day of this historic week for the Peel.  Elders and youth from the Peel will tell their stories.  Images of the Peel by Peter Mather and Marten Berkman will be shown.   There will be live music and dancing, and a silent art auction featuring work by Eugene Alfred, Colin Alexander, and more.  All are welcome, it is a family-friendly evening.   Admission is by donation. Proceeds going to protecting the Peel through legal action.

Are You Planning an Event for the Peel During the Trial Week?

Let us know at so we can support you with promotion or other help you may need.


Elders’ Lounge

An Elders’ lounge will be established at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (1171 First Ave, Whitehorse, Yukon) during the trial week so that Elders will be able to take a break from the trial proceedings.  Snacks and drinks will be available, as will transportation to and from the Law Courts where the trail will be held.