Statement - Government of Canada Continues to Advance Devolution in the NWT

OTTAWA, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today issued the following statement:

"Today marks the beginning of an important period of transition in our work to advance devolution in the Northwest Territories. As Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) move toward the devolution transfer date of April 1, 2014, our efforts are focussed on ensuring a continuity of service for all residents of the territory.

The Government of the Northwest Territories today announced changes to its organizational structure to accommodate the delivery of devolved land and resource programs and services. Both Governments are now working to transfer job functions from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to the GNWT, representing a clear signal of readiness to serve territorial residents, industry and all stakeholders.

Today's effort follows the announcement made on August 27, 2013, regarding consultations on the legislative proposal to implement the Northwest Territories Devolution Agreement. These consultations are currently underway and mark the final phase of a three phase approach to section 35 based Crown consultations with potentially impacted Aboriginal organizations.

The Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement, signed on June 25, 2013, transfers provincial-like powers over to the Government of the Northwest Territories - putting more control in the hands of Northerners. Advancing devolution supports the Government's commitment, as set out in Canada's Northern Strategy, to work with Northern and Aboriginal partners to build a strong and prosperous North."

This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

For further information:

Minister's Office      
Erica Meekes
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
Development Canada
819-953-1160

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