OTTAWA, Sept. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - Self-government is about Indigenous Peoples taking greater control over and making their own decisions about matters that affect their communities. Self-government creates the foundation for a renewed relationship with Canada and can lead to an improved quality of life for indigenous people.
The coming into force of the Délı̨nę Final Self-Government Agreement (FSGA) is being celebrated today by the members of the Délı̨nę community, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament, on behalf of the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Raymond Tutcho, ʔekw'ahtı̨dǝ́ (highest honest leader) of the Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government, and the Honourable Bob McLeod, Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations for the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).
The Délı̨nę Final Self-Government Agreement (FSGA) was signed in 2015, creating a new government, the Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government, which began functioning on September 1, 2016. It brings together the authorities, programs and services of the former Charter Community Government, the former Délı̨nę Land Corporation, the former Délįnę Financial Corporation, and the former Délı̨nę First Nation Band.
Self-government is the start of a new relationship among governments that will evolve over time. The FSGA describes how the Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government, the Government of the Northwest Territories and Canada will continue to work together after self-government is in place.
With the coming into force of this agreement, the community of Déline is the first community in the Sahtu region of the Northwest Territories with its own self-government agreement.
"Another step has been reached on this path to reconciliation. The people of Déline will soon have more control over their own destiny. Working together in a collaborative manner translates into concrete results. The Déline Final Self-Government Agreement illustrates a nation-to-nation relationship – one based on recognition, rights, respect, co-operation and partnership".
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett,
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, M.D.,P.C., M.P.
"Being part of these celebrations is a great pleasure. I wish members of the Délı̨nę First Nation all the best for a successful implementation of their Final Self-`Government Agreement. There is still much work to do, but let us celebrate this major accomplishment today, while knowing that the upcoming work will get done, given the tremendous dedication of the people of Deline."
MP, Northwest Territories
"Our people have stood behind and supported our Elders, negotiating team and leaders for the past 20 years, as we worked together to negotiate and build the Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government. In English, "Deline Got'ine" means the people of the place where the waters flow. This government restores authority to us as a people, over our lands and our lives, for generations to come. We look forward to continuing to work with our Treaty partners to implement this self government agreement."
Raymond Tutcho, ʔekw'ahtı̨dǝ́ (highest honest leader)
Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government
"The Government of the Northwest Territories is a national leader in recognizing the rights of Aboriginal peoples and remains committed to settling and implementing land, resources and self-government agreements. The Délįnę Final Self-Government Agreement is the first stand-alone community based self-government agreement in the Northwest Territories and will set a positive precedent for other self-government negotiations. The Government of the Northwest Territories congratulates the Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government and looks forward to working with them on a government-to-government basis to build a better future for the Sahtu Dene and Métis of Délįnę."
Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations for the Government of the Northwest Territories
- The new Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government will manage responsibilities in the areas of culture, language, education, social services, program delivery, governing structures, Délı̨nę citizenship, elections, and local government services.
- Déline First Nations Citizens ratified the Agreement in a ratification vote with 64.5% of all eligible voters approving the Déline Final Self-Government Agreement, well above the 50% + 1 threshold required to ratify the Agreement.
- The Agreement contains a wide range of powers that will give the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Déline more control over the decisions that affect their day-to-day lives, including how programs and services will be delivered.
- There are 10 currently Indigenous groups representing over 20 communities in the Northwest Territories that are negotiating comprehensive land claims or self-government agreements at various stages of the process.
- Overall, since 1973, Canada and its negotiation partners have signed 26 comprehensive land claims and four self-government agreements across Canada. Of the 26 signed agreements, 18 included provisions related to self-government. Negotiations are ongoing at about 100 treaty and self-government negotiation tables across the country.
Press Release: A New Modern Treaty Signed in the Northwest Territories
Press Release: Introduction of Déline Final Self-Government Agreement Act
Backgrounder: Délı̨nę Final Self-Government Agreement
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160; Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox, Implementation Director, Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę Government , 867-444-0030; Andrew Livingstone, Senior Communications Advisor, Government of the Northwest Territories, 867-767-9140 ext. 11091