OTTAWA, June 27, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories announced a Ministerial Special Representative (MSR) will be appointed for the negotiations with the Dehcho First Nations in the Northwest Territories. The MSR will facilitate the discussions between the negotiating parties in order to support the successful conclusion of land claim negotiations with the Dehcho First Nations.
Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament, on behalf the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, and Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations for the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Honourable Bob McLeod, made the announcement at the Dehcho Annual Assembly.
The objective of the negotiations is aimed at resolving outstanding land, resource and governance issues. The appointment of the MSR who will report to Minister Bennett and Premier McLeod will address issues such as land quantum, land access and regulatory structures on the claimed territory.
The Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories will announce who will be the MSR in the coming weeks.
"Ensuring the successful conclusion of negotiated land claims is vital for advancing reconciliation. The Government of Canada is committed to reaching our shared goals and is confident the appointment of a Ministerial Special Representative will assist us in finding solutions that reflect the spirit of reconciliation with the Dehcho First Nations."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett,
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, M.D.,P.C., M.P.
"The appointment of a Ministerial Special Representative will help identify options that can help us realize our shared goals, with workable solutions for all. The MSR will understand the issues and I am confident that this is the right step to take, and that the MSR will be the right person for the task. Advancing reconciliation means keeping a collective vision in mind, working through our differences and building on shared interests."
MP, Northwest Territories
"With several land, resources and self-government agreements already being implemented here, the Government of the Northwest Territories remains committed to working with Aboriginal governments in the spirit of respect, recognition and responsibility. I believe there is an historic opportunity to further strengthen relationships with Aboriginal people in the Northwest Territories through the settlement of remaining claims and am pleased to share in the upcoming appointment of the Ministerial Special Representative. I look forward to working with our partners to complete negotiations in the near future."
The Honourable Bob McLeod,
Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations for the Government of the Northwest Territories
- Negotiations of a land claim and self-government agreement began with the Dehcho in 1999 leading to a Framework Agreement and an Interim Measures Agreement in 2001 plus an Interim Resource Development Agreement in 2003.
- There are 10 Indigenous groups representing over 20 communities in the Northwest Territories that are negotiating comprehensive land claim or self-government agreements at various stages of the process.
- Since 1973, Canada and its negotiation partners have signed 26 comprehensive land claims and four self-government agreements. 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.
The Dehcho First Nations Framework Agreement
The Dehcho First Nations Interim Measures Agreement
Northwest Territories – Agreements under Negotiation
Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System
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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; Andrew Livingstone, Senior Communications Advisor, Government of the Northwest Territories, (867) 767-9140 ext. 11091