New reports provide paths forward on outstanding land claims in Northwest Territories

OTTAWA, April 6, 2017 /CNW/ - The settlement of land claims is key to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous communities in Canada and creates the foundation for social development and economic growth that can generate benefits for Indigenous people and all Canadians.

Yesterday, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and the Honourable Bob McLeod, Premier and Minister of Executive and Indigenous Affairs for the Government of the Northwest Territories, met with leadership of the Dehcho First Nations, the Akaitcho First Nations and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation in Ottawa to discuss their respective land claims.

The meeting follows the submission of two reports from Ministerial Special Representatives who were appointed to facilitate discussions between the negotiating parties to advance resolution of their claims. The reports, which highlight current challenges in negotiations and provide recommendations to address them, provide the opportunity for a path forward with each Indigenous group in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

Quotes

"We are committed to working in close partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories and indigenous partners to advance outstanding land claims quickly and fairly. The reports released today will guide how we conclude these claims in a timely and meaningful way that will strengthen our nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples in the NWT ."

The Honourable Minister Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

"We want to see strong Aboriginal governments in the NWT representing and serving their members and working in partnership with us and each other to create a strong NWT. The GNWT wants to get a deal done and will develop new, flexible approaches that will get us there. We are confident that agreements with all three Aboriginal governments are achievable. The GNWT is committed to achieving finalized agreements with Canada and our Aboriginal partners."

The Honourable Bob McLeod
Premier of the Government of the Northwest Territories

Quick Facts

  • The Ministerial Special Representative (MSR) Report on the Dehcho Process was produced by Anne-Marie Doyle, and the report on the outstanding Southeast Territories' negotiations was produced by Thomas Isaac.
  • Both MSRs met with the leadership of all three Indigenous groups and community members in the course of drafting their reports.
  • The GNWT and Canada plan to make new offers to each Indigenous group by the middle of May.

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SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-953-8316; Media relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160; Andrew Livingstone, A/Director, Cabinet Communications, Tel: (867) 767-9140 ext. 11091, Email: andrew_livingstone@gov.nt.ca


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