Working together to advance reconciliation and strengthen relationships
OTTAWA, July 31, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Garry Bailey, President of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, and the Honourable Bob McLeod, Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations for the Government of the Northwest Territories are pleased to announce that an important milestone has been reached with the signing of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation (AIP). The AIP, which is not legally binding, will serve as the foundation for the negotiation of a final land and resources agreement with the Northwest Territory Métis Nation. It marks an important step on the road toward achieving clarity over land and resource ownership, use and management for all parties.
With the signing of the AIP, the three parties will commence negotiations toward a final land and resources agreement which will also address self-government. The objective of the overall negotiations is to provide clarity over the ownership, use and management of land and resources for all parties.
- The AIP deals with various matters, including harvesting of wildlife, fish, trees and plants, national parks, protected areas, subsurface resources, mineral royalty sharing and economic measures.
- Under a Final Agreement, the Northwest Territory Métis Nation would receive $69.4 million and 25,194 square kilometres of land to be owned in fee simple.
- When a Final Agreement is reached among the parties, the members of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation will vote on the Agreement prior to it being approved by the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada.
- Consultations with Aboriginal groups were carried out prior to concluding the AIP and will continue as part of final agreement negotiations.
- Since 2006, Canada and its negotiation partners have signed six comprehensive land claims (modern treaties) agreements and three self-government agreements in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Manitoba and Québec. Of the six signed comprehensive land claim agreements, four included provisions related to self-government. In the last 18 months, three Agreements-in-Principle and one final agreement have been signed in the Northwest Territories.
"This Northwest Territory Métis Nation Agreement-in-Principle on Land and Resources is a concrete step toward realizing economic growth and investment opportunities for the benefit of Aboriginal groups. It serves as a clear indication of what can be achieved when partners work together to find an agreement that is mutually acceptable for all the parties."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"The signing of the Land and Resources Agreement-in-Principle is an important milestone and demonstrates the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories' commitment to concluding a Final Agreement with the Northwest Territory Métis Nation. This Agreement-in-Principle provides a sound basis toward advancing the interests of Indigenous Metis of the NWT. Furthermore, it provides a solid foundation upon which our Government can build upon equitable and fair government-to-government relationships with the Government of Canada and Government of the Northwest Territories. The Northwest Territory Métis Nation is committed to achieving a Final Agreement in a timely manner for the interests of Indigenous Métis of the Northwest Territories and future generations."
President, Northwest Territory Métis Nation
"This Agreement-in-Principle is an important step towards clarifying land and resource ownership and wildlife harvesting rights for the Métis of the South Slave region. The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to working with Northwest Territory Métis Nation and Canada to conclude a final agreement that balances the interests of all parties, protects Métis culture and promotes a more stable, positive climate for investment and development."
Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations for the Government of the Northwest Territories
Northwest Territory Métis Nation
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SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information: Emily Hillstrom, Press Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160; Kyle Napier, Communications, Northwest Territory Métis Nation, 867-872-2770; Roya Grinsted, Media Liaison, Government of the Northwest Territories, Office of the Premier and Executive Council, 867-669-2308