Statement on the 25th Anniversary of Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement

OTTAWA, April 22, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, issued the following statement today on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement:

"Today marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, an outstanding accomplishment of which we can all be proud.

"I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our agreement partners, the Gwich'in Tribal Council, the Gwich'in people and the Government of the Northwest Territories, on this momentous occasion. The signing of this Agreement was an historic step towards achieving greater self-sufficiency for the Gwich'in.

"The Gwich'in of the Mackenzie Delta Region was the second group in the Northwest Territories to negotiate a Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. The settlement provided the Gwich'in with guaranteed wildlife harvesting rights, participation in decision-making bodies dealing with renewable resources, land use planning, environmental impact and assessment review, and land and water use regulation.

"This modern treaty, along with the other modern treaties in the Northwest Territories have led to a ground-breaking environmental protection regime, including a Land Use Plan for the Gwich'in Settlement Area.

Successful completion and implementation of treaty and self-government agreements is key to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous people. We look forward to continuing to work with the Gwich'in Tribal Council and other partners to build on this success."

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

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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; INAC Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160


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