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One More Step on the Journey of Reconciliation in the Northwest Territories

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One More Step on the Journey of Reconciliation in the Northwest Territories

Canada NewsWire

Parties initial Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle for the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Norman Wells

NORMAN WELLS, NT, Aug. 28, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to the advancement of self-determination with Indigenous peoples, in a manner that reflects a recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. To that end, the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Norman Wells have taken a significant step towards self-government that will provide the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Norman Wells with the authority to make their own decisions on matters internal and integral to their community and beneficiaries.

Today, negotiators representing the Norman Wells Land Corporation, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories initialed the proposed Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle for the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Norman Wells.

This is a significant milestone towards reaching a Final Self-Government Agreement for the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Norman Wells. Negotiations towards a Final Agreement are commencing. The Sahtu Dene and Metis of Norman Wells, the Government of Canada, and the Government of the Northwest Territories will continue on the journey of reconciliation renewing their relationship within the Canadian constitutional framework based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

Quotes

"When we began these self-government negotiations with Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories in 2007, our goal was to ensure that the rights of the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Norman Wells were preserved and protected for future generations. We have travelled many, many miles on that journey. This agreement is an important cairn on that journey. The Tłegǫ́hłı̨ Got'ı̨nę Government will give the Dene and Metis of Norman Wells a say in the things that affect them today, tomorrow and in the future. We look forward to working together with Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories, government to government, to finalize that goal. Thank You, Mahsi Cho."

Sherry Hodgson
President of the Norman Wells Land Corporation

"Self-determination is a fundamental right for all Indigenous peoples and it is only through recognizing and implementing such rights that we can advance reconciliation. The collaboration and cooperation between all three parties has been and will continue to be fundamental to realizing the potential that self-determination will bring for all the beneficiaries of this agreement."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

"This Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle provides an example of partners working together to achieve a common goal. It is the result of an ongoing process between all parties to build a relationship that is based on mutual respect, recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights, and shared responsibilities."

The Honourable Bob McLeod
Premier and Minister of Executive and Indigenous Affairs for the Government of the Northwest Territories

Quick Facts

  • Norman Wells is one of five Indigenous communities located in the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories. It has a population of approximately 760 people, 37 per cent of which self-identify as being Indigenous.
  • As stipulated in the 1993 Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, self-government agreements have been or are currently being negotiated with each of the five Indigenous communities in the Sahtu Region, including the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Norman Wells.
  • The Agreement-in-Principle is not legally binding but will serve as the foundation for the negotiation of the Final Self-Government Agreement for the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Norman Wells.
  • All parties have received leadership approval to sign the Agreement-in-Principle. Signing of the Agreement-in-Principle is pending the co-ordination of the signatories' schedules.

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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/August2018/28/c8318.html

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