The Dehcho First Nations and the Government of the Northwest Territories could be returning to negotiations.
The Grand Chief of the Dehcho Nation, Herb Norwegian, wrote a letter to Caroline Bennett, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Canada, and to the Premier of the Northwest Territories, Bob McLeod.
Negotiations to complete an agreement on lands and governance have been stalled since April. At the time, the two governments wrote asking the Dehcho First Nations to clarify their positions on the role of the GNWT in the Treaty negotiations. Also, the development of an integrated system and protecting natural resources in the NWT were included.
In his letter, Norwegian said, “[the region urges] Canada and the GNWT to return to the negotiating table to complete the work that we began in 2001.” He added, “it’s important to respect the process that we all agreed to follow in our negotiations. Our are patient, but we’ve had far too many delays. In order to speed up the process, we suggest that the parties engage the services of a mediator at the negotiating table. We hope our negotiations partners will agree so that we can move the process forward to a successful conclusion.”
In a public statement, the Dehcho First Nations said their response “reminds Canada and the GNWT that the Framework Agreement signed by all three governments in 2001 clearly spells out the roles of all three parties… the Dehcho have always supported the development of a truly integrated system of resource management in place of the current fragmented system.“