The NWT Métis Nation, federal government, and GNWT have signed a framework agreement that will further advance reconciliation, the right to self-determination, work toward building strong Indigenous nations, and the NWT Métis Nation land claim negotiations.
President of the NWTMN Garry Bailey says the framework will pave the way to their vision of self-determination—a prosperous, self-sufficient, healthy, unified and self-governing NWT Métis Nation.
The framework will also guide negotiations toward a final self-government agreement as part of the NWTMN land claim negotiation process.
“The self-government negotiations have been the missing component of our Land Claim negotiations which have been underway since 1996,” Bailey adds.
Outlined in the framework is the process for governance of the NWT Métis Nation entities, legal status and capacity of Métis governments, administration of lands, Métis government finances, law-making authority, implementation plans, and elections for Métis government.
Bailey says the negotiation process will enable the NWTMN to advance the self-determining rights and governance interests of Indigenous Métis members.
“Building upon our successes to date, we now have the capacity to plan for our governance future,” he adds.
Bailey says the signing of the Framework is a key aspect of the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The agreement sets the stage for the development of the NWTMN Constitution to govern the relationship between the NWTMN, the three Métis Councils and our Indigenous Métis members,” he adds.
The Métis Councils affected by the framework agreement include the Fort Resolution Métis Government, Hay River Métis Government Council, and Fort Smith Métis Council.
President of the Fort Smith Métis Council Allan Heron says self-government will recognize the NWTMN and Métis Councils as law making authorities that can continue delivering programs and services to its members.
NWT Premier Caroline Cochrane says concluding a self-government agreement will advance reconciliation and recognize and affirm the treaty rights of the NWTMN.