Several GNWT and Indigenous government leaders recently met for their bilateral meeting under their intergovernmental memorandum of understanding.
From the GNWT, the meeting was attended by Premier Caroline Cochrane, Minister Diane Archie, Minister R.J. Simpson, Minister Shane Thompson, Minister Caroline Wawzonek, Minister Paulie Chinna, and Minister Julie Green.
They met with the Northwest Territory Métis Nation (NWTMN) President Garry Bailey, Vice-President Betty Villebrun, Mr. Paul Harrington, Secretary-Treasurer, President Arthur Beck, President Trevor Beck, and President Allan Heron.
The meeting focused on continuing to share information and perspectives between the two governments, including:
– supporting and promoting NWT Métis health benefits,
– sharing information on the Indigenous Patient Advocate program,
– addressing medical travel issues,
– advancing mental health and addictions priorities and access to funding,
– improving health service delivery,
– homelessness initiatives,
– including Indigenous perspectives in the transformation of Aurora College to a polytechnic university,
– challenges of Student Financial Assistance program for post-secondary education,
– cabin taxation and early land transfer for housing, and
– advancing productive land claim negotiations.
The Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding recognizes the importance of the government-to-government relationship between the Northwest Territory Métis Nation and the Government of the Northwest Territories. The agreement commits both governments to meet twice per year. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Northwest Territory Métis Nation and the GNWT was initially signed in November 2012 and was renewed in December 2017 and then in April 2022 for another four-year term.