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Self government

Self-Government Framework Agreement signed by Canada, the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories and the Government of the Northwest Territories to guide negotiations

FORT SMITH, NT, May 19, 2021 / CNW / – The Government of Canada, the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Northwest Territories signed a framework agreement that will further advance reconciliation, the right to self-determination, work towards building strong Indigenous nations and negotiations on Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) land claims.

Today, the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations of Canada, alongside Garry Bailey, President of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories, Arthur beck, Interim President of the Métis Government of Fort Resolution, Trevor Beck, Chair of the Hay River Métis Government Council, Allan Heron, President of the Fort Smith Métis Council, and the Honorable Caroline Cochrane, Premier of Northwest Territories, signed a Framework Agreement that will pave the way for their vision of self-determination – a prosperous, self-sufficient, healthy, united and self-reliant Métis Nation in the Northwest Territories.

The Self-Government Framework Agreement will guide negotiations towards a final self-government agreement as part of the NWTMN land claims negotiation process. It describes the process of self-government negotiations, including governance of Métis Nation entities of the Northwest Territories, the legal status and capacity of Métis governments, land administration, Métis government finances. , legislative power, implementation plans and elections for Métis government. It also supports the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The government of Canada and the government of Northwest Territories remain committed to renewing nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationships with the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories on the basis of affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

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“The Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) is pleased to begin self-government negotiations under the Framework Agreement on Self-Government Negotiations. The self-government negotiations will advance our land claims negotiations, which have been underway since 1996 and have been the missing piece of our land claims negotiations. The negotiation process will allow the NWTMN to advance the self-determination rights and governance interests of our Indigenous Métis members and three Métis councils. Building on our successes to date, we now have the ability to plan for our governance future.

The signing of the Framework Agreement on Self-Government is a key aspect of the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The agreement paves the way for the development of the NWTMN constitution to govern the relationship between the NWTMN, the three Métis government councils and our Indigenous Métis members. Self-government will recognize the NWTMN and Métis Government Councils as legislative authorities with the capacity to continue to provide programs and services to our members in accordance with the NWTMN Constitution. We have a lot of work to do to engage our members about self-government options and negotiations with Canada and the GNWT. The Self-Government Framework Agreement is another positive step for the Métis of the NWTMN and clearly shows the government’s commitment to reaching an agreement with the NWTMN. “

Garry Bailey,
President of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories

“The Métis Government of Fort Resolution recognizes that self-government is critically important to our members as it will empower the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) and the councils to effectively manage the lands and Métis finances and to continue to provide programs and services Canada, the government of Northwest Territories and the NWTMN. We have a lot of work to do to mobilize our members and solicit their input to inform the negotiations. We look forward to starting this negotiating process. “

Arthur Beck,
Interim President of the Métis Government of Fort Resolution

“After many years of perseverance and struggle, the Hay River Métis Government Council is pleased that we have reached an agreement on the Self-Government Framework Agreement and recognize that we have a lot of work to do. We look forward to working with our members to develop a constitution and shape self-government for the Métis of the Northwest Territories, which will benefit the Native Métis of the Northwest Territories for generations to come. Métis Nation and Métis Councils, and continue to provide much needed programs and services to our members. “

Trevor Beck,
Hay River Métis Government Council Chair

“The signing of the Framework Agreement on Autonomy is symbolically an important step in Canada and the government of Northwest Territories’ recognition of our status as a Métis nation as an Aboriginal government. The signing of this agreement will allow the Fort Smith Métis Council to intensify its efforts to achieve an Indigenous Métis government that reflects our distinct identity and our continued contribution to Canada and the Northwest Territories. It will also allow the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories and the Métis Councils to be legislative authorities capable of continuing to provide programs and services to our members. “

Allan Heron,
President of the Fort Smith Métis Council

“Our government is committed to working with Indigenous leaders to support their right to self-government. Achieving a self-government agreement will advance reconciliation and recognize and affirm the treaty rights of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories. The framework agreement is an important step in this process. It is a testament to the work of all parties to find common ground and demonstrates the strength of the relationship we have built. ”

The Honorable Caroline Cochrane,
Premier of the Northwest Territories

“Strong and self-sufficient Indigenous Nations, able to govern effectively and exercise their right to self-determination, are essential to enhancing the well-being and economic prosperity of Indigenous communities in the North. Congratulations and thank you to the president Garry Bailey, President Arthur beck, President Trevor Beck and president Allan Heron for your leadership and determination. By signing this framework agreement today, our government is taking a fundamental step towards advancing reconciliation and transforming our relationship with the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories. ”

The Honorable Carolyn Bennett, MD, PC, MP,
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Ensuring that Indigenous governments are able to achieve self-government is essential to reconciliation. My congratulations to the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories on this historic milestone, and I look forward to seeing further progress made through this framework agreement.

Michael mcleod,
Deputy, Northwest Territories

Fast facts

  • Section 35 of from Canada Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes the ancestral rights of the first
  • Nations, Inuit and Métis.
  • Today’s announcement marks a key step in the ongoing negotiations to advance reconciliation under this framework agreement.
  • A framework agreement defines the subject of the negotiation and describes how the negotiations will unfold. Negotiations will begin with a view to an Agreement in Principle, a detailed document that forms the basis of a final agreement and addresses most of the issues outlined in the framework agreement.

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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: media may contact: Ani Dergalstanian, Press Secretary and Communications Advisor, Office of the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, 819-997-0002; Media Relations: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, [email protected]; Todd Sasaki, Department of Executive and Aboriginal Affairs, Government of the Northwest Territories, 867-767-9168 ext. 15015, [email protected]; President Garry Bailey, Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories, 867-621-2767, [email protected]

Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera