Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (January 26, 2011) – The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, the Honourable Floyd Roland, Premier of the Northwest Territories, and Nellie Cournoyea, Chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, today signed an agreement-in-principle for devolution of lands and resources from Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories.
"The signing of this agreement-in-principle is an important step forward for the people of the Northwest Territories and builds on our Government's ongoing commitment to giving Northerners a greater say over their own future," said Minister Duncan.
After a series of negotiations, the Chief Federal Negotiator and Chief Territorial Negotiator recommended to their Principals the signing of the agreement-in-principle in September 2010. The agreement-in-principle was also conveyed to the seven regional Aboriginal groups at the same time for their consideration.
"We have today signed an agreement-in-principle that will serve as the basis for negotiating a final devolution agreement," Premier Floyd Roland said. "It is a commitment to move forward in the political evolution of the NWT and a key step in securing decision making for our future that reflects the values and needs of our residents, their governments and our territory."
"The Inuvialuit were the first in the Northwest Territories to sign a land claim agreement. We have worked hard in the implementation of that agreement to improve the economy in the region and communities to improve the life of the Inuvialuit," said Nellie Cournoyea, Chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. "Today we take another step as a signatory to this agreement-in-principle on devolution to achieve our goals."
"Today's announcement is further proof that the North is a priority of this Government," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Regional Minister for the North and Minister of Health. "We are working to create a strong and prosperous North that realizes all of its potential. Congratulations to the Government of Northwest Territories for this milestone agreement-in-principle."
The signing of the agreement-in-principle is a key step in the devolution process and signifies the commitment of the parties to commence negotiations towards a final Devolution Agreement. The final Devolution Agreement will include the transfer of administration, control and management of land, water, mines, minerals, and oil and gas in the Northwest Territories.
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Description: News releases and speeches on current and historical matters relevant to Aboriginal people and Northerners.