Current Negotiations

In the Northwest Territories, the federal and territorial governments are negotiating land, resources and self-government matters with a number of Aboriginal groups.

When the Government of Canada began negotiating these modern-day treaties in the 1970s, only land and resource management matters were addressed – thus the common name, "comprehensive land claims". Then in 1995, Canada formally recognized that Aboriginal peoples have an "inherent right of self-government". This made it possible for Aboriginal groups to begin negotiating self-government along with land claims and resolve matters as part of their "comprehensive land claims" or "modern treaty" processes.

The Government of Canada believes that negotiating land, resource and self-government agreements will create a more stable and predictable society and economy for the Northwest Territories, by:

  • Clarifying Aboriginal rights related to land and resources
  • Putting control of programs and economic development back in the hands of community members so they are better able to make positive changes in their communities

In many cases, interim measures are negotiated to clarify how the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories will work with an Aboriginal group during negotiations on decisions that could affect its interests in land and resources prior to a settlement being reached.

For more information about why these negotiations are taking place, how negotiations work and what they cover, please see Overview: Negotiations on Land, Resources and Governance in the NWT.

To learn more about negotiations, visit Treaties and Aboriginal Government.