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Deline Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle for the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Deline 2003

Category: Agreement
Date: 23 August 2003
Sub Category:Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) (Canada) | Self-Government Agreement (Canada)
Location:Deline District, Northwest Territories, Canada
Alternative Names:
  • Déline Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle for the Sahtu and Métis of Déline
  • Subject Matter:Compensation | Cultural Heritage | Economic Development | Education | Employment and Training | Environmental Heritage | Health and Community Services | Land Management | Law - Policy and Justice | Local Government | Management / Administration | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Self Government
    Summary Information:
    The Deline Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) exists between the Deline Dene Band, the Deline Land Corporation, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories. It was signed on the 23 August 2003 and facilitates the commencement of more comprehensive negotiations towards a Final Self-Government Agreement. The AIP envisages the establishment of the Deline First Nation Government (DFNG) which will govern all residents of the Deline. The DFNG's legislative and administrative powers extend to the delivery of services regarding culture and language, education, Deline citizenship, elections and local government services. The AIP is the first such agreement to be negotiated on a community basis in the Sahtu Region under the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement which itself came into effect on July 23 1994.
    Detailed Information:
    The Deline AIP results from continuing negotiations between the Deline Dene Band and the Deline Land Corporation with the federal and territorial governments pursuant to the Self-Government Process and Schedule Agreement signed in October 1998. Such agreements reflect the federal government's commitment to the 1995 Inherent Right of Self-Government Policy.

    Chronology of events
    Moves towards self-government can be said to have commenced in the 1960s, however it was not until 1976 that the Dene people submitted an initial self-government proposal to the Canadian Government. The Metis at this time had withdrawn from the joint proposal and continued to negotiate on a separate basis for a period of five years. The early 1980s saw the Dene and Metis come together to negotiate a land claim ultimately resulting in the signing of the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement in September 1993. Pursuant to this Agreement, the Sahtu Dene and Metis may negotiate self-government on an individual community basis. 1995 saw the introduction by the federal government of the Inherent Right of Self-Government Policy permitting the commencement of self-government negotiations. In 1996 the Deline Land Corporation submitted a formal proposal to initiate such negotiations. A Process and Schedule Agreement outlining the subjects and schedule for self-government negotiations was then signed. The AIP continued to be negotiated over the subsequent five years and was signed by representatives of the Deline Dene Band, the Deline Land Corporation, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories in August 2003. Negotiations towards a Final Agreement have commenced. The AIP will affect the 650 residents of the Deline as well as approximately 200 Sahtu Dene and Metis presently residing elsewhere.

    General provisions
  • The AIP establishes that the purpose of the Final Self-Government Agreement (FSGA) is to 'implement aspects of the inherent aboriginal right of self-government' which is acknowledged and protected by Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution'. Further, to establish an aboriginal public government within the Deline District.
  • On the Effective Date, the Deline First Nation Government (DFNG) is to come into existence. The Deline First Nation Constitution must also be approved on or before the date that the FSGA is submitted for ratification.
  • The AIP defines the scope of the legislative powers of the DFNG as well as the outcome where these may conflict with federal or territory law.
  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to the DFNG and its institutions.
  • While the Indian Act no longer applies to the DFNG, Deline citizens continue to be registered as Indians under the Act.
  • The Government of the Northwest Territories is required to consult with the DFNG regarding the creation of a new local government in the Deline District.
  • On the Effective Date of the FSGA, the DFNG will come into existence.

    Specific provisions
    Government, Elections and Citizenship
  • Chapter 3 of the AIP deals with the structure of government which shall consist of a government leader, a Main Council of 8-12 members (being the legislative body), an Elder's Council and a Justice Council.
  • The DFNG has legislative jurisdiction with respect to 'the administration, management and operation' of the DFNG.
  • The DFNG is to have legislative power over elections for the DFNG and those bodies elected by it. DFNG law is to apply to all residents, ensure fair and transparent elections, and provide for an appeals process.
  • Chapter 5 establishes the DFNG's jurisdiction over citizenship as consistent with criteria set out in the Deline First Nation Constitution. The federal government retains jurisdiction over Canadian citizenship.

  • The DFNG has jurisdiction over early childhood education and education generally in the Deline District with respect to kindergarten to grade 12 education.
  • The DFNG will have jurisdiction over adult education, employment skills training, and education support services.

    Local Services
  • Chapter 9 establishes the DFNG's legislative power which includes matters pertaining to health, safety and welfare, to business licensing, local, transportation, community roads, facilities such as water, sewage and garbage services, and land use and zoning.

    Child and Family Services
  • The DFNG is to have legislative power over adoption of DFN citizens and child and family services in the Deline District.

  • Chapter 12 of the AIP requires that prior to the initialling of the FSGA, the parties shall create a list of Commissioner's lands and federal lands within the Community of Deline and establish a working group to make recommendations to the Parties as to what lands may be transferred to the DFNG.

    Social Housing, Income Support and Justice
  • Chapters 14 and 15 provide for the DFNG's legislative power over social justice and income support respectively. Chapter 16 provides that the DFNG have legislative power to establish summary conviction offences for the violation of DFNG laws. The Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories retains power to decide civil matters arising under DFNG law. The DFNG is to be responsible for the prosecution of violations of its laws.

    Language, Culture and Spirituality
  • Chapter 17 provides that the DFNG will have legislative power with respect to Deline Sahtu Dene and Metis language, culture, spiritual practices, customs and traditions, education and regulation of educators and providers of traditional healing services.

    Review, Amendment and Dispute Resolution
  • Chapter 20 of the AIP provides that the FSGA be reviewed after 7 years, and thereafter every 10 years. It sets out processes for dispute resolution between the Parties and requires the consent of all Parties to any amendment.

    Capital Transfer and Implementation
  • Chapter 22 requires that a Financial Transfer Agreement is to be negotiated prior to the initialling of the FSGA, which will set out the terms and conditions of the provision of funding required to establish the DFNG.
  • Chapter 23 requires the preparation of an Implementation Plan which is to guide and monitor the obligations of the Parties and the Implementation of the FSGA. Each Party is to provide a representative to the Implementation Committee.

    Subjects for Future Negotiation
  • Chapter 27 outlines further topics for negotiation prior to the initialling of the FSGA including land use and management, economic development including, but not confined to tourism, labour relations and taxation powers.

  • Related Entries

  • Government of Canada - Signatory
  • Government of the Northwest Territories - Signatory
  • Deline First Nation Government - Signatory
  • Deline Dene Band - Signatory
  • Deline Land Corporation - Signatory
  • People
  • Sahtu Dene People
  • Metis People

  • References

    Book Chapter
    Palmer, L, Tehan, M, (2006) ‘Anchored to the land’: Asserting and Recognising Aboriginal Jurisdiction in the Northwest Territories', in Langton, Mazel, Palmer, Shain, Tehan (eds), Settling with Indigenous People: Modern treaty and agreement-making (The Federation Press, 2006).
    Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs - Government of the Northwest Territories (2003) Deline Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle for the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Deline
    Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs - Government of the Northwest Territories (2003) Highlights: Deline Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle
    Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs - Government of the Northwest Territories (2003) Chronology of Events Leading to the Signing of the Deline Self-Government Agreement in Principle
    (2003) Deline Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle Plain Language Summary
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (2003) Deline Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle Signed
    Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs - Government of the Northwest Territories (2003) Deline Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle for the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Deline


    Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) (Canada) | Self-Government Agreement (Canada)

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