Premier updates on progress as devolution rolls along
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Premier Bob McLeod gave an update on the devolution process in the Legislative Assembly on Monday.
It has been 16 months since the agreement in principle was signed by the GNWT and he says with the Sahtu Secretariat signing the AIP late last month, he's hopeful other aboriginal governments will join in as well.
"We hope to welcome other aboriginal governments back to the negotiating table. There is a place for each of them there and they also will have the option of signing on to the final agreement if they wish to do so."
The Gwichin Tribal Council currently has a lawsuit in court which accuses the GNWT of not consulting enough on the issue.
McLeod also said there should be no worry on the part of aboriginal governments when it comes to land claim settlements or those in process.
"Devolution is not about aboriginal rights, it is not about treaty rights, it is not about self-government rights. It is about transferring authority over public lands and resources, and rights in respect of water from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories."
McLeod is still hopeful negotiations on a final deal can be completed by the fall.
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