The Gwich'in Land Claim Agreement turns twenty
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - April 22nd marked 20 years since the signing of the Gwich'in Land Claim Agreement.
Premier Bob McLeod said a lot has changed since the pact was signed in 1992.
"They've been able to be self governing, they built up their capacity, they've got their own businesses, they own their own land and resources, and they can make their own decisions that affect them," he said.
Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus noted that the majority of the Gwich'in population is under 25 and wasn't around during the land claims process.
He said historically the agreement has a lot of meaning and that now people need to make more of an effort to make it work.
"Many of the people who originally were negotiating and participating in this agreement twenty years ago are no longer involved. So what happens is people [are] trying to interpret now and they just see the written word. They don't understand the spirit and intent," said Erasmus.
The Gwich'in Land Claim Agreement was one of the first of its kind and was signed by the tribal council, the GNWT and the federal government on April 22, 1992.
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