business pages

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Subscriber pages
buttonspacer News Desk
buttonspacer Columnists
buttonspacer Editorial
buttonspacer Readers comment
buttonspacer Tenders

Demo pages
Here's a sample of what only subscribers see

Subscribe now
Subscribe to both hardcopy or internet editions of NNSL publications

Our print and online advertising information, including contact detail.

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

The devolution divide continues
MLA says relationship between GNWT and First Nations 'at all time low'

Tim Edwards
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 7, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Premier Floyd Roland has been reiterating that he wants to negotiate with all aboriginal leaders on the aspects of devolution, but said the government has no plans to alter the agreement-in-principle.

NNSL photo/graphic

Floyd Roland: "The big question is how we bring the folks back to the table for meaningful involvement." - NNSL file photo
Roland has been fielding questions from regular MLAs, all of whom show concern with at least the communication between the government and the Akaitcho, Tlicho, Sahtu, Gwich'in and Dehcho First Nations who oppose going forward with a devolution agreement - designed to transfer control of the territory's resource revenue to the GNWT from the federal government.

On Friday, Tu Nedhe MLA Tom Beaulieu asked Roland if, upon meeting with the aboriginal leaders, he would change the agreement-in-principle signed at the end of January. That agreement sets out a framework for what the final devolution deal might look like and commits the signatories to enter final devolution negotiations.

"As for saying we will alter the agreement that has been signed? That is not the position of the Government of the Northwest Territories," said Roland.

Roland again said the agreement would not affect settled or unsettled land claims. He added, a resource revenue-sharing agreement between aboriginal governments and the GNWT would be part of future negotiations.

Mackenzie Delta MLA David Krutko said he wanted to know exactly how the groups would be involved in discussions.

"Consultation, negotiations and involvement means sitting at a table and being full participants in those negotiations," said Krutko, adding that did not mean just being an observer or occasionally consulted.

Roland said First Nations groups will have a seat at the negotiating table.

"We will in fact be at the table across from each other negotiating, for example, the resource revenue sharing bilateral agreements," said Roland, who mentioned the GNWT was sending out letters to try and arrange meetings with aboriginal leaders.

Krutko warned that the relationship between the aboriginal people and the GNWT is at an "all time low."

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.