Indigenous Leaders Round Table Invites
(YELLOWKNIFE) Thursday, October 24, 2019 – On October 17, 2019, the Legislative Assembly hosted a round table discussion with northern Indigenous and community government leaders to gather input on the priorities of the 19th Legislative Assembly. The meeting took place at the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre in Yellowknife and, for the first time, was open to the media and the public to attend.
Initial invitations were sent to the regional Indigenous and community government leaders of the NWT on September 11, 2019, including the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Gwich’in Tribal Council, Sahtu Secretariat Inc./Sahtu Dene Council, Tłı̨chǫ Government, Akaitcho Territory Government, Dehcho First Nation, NWT Métis Nation, North Slave Métis Alliance and the NWT Association of Communities.
Following discussions with MLAs on October 8, 2019, additional invitations were extended to the Salt River First Nation, K’atl’Odeeche First Nation, Dene Nation and Acho Dene Koe First Nation. The Salt River First Nation and K’atl’Odeeche First Nation were invited due to their status as Reserves established pursuant to the federal Indian Act and because they are not represented by another regional Indigenous government or at a land claim/self-government table. Acho Dene Koe First Nation made a written request to attend the meeting which was accepted due to their withdrawal from the Deh Cho Process. The Dene Nation also made a written request to attend the meeting which was accepted by the Members-elect following a productive breakfast meeting earlier that day focused on strengthening relationships with the Dene people and the Dene Nation. Several requests to participate from community-based governments that remain part of a regional government or land claim agreement were respectfully declined in an effort to keep the meeting to a manageable size.
“This is third time that newly-elected Members of the Legislative Assembly have invited northern leaders to attend a round table discussion on priorities prior to the selection of a premier and cabinet,” said Clerk of the NWT Legislative Assembly Tim Mercer. “Each time the Assembly has had to balance the desire to consult with as with as many northern governments, NGOs and interest groups as possible with the need to keep the meeting to a manageable size. This having been said, the landscape has changed significantly in the last four years with the negotiation of self-government in Délı̨nę and the creation of the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government. We made the assumption that the Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated and the Sahtu Dene Council, both of whom were invited, were in a position to speak on behalf of all the communities of the Sahtu. This is obviously not the case and I wish to extend a sincere apology to Ɂekw'ahtı̨dǝ́ Andre and the Délı̨nę K’aowǝdó Ke for this oversight. MLAs have made it clear that they recognize the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nęGovernment and wish to engage in a respectful and productive government to government relationship with it, including participation at all similar meetings in the future.”
The premier and cabinet for the 19th Legislative Assembly will be selected this Thursday and Friday. The Government of Northwest Territories, which is a separate entity from the Legislative Assembly, recognizes the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government and continues to view its relationship as one of government-to-government. This relationship will continue to strengthen and solidify once a cabinet is selected.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly
P: 867-767-9130 ext. 12017