Annual report of the Tlicho Implementation Committee: Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement 2010-2011 to 2014-2015
Tłı̨chǫ Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement
- Abbreviations and Acronyms
- Chapter 1: Overview and Background
- Chapter 2: Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Committee
- Chapter 3: 2010-2011 to 2014-2015 Reporting
- Cultural Coordinator
- Dispute Resolution Administrators
- Impact Benefit Agreement
- Tłı̨chǫ Assembly/Cultural Centre - Status of Land
- Health Canada Program Transfer
- Board Funding and Appointments
- Mapping Issues
- Intergovernmental Services Agreement Review
- Environmental Assessment
- Financing Agreement Review
- Economic Measures
- Implementation Plan Review
- Tłı̨chǫ Citizens List
- Status Cards
- Other Issues:
Abbreviation and Acronyms
|DAAIR||Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations (GNWT)|
|DDRA||Deputy Dispute Resolution Administrator|
|DRA||Dispute Resolution Administrator|
|GNWT||Government of the Northwest Territories|
|IAB||Indian Affairs Branch|
|IBA||Impact Benefit Agreement|
|INAC||Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada|
|IC||Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Committee|
|ISA||Intergovernmental Services Agreement|
|LTO||Land Titles Office (GNWT)|
|MVEIRB||Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board|
|NRCan||Natural Resources Canada|
|TCSA||Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency|
|WLWB||Wek’èezhìı Land and Water Board|
|WRRB||Wek’èezhìı Renewable Resources Board|
Chapter 1 | Overview and Background
The Tłı̨chǫ Land Claims and Self-government Agreement (Tłı̨chǫ Agreement) was negotiated by the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), and the Government of Canada (Canada). The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, which came into effect on August 4, 2005, is the first combined comprehensive land claim and self- government agreement in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and provides Tłı̨chǫ Citizens with rights and benefits in respect of land, resources, and self-government.
Through the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, the Tłı̨chǫ gained the tools and resources required to strengthen their economy through greater participation in the regional and territorial economy. The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement also enhances their ability to protect and promote Tłı̨chǫ language, culture and way of life.
The following is a summary of provisions within the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement:
The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement provides the Tłı̨chǫ with approximately 39,000 square kilometres of land in a single block. The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement applies to four distinct geographical areas. The first and largest is Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè. It is the traditional territory of the Tłı̨chǫ in which the Tłı̨chǫ can exercise the majority of the rights set out in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement. The second distinct area is called Wek'èezhìı and is located within Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè. It is a resource management area bordered by the settlement areas and traditional lands of neighbouring Aboriginal groups. The third area, which is also within Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè, consists of Tłı̨chǫ Lands which are owned in fee simpleFootnote 1 and centered on the communities of Behchokǫ̀ (Rae-Edzo), Whatì (Lac la Martre), Gamètì (Rae Lakes), and Wekweètì (Snare Lake). Here, the Tłı̨chǫ own both the surface and mineral (subsurface) resources. The fourth area, called Ezǫdzìtì, is of historical and cultural importance. The Tłı̨chǫ do not own this land and do not exercise any additional harvesting or management rights. However, Ezǫdzìtì has been protected in the interest of preserving its historical and cultural importance to the Tłı̨chǫ people.
- Financial Compensation and Resource Revenue Sharing:
The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement includes cash payments of approximately $152 million over 14 years to the Tłı̨chǫ Government (TG), and a share of mineral royalties received by government annually from the development of Mackenzie Valley resources.
- Eligibility and Enrolment:
An Eligibility Committee was established in accordance with the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement to enrol those entitled to be registered as Tłı̨chǫ Citizens. The Eligibility Committee was composed of four Tłı̨chǫ representatives and two from government. The Eligibility Committee was dissolved following the effective date of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement with the designation of a Registrar by the TG.
- Economic Measures:
Under the Economic Measures Chapter of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, Canada and the GNWT are committed to promoting the economic interests of the Tłı̨chǫ , including support for the traditional economy, the development of businesses, the creation of training programs, and educational assistance to Tłı̨chǫ Citizens. Furthermore, when the GNWT and Canada propose economic development programs related to the objectives of this chapter, they must consult with the TG. The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement further requires the governments to meet with the TG, no less than once every three years, to review the effectiveness of programs relating to the objectives of the Economic Measures chapter.
The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement also implements the inherent right of self-government for the Tłı̨chǫ . The Agreement recognizes a regional Tłı̨chǫ Government with law-making authority for Tłı̨chǫ Citizens in Tłı̨chǫ communities and on Tłı̨chǫ lands. This law-making authority includes aspects of education, adoption, child and family services, training, income support, social housing, and Tłı̨chǫ language and culture.
The Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency (TCSA), established under territorial legislation, is responsible for the management, administration and delivery of health, education and other social programs and services to all residents of the four Tłı̨chǫ communities and Tłı̨chǫ lands.
Consistent with the Agreement, the Tłı̨chǫ Community Governments (TCGs) of Behchokǫ̀ Whatì, Gamètì, and Wekweètì were established pursuant to territorial legislation on August 4, 2005. The TCGs are responsible for municipal services and represent and serve all residents of Tłı̨chǫ communities.
Chapter 7 of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement calls for the creation of a Tłı̨chǫ Constitution and sets out the structure of the TG. In keeping with the principle of equal representation, Chapter 7 specifies that the governing body must include the Grand Chief, the Chief from each TCG, and at least one representative from each Tłı̨chǫ community, elected by the residents of that community.
- Wildlife and Environmental Management:
The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement provides for the establishment of two bodies to manage wildlife and the environment as institutions of public government. The Wek'èezhìı Land and Water Board (WLWB) has a mandate to regulate the use of land and water and the deposit of waste throughout Wek'èezhìı. The Wek'èezhìı Renewable Resources Board (WRRB) oversees the management of wildlife and habitat and makes recommendations about wildlife, forest, and plant resources and commercial activities throughout Wek'èezhìı. The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement also provides for TG representation on the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB). MVEIRB ensures that environmental impacts and the concerns of Aboriginal peoples and other members of the public are considered carefully during the assessment of proposed developments in the Mackenzie Valley.
- Dispute Resolution
The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement provides for the appointment of a Dispute Resolution Administrator (DRA) and a Deputy Dispute Resolution Administrator (DDRA). The DRA is responsible for maintaining a roster of mediators and arbitrators, appointing mediators and arbitrators, establishing rules for mediation and arbitration and maintaining a public record of arbitration decisions. The DDRA's role is to act as the administrator during any period while the DRA is unable to act.
- New Approach to Certainty:
The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement provides certainty and clarity with respect to the ownership and management of land and resources, and to jurisdictional rights. The TG has agreed that it will not exercise any rights outside of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement. However, should the TG find that it is entitled to a non-land right, such as a self-government right that is not mentioned in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, the TG may negotiate with government to exercise that right.
- Implementing Bodies:
The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement provides for the establishment of a Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Committee (IC) made up of representatives from the TG, Canada and the GNWT. Its mandate is to monitor, manage, make recommendations, and report on the implementation of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, including funding levels identified in the Implementation Plan. The Financing Agreement that was signed between Canada and the TG establishes a Finance Committee. The Finance Committee has the mandate to review the Financing Agreement and resolve any financial issues that may arise in relation to implementation.
Chapter 2 | Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Committee
The Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Committee consists of one representative from each of the parties to the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement.
- During the 2010 to 2015 fiscal years, Bertha Rabesca Zoe served as the TG's representative on the Implementation Committee.
- More information about the TG can be found online at www.Tłı̨chǫ.ca
Government of Canada:
The Government of Canada is represented on the Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Committee by the Implementation Branch of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). The Implementation Branch serves as a liaison on implementation issues for management boards, the Tłı̨chǫ, territorial governments, and other federal departments. During the 2010 to 2015 fiscal years, Kimberly Thompson, Director of Treaty Management West, represented INAC on the Implementation Committee.
- More information on the Government of Canada and its departments, programs, and services can be found online at www.canada.gc.ca/home.html
- More information about INAC can be found online at www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca
Government of the Northwest Territories:
The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations (DAAIR) is responsible for coordinating the GNWT's implementation activities under the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement. It manages the allocation of implementation funds received from Canada, represents the GNWT on the Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Committee and serves as a liaison on implementation issues for the GNWT's departments. Scott Alexander, Director of Implementation within DAAIR, represented the GNWT on the Implementation Committee during the 2010 to 2013 fiscal years. Scott was succeeded by Sue Bowie, who became the Director of Implementation in January 2014.
- More information about the GNWT can be found online at www.gov.nt.ca.
- More information about DAAIR can be found online at www.daair.gov.nt.ca.
Chapter 3 | 2010-2011 to 2014-2015 Reporting
Listed below are the issues discussed, and activities undertaken, by the Implementation Committee during the reporting period.
Under Section 8 of the ISA, a Cultural Coordinator (CC) is to be appointed jointly by the parties in order to advise them on how to use their respective powers in ways that respect and promote the Tłı̨chǫ language, culture, and way of life. The CC is responsible for preparing and submitting a work plan and budget to the IC for approval each year. Each party is responsible for one-third of the CC's budget.
The CC was appointed in 2010 and sat on two committees, the Official Languages Committee and the Labour Force Development Committee.
The parties approved the Cultural Coordinator's 2011 through 12 budget and work plan. The IC also signed-off on a Record of Decision, which reflected the revised CC funding, taking into account the correct annual adjustors and the addition of the onetime funding.
The IC approved the Cultural Coordinator's 2013-2014 work plan and budget, and agreed to discuss the role of the CC, given the term expires in December, 2013. The CC produced the Tłı̨chǫ Cultural Coordinator's Three-Year Report as per the Tłı̨chǫ ISA (section 8.7). The report focused on housing and education issues, as well as ways to strengthen and preserve Tłı̨chǫ language.
The CC's Three-Year Report was tabled in June 2013. Some key recommendations of the report included: developing and supporting interpreters and translators for the proper delivery of programs and services at all levels of government; increased support for Aboriginal programs and services; the development and application of conceptual tools to monitor the state of Tłı̨chǫ culture; and preventing damage to Aboriginal culture and languages from harmful social policy and legislation. Canada and the GNWT advised that they would like to work more collaboratively with the CC. The appointment of the CC, which was set to expire in December 2013, was extended to March 31, 2014. The IC is reviewing the role of the Cultural Coordinator. Once the review is completed, the IC will begin the process to appoint the next CC.
Ms. Nora Wedzin was appointed to the position of CC effective September 8, 2014. Ms. Wedzin prepared a budget and work plan for the office of the CC for the remainder of the fiscal year. The budget was reviewed and approved by the IC.
In her introduction to the IC, Ms. Wedzin highlighted several goals for the CC's office for the upcoming three-year period:
- Follow-up on the recommendations set out in the previous CC's triennial report;
- Support and coordinate the creation of cultural tools necessary to facilitate the delivery of government programs and services in a Tłı̨chǫ cultural environment;
- Develop Tłı̨chǫ cultural benchmarks/measures/outcomes in regards to determining the state of Tłı̨chǫ language, culture and way of life;
- Conduct research to determine the impact of government practices, strategies and policies on Tłı̨chǫ language, culture and way of life;
- Continue to participate as a member of the Advisory Board of Directors of the Tłı̨chǫ Research and Training Institute in order to support approved research in the region.
The IC recognizes that the role of the CC will continue to evolve with the ongoing implementation of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement and ISA. The IC will continue to discuss the intended role of the CC and how that role may be tailored in the future to better suit the needs of the parties.
The CC will continue to update the IC on progress towards completing the CC work plan.
Dispute Resolution Administration Administrators
Pursuant to the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement (section 6.2.1), a Dispute Resolution Administrator (DRA) and a Deputy Dispute Resolution Administrator (DDRA) are to be appointed jointly by all parties. The term of appointment of the DRA and the DDRA shall be six years, with the option of reappointment. The DRA and DDRA are to assist in facilitating mediation and arbitration processes between the parties in accordance with the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement. The parties' nomination for the DRA appointment was approved in March 2009.
The IC agreed to the nomination and appointment of the DDRA in April 2010, through the signing of a Record of Decision. The DRA commenced work to compile a roster of arbitrators and mediators using a list of potential candidates that were recommended by the parties. The DRA also prepared a draft ‘Rules and Guidelines for Mediation and Arbitration' document that was circulated to the IC for review. IC representatives agreed to conduct their own internal legal review, prior to submitting it for joint review by the parties' legal counsel.
The DRA continued to work towards completing a roster of arbitrators and mediators, using the recommended candidates submitted by Canada and the GNWT's IC representatives. Upon the TG's provision of recommended candidates they will be reviewed by the DRA and may be added to the roster.
The parties respective legal representatives formed a legal working group and began a joint review of the draft ‘Rules and Guidelines for Mediation and Arbitration' document submitted by the DRA in November 2010.
The parties continued to move forward on the finalization of the Rules and Guidelines for Mediation and Arbitration document. The TG reviewed the GNWT and Canada's list of recommended candidates to be included on the roster of arbitrators and mediators and considered whether additional TG recommended candidates should be added to the list.
The IC adopted the roster of arbitrators and mediators submitted by the parties and advised the DRA accordingly. The legal working group met in October, 2013 and produced a close to final draft of the ‘Rules for Mediation and Arbitration' document. When completed, the legal working group will forward their final draft to the IC for review and consideration. Final approval would be through a Record of Decision by the IC.
The finalized Rules for Mediation and Arbitration were accepted by the IC and the DRA was advised on September 9, 2014.
The term of appointment of the DRA expired on March 23, 2015. The IC agreed on the nomination of the next DRA, and Canada is currently processing the associated appointment package.
One of the first tasks for the newly appointed DRA will be the adaptation of the Rules for Mediation and Arbitration to a format that allows for distribution.
Impact Benefit Agreement
Pursuant to the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement (section 23.4.1), the proponent of a major mining project that requires Government authorization and that will have an impact on Tłı̨chǫ Citizens is required to enter into negotiations with the TG, for the purpose of concluding an agreement relating to the project. The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement states that Government will, within one year after the effective date, develop the measures it will require to fulfill this obligation.
Activities: 2010-2011 – 2013-2014
Canada hired a contractor to develop a report on Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) for major mining projects. The decision was made to continue to advance work on this obligation internally with INAC resources, and between 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 Canada continued to work internally on approaches to fulfilling this obligation.
Under the Northwest Territories Land and Resources Devolution Transfer Agreement, Canada agreed to continue to work on the development of measures to implement this obligation. With the transfer of responsibility for the management of NWT Crown lands to the GNWT, the territorial and federal governments will work collaboratively on this initiative.
Tłı̨chǫ Assembly/Cultural Centre - Status of Land
In negotiating the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, the parties intended that the land on which the Tłı̨chǫ Assembly/Cultural Centre in Behchokǫ̀ is located would become Tłı̨chǫ Lands. However, when the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement was ratified, the land was identified as vesting to the Community Government of Behchokǫ̀.
The IC agreed to have NRCan conduct a survey of the Tłı̨chǫ Assembly/Cultural Centre lands (lots 15 & 16 and LTO plan 2181) in Behchokǫ̀. The survey will facilitate the process for the eventual conveyance of land to the TG. There is no mechanism in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement that provides for the conveyance of Tłı̨chǫ Community lands to the TG and for them to take on the status of Tłı̨chǫ Lands. The IC agreed to have their respective legal counsel jointly develop options for transferring the land and recognizing the land as Tłı̨chǫ Lands.
Activities: 2011-2012 – 2012-2013
The IC reviewed issues related to the transfer of the Assembly/Cultural Centre lots to the TG, including the status of the leasehold interest of the Friendship Centre, which is located on the lands in question. It was noted that the lease of the Friendship Centre was signed in 1991 for a period of thirty years. As such, the Friendship Centre would have to surrender its lease, or the lease would have to expire, before the land can be transferred.
The legal working group continues to explore options for transferring the land, including a possible amendment to the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement which would confirm the status of the land as Tłı̨chǫ Land.
Activities: 2013-2014 – 2014-2015
Based on a list of options developed by the IC and legal counsel, the IC agreed that the Friendship Centre would need to surrender its lease prior to completion of the survey work that will be required in order to convey these lands to the Tłı̨chǫ Government.
The TG will approach the Board of Directors of the Friendship Centre to gauge its willingness to relinquish the Centre's leasehold interest.
Health Canada Program Transfer
The TG has requested a direct funding relationship with Canada for the delivery of Health Canada's Aboriginal Wellness programs, such as Brighter Futures, Aboriginal Head Start and Prenatal Nutrition. Currently, aboriginal wellness program funding flows to NWT aboriginal governments through Health Canada's Northern Wellness Agreement with the GNWT. The GNWT is fully supportive of the TG's requested approach.
Activities: 2010-2011 – 2011-2012
In response to the TG's request to assume responsibility and accountability for aboriginal wellness programs by entering into a direct funding relationship with Canada for these programs, Canada conducted internal research to determine available options for flowing the associated program funding to the TG. The TG expressed concern about the option of adding the funding to the Tłı̨chǫ Financing Agreement, as program funding could be eroded over time, given the own-source revenue (OSR) offset provisions of the Financing Agreement.
By requesting a direct funding relationship for aboriginal wellness programs, the TG hopes to streamline Health Canada's associated administrative reporting requirements. To ensure that program funding is not eroded by the OSR provisions of the Financing Agreement, the TG requested that the direct funding relationship be in the form of a modified contribution agreement, one that would not impose the same reporting requirements found in the GNWT's Northern Wellness Agreement with Health Canada. In order to discuss the matter further and explore options and interests, Canada coordinated a meeting between the TG, the GNWT, INAC and Health Canada, during the week of the December IC meeting in Ottawa.
Health Canada confirmed that community based contribution agreements were not an option in the NWT; and therefore, any transfer of aboriginal wellness funding to the TG would have to be through its Financing Agreement with Canada (government-to-government). The advantage of this approach is that the TG would be accountable to TG Citizens, not Health Canada, for program delivery and would be solely responsible for managing program resources.
The TG continues to be concerned about the future erosion of program funding levels, given the OSR offset provisions of the Financing Agreement.
INAC announced a modification of its approach to the application of OSR offsets to funding provided for social envelope programs under self-government financing arrangements. The modified policy approach protects funding provided for social programs and services from offset. Canada's revised approach will facilitate the transfer of funding from Heath Canada to the TG, through the Financing Agreement.
The TG, INAC and Health Canada intend on proceeding with the transfer of aboriginal wellness program funding to the TG directly, effective April 1, 2015.
Board Funding and Appointment
The purpose of the Wek'èezhìı Land and Water Board (WLWB) is to regulate the use of land and water, and the deposit of waste throughout Wek'èezhìı, as described and legislated by the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement and other related acts and regulations. The Wek'èezhìı Renewable Resources Board (WRRB) is the authority established to oversee the management of wildlife and habitat, and to make recommendations on wildlife, forest and plant resources, and commercial activities. The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) conducts environmental assessments and reviews of development projects in the Mackenzie Valley. Each Board is expected to prepare an annual budget. Board members are appointed on behalf of Canada, the GNWT, and the TG. In the case of MVEIRB, the Board also includes representatives from the Gwich'in, Sahtu, and Dehcho First Nations.
Activities: 2010-2011 – 2011-2012
Board funding was approved, and the status of appointments was discussed and followed up as required.
On August 22, 2012, the parties signed a Record of Decision confirming that all parties are to consult on all appointments, as per the Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Plan.
Board funding was approved, and the status of appointments was discussed and followed up on as required.
Activities: 2013-2014 – 2014-2015
From July to December of 2013, Canada engaged with Treaty partners and Boards/Committees from the NWT to identify and discuss issues facing Boards, respecting funding and board operations. Based on these discussions, and on broader research, Canada has completed an in-depth analysis of board funding and operational issues and developed options to address these issues. These options are currently being considered within the federal system, and may result in revisions to INAC's approach to funding boards.
Board funding was approved, and the status of appointments was discussed and followed up on by IC representatives as required.
Canada will advise the TG and GNWT on the outcome of this initiative.
In September 2009, Canada raised the issue of significant discrepancies between the Official Description (Appendix to Chapter 1, Part 1) of the Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè boundary and the illustrative map of the same boundary, as they appear in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement. This warranted research to achieve resolution to the discrepancies.
Canada provided maps to the TG and the GNWT showing the significant discrepancies between the illustrative map and the Official Description of the Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè contained in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement. Canada, through Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is to undertake a thorough review and provide a report of any anomalies and ambiguities of the Official Description itself, as well as anomalies between the illustrative map and the Official Description, which will be shared with all parties. Canada will arrange a meeting with the TG and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to share information and begin discussions on the matter.
Canada shared NRCan's report, which identified a number of items that needed further review by the parties internally, prior to further meetings.
Canada and the TG met on September 21, 2012 to discuss the Mǫwhì Gogha Dè Nı̨ı̨tłèè (Mǫwhì) boundary issues. The Tłı̨chǫ Government, through its Lands Department, advised that they have located the map used during the negotiation process to produce the Official Description in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement and intend on undertaking a thorough "point-by-point" analysis of the map against the Mǫwhì Official Description in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement.
Activities: 2013-2014 – 2014-2015
The TG and Canada (INAC- NWT Regional Office) continue to discuss and review the NRCan report on the discrepancies and provide clarity on these discrepancies.
The parties will continue to meet and discuss and review the NRCan report on the discrepancies and provide clarity on these discrepancies. Upon completion of this review, NRCan will produce a final report.
Intergovernmental Services Agreement Review
The Intergovernmental Services Agreement (ISA) is an agreement between the TG, the GNWT, and Canada that establishes the TCSAFootnote 2 . The TCSA is intended to be an interim step in the development of self-government and is expected to evolve over time, as the TG makes decisions about exercising its social envelope jurisdictions and authorities, as set out in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, through the enactment of its own laws. The TCSA performs functions related to the delivery of education, health, and social services to Tłı̨chǫ Citizens as well as non-Tłı̨chǫ Citizens on Tłı̨chǫ lands and in Tłı̨chǫ communities.
The GNWT has undertaken a project to research and assess program and service delivery options in the NWT. The IC agreed to review the results of the GNWT's work and the results of a concurrent TG-IRC- Délı̨nę ISA review project before proceeding with the next two-year review of the ISA.
Activities: 2011-2012 – 2012-2013
The GNWT presented the findings of their ISA project to all NWT chief negotiators, the TG and Canada. The parties discussed the next steps and priorities regarding the Tłı̨chǫ ISA. The TG agreed to take the lead in initiating a review of the ISA during the summer of 2013.
Activities: 2013-2014 – 2014-2015
The GNWT and the TG agreed to work collaboratively on a Tłı̨chǫ specific ISA initiative to identify options for governance and program and service delivery beyond the initial 10-year term of the Tłı̨chǫ ISA. The project included representatives of the GNWT's Department of Health and Social Services, Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations, Education, Culture and Employment, Justice as well as the TCSA and TG.
As the project proceeded, the TG expressed a desire to move away from the review of program and service delivery options as set out in the project terms of reference and instead focus on governance options for the TCSA. While the project strayed from its intended purpose, and did not result in joint recommendations, it did produce a number of interesting governance options that the parties may wish to discuss further as they move forward with the renegotiation of the ISA.
The IC signed a Record of Decision extending the term of the ISA to allow time to complete the renegotiation of the agreement and the passage of any consequential amendments to legislation that may be needed to implement the renewed ISA.
The IC will need to confirm a work plan and identify representatives to undertake the renegotiation of the ISA.
Indian Affairs Branch (IAB) lands in the Behchokǫ̀ area will be transferred from Canada to the Community Government of Behchokǫ̀. An environmental assessment is required before the land can be transferred.
Canada reported that the IAB lands require an environmental assessment before they can be transferred to the Community Government of Behchokǫ̀. However, permission to do so has not been granted by the Community. The TG committed to holding internal discussions on this matter.
The Community Government of Behchokǫ̀ and INAC have discussed this issue; however, due to the lack of sufficient funding, INAC is unable to complete the environmental assessments this fiscal year.
Canada has reported that, due to delays in committing the resources to undertake the work this fiscal year, the funding for the proposed environmental assessments has lapsed.
Activities: 2013-2014 – 2014-2015
Canada and the TG met in December 2013 to discuss the issue and next steps. Canada advised that to close the file and transfer the IAB lands to the Community Government of Behchokǫ̀, INAC would need to complete an environmental assessment, or have the TC waive the assessment process. Canada has requested that, should the TCG choose to waive the requirement for an environmental assessment, the waiver must be confirmed in writing.
The TCG will advise Canada as to whether or not it will waive the requirement for an environmental assessment. If the TCG chooses to do so, it will submit written confirmation of the waiver to Canada.
Financing Agreement Review
The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement is accompanied by a bilateral financial agreement between Canada and the TG which sets out base funding to be provided to the TG, and the treatment of the TG's OSR. The Financing Agreement also sets out required activities which will be overseen by a Finance Committee, including the resolution of any issues that may arise in the implementation of the agreement.
The Financing Agreement was scheduled for review.
The parties approved the second draft of the Financing Agreement review produced by the TG. Canada informed the parties that the review should be completed promptly, as the mandate process to start negotiations can be quite lengthy.
Canada and the TG held meetings and discussions in order to produce the Tłı̨chǫ Financing Agreement review document.
The Financing Agreement review report was finalized. Both parties signed a Record of Decision approving the review.
Canada is pursuing internal processes in order to prepare for negotiations regarding the renewal of the Tłı̨chǫ Financing Agreement. The TG met with Minister Duncan in November 2012, and a letter was sent by the Minister to Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief, Eddie Erasmus, addressing the Tłı̨chǫ Land Use Plan and the Tłı̨chǫ Financing Agreement Renewal.
Activities: 2013-2014 – 2014-2015
The TG and Canada continued to meet and discuss renewal of the Financing Agreement.
Canada and the TG will continue to negotiate the terms of a renewed Tłı̨chǫ Financing Agreement.
Under the Economic Measures Chapter of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, Canada and the GNWT are committed to promoting the economic interests of Tłı̨chǫ , including support for the traditional economy, the development of businesses, and the creation of job and training programs. Furthermore, when the GNWT and Canada propose economic development programs related to the objectives of this chapter, they must consult with the TG.
The Agreement requires the governments to meet with the TG, not less than once every three years, to review the effectiveness of programs relating to the objectives and measures of the Economic Measures chapter.
The IC agreed that a workshop on economic measures should be organized, which would look at economic development and contracting programs and policies.
An Economic Development Programs Workshop, facilitated by the IC, was held on June 8th in Behchokǫ̀ and June 9th in Yellowknife. Goals and possible activities for the next phase of the Review, specifically activities that would support economic opportunities, were discussed by the IC.
The TG has started internal work to explore economic measures practices to guide the next steps and provide recommendations on the next phase of the review. The TG is preparing a Tłı̨chǫ business list that will be shared with Canada and the GNWT. Canada offered to present a contracting session to the Tłı̨chǫ Chiefs, and also to provide information regarding the Aboriginal Economic Development Board.
Canada provided specific funding to the TG to conduct research on how best to assist Tłı̨chǫ businesses. Pursuant to the funding agreement, the research must be completed by March 31, 2014.
The TG completed an assessment of the economic impact of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement on the NWT and regional economy. The assessment addresses the impact of the TG as well as its corporate entities. This work is expected to guide the IC as it moves forward with a review of the economic measures chapter of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement.
When completed, the TG will distribute its Tłı̨chǫ business list to Canada and the GNWT.
Implementation Plan Review
Chapter 5 of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement refers to an Implementation Plan, which contains Activity Sheets that describe how the parties will go about implementing the activities and obligations required to fulfill the Agreement, as well as an estimate of the associated costs. The IC is required to initiate and complete a review of the first Implementation Plan and, if necessary, revise the schedule of activities, reallocate resources, and amend or negotiate a new Implementation Plan.
Activities: 2013-2014 – 2014-2015
The IC discussed the upcoming expiry of the first ten year Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Plan (August 3, 2015), associated implementation funding levels and next steps. The parties assigned members to a working group responsible for reviewing and recommending to the IC a new draft Implementation Plan. The working group has made substantial progress in reviewing the existing IP and identifying areas for revision.
Recipients of implementation funding under the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement (the Wek'èezhìı Renewable Resources Board, the Wek'èezhìı Land and Water Board, the Dispute Resolution Administrator, the Cultural Coordinator and the GNWT) will be required to prepare funding submissions for Canada, outlining and substantiating their implementation funding requirements for the next 10-year implementation period.
The working group will complete a draft implementation plan for review by the IC, and implementation bodies will prepare funding submissions for Canada's consideration.
Tłı̨chǫ Citizens List
The TG is working on this year's Tłı̨chǫ Citizens list which will be shared with Canada and the GNWT once it is complete.
The TG and Canada will continue discussions with Individual Affairs within INAC, regarding secure status cards and implications for Tłı̨chǫ Citizens.
The following files were mainly approached outside of the Tłı̨chǫ Implementation Committee. However, updates have been provided to all parties.
1. NWT Devolution
Discussions between Canada and the GNWT on the devolution of jurisdiction for land and resources lead to the signing of the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement on June 25th, 2013. The Devolution Agreement sets out the effective date for the transfer of responsibilities and authorities associated with the management of Crown lands and resources in the Northwest Territories, as of April 1st, 2014. Its implementation will mean that some obligations and activities of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement and corresponding Implementation Plan will transfer from Canada to the GNWT.
2. Regularity Review
The Action Plan to Improve the Northern Regulatory Regimes was announced by INAC in 2010. The purpose of the Action Plan is to complete and strengthen current regulatory regimes in the North. The initiative focuses on:
- Providing more efficient and effective processes through legislative and regulatory change;
- Enhancing environmental monitoring, through implementing the NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and the Nunavut General Monitoring Plan;
- Reflecting a strong Aboriginal voice in the northern regulatory regime.
3. Surface Rights Board Legislation
The federal Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board Act was passed on June 19th, 2013 in response to Canada's obligations arising from both the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement and the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement, to establish surface rights legislation in the Northwest Territories. With the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement pending, government made the decision to form the Surface Rights Board under a territorial Surface Rights Board Act .
The purpose of the Act is to set out an orderly process to resolve disputes concerning the terms and conditions of access, and the compensation to be paid with respect to that access, relating to Gwich’in lands, Sahtu lands, Tłı̨chǫ lands, Inuvialuit lands or other lands, such as private, Commissioner's, or Crown land in the Northwest Territories. The Surface Rights Board will settle disputes between holders of surface or subsurface rights and the owner or occupant of the surface when an agreement cannot be reached by the parties through negotiation or mediation.
Sections 8 and 33 of the Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board Act respecting the operations of the Surface Rights Board including its authority to consider an application for an Order do not come into effect until June 19th, 2015.
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