Northern Canadian community close to self-government

Deline’s chief self-government negotiator, Danny Gaudet. (Eilís Quinn, Radio Canada International)Agreement will merge Deline’s municipal government with band council

After 16 years of negotiations, Deline, a predominantly Dene community in Canada’s Northwest Territories, is set to become the first community in the territory with a stand-alone self-government agreement.

The Deline Self Government Agreement is close to being ratified by the territorial and federal governments along with the Deline First Nation.

The agreement will merge municipal government with the band council to form a new governing body called the Deline Gotine Government.

The deal will allow aboriginal people to shape their own future, said chief negotiator Danny Gaudet.

“We have the ability to take down powers over education, social services, justice, culture and language,” he said.

“What it does is it simplifies the system. It provides all the co-ordination of all the energy that’s required by everybody in the community to work towards common goals, common visions of the community.”

The community-based government will serve approximately 900 members.

Funding is through a five-year agreement with the federal and territorial governments.

The Deline First Nation will also have the ability to generate its own revenue.

Negotiators in Deline are meeting with band members to talk about the deal they reached in the fall and get their approval to move forward.

If all goes well the First Nation will have self-governance this time next year.

Related Link:

Creating an economy in a small northern town: Spotlight Deline, Radio Canada International

Photo Gallery: Deline, Canada, Radio Canada International

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