Leaders in Canada’s Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) sign a final devolution deal with the federal government today to transfer authority over land, water, and resources to the territory.
Final preparations are underway in Inuvik for today’s signing ceremony, which will begin at 6 p.m. MT with drumming and a prayer, and end with a feast.
“The aboriginal groups and the territorial government have been negotiating for a while,” said Peter Clarkson, N.W.T.’s regional director for the Beaufort Delta, and one of the organizers for the event.
“I think it’s going to be a great ceremony. It’s one of those moments in time we will always look back on this and this was the signing of the devolution agreement.”
Negotiations on the deal concluded in March. MLAs voted to approve the deal earlier this month.
NWT Premier Bob McLeod will sign for the territory, with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt for the federal government.
Regional leaders from five of the territory’s seven aboriginal groups will also sign on to the deal.
The agreement will take effect next April.
Timeline | N.W.T. Devolution, CBC News