The Final Self-Government Agreement (FSGA) is an agreement between the Délînê First Nation Band, the Délînê Land Corporation, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and the Government of Canada (Canada). Once approved, the FSGA will create the Délînê Got’înêGovernment (DGG), through which the people of Délînê will exercise their right to self-government. [toggle title_closed=”History (click to open)” title_open=”History” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”white”] Under the Sahtu Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement the Government of Canada agreed to negotiate community self-government agreements with the Sahtu Dene and Metis. There are five communities that fall within the Comprehensive Land Claim[highlight]Sahtu Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement[/highlight] Agreement. So far, Deline, Tulita and Norman Wells are the only communities who have entered into negotiations for a self-government agreement. Currently, Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake are initiating their processes. [highlight]The Délı̨nę Self-government Agreement-in-Principle (AIP)[/highlight] was signed August 23, 2003. The Délı̨nę self-government AIP is the first to be negotiated on a community basis in the Sahtú Region under the Sahtú Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. The AIP paved the way for more detailed negotiations to achieve a Final Self-Government Agreement. Parties to the negotiations are the Délı̨nę Dene Band, the Délı̨nę Land Corporation, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories. The AIP envisions a new governance system that addresses the needs of all residents of Délı̨nę, through the Délı̨nę First Nation Government (DFNG). This is an Aboriginal public government composed of an ?Ehkw’atide (Government Leader), a Main Council, a Justice Council and an Elders Council. The AIP recognizes law making and administrative powers of the DFNG, including the delivery of programs and services in the areas of culture, language, education, social services, Délı̨nę First Nation citizenship, elections, and local government services. [highlight]The Final Self-Government Agreement (FSGA)[/highlight] is the culmination of more than 14 years of negotiation between Deline and its government partners: the Governments of Canada and of the Northwest Territories. It is unique to the specific circumstances and aspirations of the people of Délįne. It combines the following three institutions and authorities:
- the Délįne First Nation self government authorities under the federal Inherent Right Policy;
- community public government authorities similar to those described in NWT municipal legislation;
- the responsibilities and authorities of the community as exercised by Deline Land Corporation and its subsidiaries as described in the SDMCLCA.
- It is through the DGG that the Sahtu Dene and Métis of Délînê will exercise their right to self-government.
- The DGG will be a one-stop government. It will replace the Charter Community, the Délînê Land Corporation and the Délînê First Nation Band and provide all the same functions and services as these organisations did before.
- It will also have many new powers and responsibilities.
- The DGG will have law-making powers over local matters and many programs and services that are now handled by either the GNWT or Canada. It will also have law-making powers for Aboriginal matters for the Délînê Got’înê.
Aboriginal public governmentSelf-government will represent and serve all residents of Délînê through a new Aboriginal public government. The DGG will be able to shape programs and services using Dene culture and language. DGG programs and services will meet NWT-wide program and service standards. The DGG will respect the rights of non-Aboriginal residents.
More control and greater accountabilitySelf-government will give the people of Délînê more control over the decisions that affect their daily lives, including how programs and services are delivered. With self-government more decisions will be made at the local level and the people who make those decisions will be accountable to the community.
Restoring the Délînê Got’înê’s authority to govern themselvesSelf-government provides the Délînê Got’înê important tools to re-establish their authority to govern themselves. Governance tools include:
- a constitution (Délînê Got’înê Æeæadó) that will be drafted by the Délînê Got’înê and voted on by all Délînê Land Corporation beneficiaries and Délînê First Nation Band members
- greater control in areas like language, culture, spirituality, child and family services and education
- access to predictable and stable funding to operate the Délînê Got’înê Government (DGG).
One-stop governmentThe DGG will be a one-stop government. It will replace the Charter Community, the Délînê Land Corporation and the Délînê First Nation Band and provide all the same functions and services as these organisations did before. The DGG will be a strong government where Délînê Got’înê play a central role. The DGG will make it easier and more efficient to get things done:
- Community capacity and resources won’t be split between different organisations.
- Planning and priorities will be easier to coordinate.
- No need to deal with barriers created by the mandates of different organisations.
- Residents will be able to get much of the government information and service they need in one place.
- The self-government agreement will give the DGG the ability to deliver education for kindergarten to grade 12, early childhood education programs and adult education and training.
- The DGG can assume responsibility for protecting children and can develop programs that support children and families. This can include adoptions.
- Through the DGG, Délînê Got’înê will have greater control over traditional healing practices and traditions, as well as the opportunity to participate in local delivery of federal and territorial health care programs.
- The DGG may create their own income assistance or social housing programs.
[ilink url=”http://www.deline.ca/self-government/”]Return to the Self-Government Home Page[/ilink]