Indigenous Reconciliation and Governance
Concluding agreements with the Indigenous governments of the Northwest Territories will advance reconciliation by recognizing and affirming Aboriginal and treaty rights, as well as creating the capacity for Indigenous governments to deliver programs and services and pursue their economic, social and cultural priorities.
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Self-government and land claim agreements
Concluding land claim and self-government agreements and fulfilling ongoing obligations to implement existing agreements is a cornerstone of the GNWT’s relationships with Indigenous governments. Budget 2021 supports the GNWT’s continuing efforts to confirm and implement Indigenous governments' Aboriginal and treaty rights. We do this by working trilaterally with the Government of Canada and each Indigenous government on their individual processes.
The GNWT is working collaboratively with the Tłı̨chǫ Government and Government of Canada to examine possible next steps in creating a Wek’èezhı̀ı Area Land Use Plan for public lands. Budget 2021 supports these efforts by providing $253,000 to staff the Wek’èezhı̀ı Land Use Planning Office. Budget 2021 also includes $309,000 to address untenured and unauthorized occupancy on public lands. The GNWT will work with Indigenous governments and organizations to help them identify and keep track of all cabins so that we can ensure that Aboriginal and treaty rights are respected.
Training and education
Budget 2021 will support the implementation of Living Well Together: a new Indigenous Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Training program for GNWT employees. This training will help GNWT employees understand their roles in reconciliation and provide the tools for them to take action. Budget 2021 also includes $600,000 to develop an Indigenous Languages Adult Immersion Diploma in partnership with Aurora College, the University of Victoria and Indigenous governments. This program will
strengthen Indigenous languages in the NWT and supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 16 for “post-secondary institutions to create university and college degree and diploma programs in Aboriginal Languages.” The GNWT will also create two new positions in 2021 ($222,000) to help residents seeking school records to take part in the Indian Day Schools Class Action Settlement.