Sangris said the indigenous group is expected to reach an agreement in principle by May, but there are outstanding issues including fiscal powers, governance, fisheries and water rights. Sangris, who said his First Nation was ready to support mining on its land but needed to ensure “sensitive” areas were protected, said he expected a vote among members on the terms of the deal to take place in about a year. The Yellowknives Dene, part of the Akaitcho process, have claimed approximately 10 square kilometres of land in Yellowknife. Sangris announced news of a pending settlement at a council committee meeting monday. Another idea once the process is complete: build a museum, perhaps in Yellowknife, about the Dene in the Northwest Territories. Sangris said monday: “We have about 27 chapters [of a memorandum of understanding] that have been agreed. We`re just waiting for the word to say, OK, we`ve got it. An upcoming Akaitcho memorandum of understanding will bring Yellowknife closer to a significant economic boost, negotiator Fred Sangris told city councillors on Monday. The Agreement-in-Principle is an important step in land, resource and government negotiations on much of the land in the eastern Northwest Territories. It gives a glimpse of what the final agreement will look like. He said he hoped negotiations on a memorandum of understanding — a glimpse of what the final agreement should look like — would be completed within the next six to eight months, with a final vote by June 2020.
The Dene First Nations of the Akaitcho Territory are negotiating with the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories in accordance with the Framework Agreement of July 25, 2000 (“Akaitcho Agreement”); On July 25, 1900, Akaitcho chiefs met with federal officials at Fort Resolution to negotiate a path to coexistence. The verbal agreement they reached became known to Dene leaders as the “Treaty of Peace and Friendship.” He recognized the sovereignty of the Dene and gave the two nations the opportunity to “live side by side until the end of time,” according to Fred Sangris. This is something they are looking forward to. The three negotiators met with Trails End host Lawrence Nayally to discuss their new agreement in principle, how they got there and what`s next. Sangris said a priority once the Akaitcho process is complete is work on housing. He said that about 200 Members of the Yellowknives Dene need housing, but because the land they would occupy is not titled, they cannot build anything. It is expected that the Akaitcho process will at any time lead to an agreement-in-principle that will accelerate land development in the Yellowknife region, which has been linked for years. While reaching an agreement is a priority, he said he would like to see N`dilo take advantage of more economic opportunities, including employing more YKDFN members in the city. “One of the biggest concerns I`m being told right now is our position in terms of negotiations and the fact that there isn`t enough information leaking,” she said.
“People are not ready for ratification because people don`t know what`s in the agreement. That`s the number one people tell me. When they announce that they are close to ratification, people are not ready for the vote because they have not been included. The key for Akaitcho government negotiators is to settle a land claims agreement that preserves sovereignty. Like so many others this spring, a long-awaited tentative agreement for the Akaitcho land claim process has been delayed due to COVID-19. “We want our negotiations to continue, we want our complaints to be concluded, we don`t want to continue for another forty years.” Last year, negotiators from the Akaitcho Dene of Deninu Kue (Fort Resolution), Łutsel K`e Dene and Yellowknives Dene (Ndilo and Dettah) First Nations expressed hope that an agreement in principle would be reached by the end of June. Alty continued, “This will become a new relationship between the government that will also look at Yellowknife Bay, the lake and co-management agreements.” “We cannot reach [an agreement in principle] without our people,” Betsina said. “Our negotiating team is more or less waiting to meet to inform about our negotiations.” Four land, resource and self-government agreements are being negotiated in the Northwest Territories, six independent self-government agreements and two municipalities are working on the development of cross-border agreements. After reaching an agreement in principle, Sangris said it would take eight to 12 months for there to be a review and vote by the Akaitcho Dene before it was sent to Ottawa to be completed. This means that over the next few years, the citizens of Akaitcho will be invited to familiarize themselves with the agreement so that they are ready to vote on it. Acting chief Ernest Betsina said that after two terms, he saw four main issues that he still wanted to make sure they were addressed. .