Prime Minister Harper declares devolution agreement with Northwest Territories

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe federal government and the Northwest Territories have reached a long-awaited devolution deal.Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Yellowknife where the agreement-in-principle was made Monday afternoon.“Devolution is finally crossing the goal line,” said Harper. “It’s the beginning of a great new future.”The agreement ends formal negotiations and now shifts to consultation that are expected to end by April 2014 and the hope is then a final deal will be signed.The agreement will transfer federal power over land, water and resources to the people of the North. It essentially grants the territory province-like powers.In January, APTN National News reported four of the seven Aboriginal organizations agreed to sign the devolution agreement-in-principle.One more has since then.They are the Northwest Territories Metis Nation, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Sahtu Secretariat, Gwich’in Tribal Council and Tlicho Nation.Still holding out are the Dehcho First Nations and the Akaitcho.The territorial government says they will do community information sessions across the territory before sealing the deal. The five Aboriginal groups which have signed on to the agreement-in-principle will have an opportunity to review the final deal, respond and decide whether to support it.Premier Robert McLeod said he’s still hopeful the two remaining Aboriginal groups who have not signed will get on board.last_img

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