The Negotiations division is responsible for leading the GNWT’s participation at all land, resources and self-government negotiations in the NWT. Aboriginal rights negotiations are underway in all regions of the NWT as Aboriginal governments seek to confirm their Aboriginal and treaty rights in the NWT. The GNWT, as a full partner to these negotiations, continues to promote workable and affordable agreements that will provide certainty, confirm and clarify Aboriginal rights.

The federal policy on the inherent right to self-government was adopted in 1995, setting the stage for self-government negotiations in Canada and the NWT. Aboriginal rights negotiations in the NWT are guided by a framework that includes the federal Inherent Right Policy, Comprehensive Land Claims Policy, and Specific Claims Policy.

The need for negotiations arises from:

  • Differing understandings between the Crown and First Nations of what was agreed upon at the time Treaties  8 and 11 were signed;
  • Absence of a Treaty with certain Aboriginal peoples indigenous to the NWT; 
  • Need to clarify the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of the NWT; and
  • Need to set out how the NWT Aboriginal peoples’ inherent right to self-government will be implemented.