Concluding and Implementing Land Claim and Self-Government Agreements



  • Délįnę Final Self-government Agreement (2015)

Agreement Type

  • Stand-alone Self-Government Agreement that establishes a community-based, public Aboriginal government


  • Délįnę Land Corporation

  • Délįnę Dene Band

  • Government of Canada 

  • Government of the Northwest Territories

Map of Settlement Region


The Délįnę self-government negotiations have concluded. A ratification vote by Délįnę First Nation citizens approved the Délįnę Final Agreement (FSGA) in March 2014. All parties, including the Délįnę First Nation Band, Délįnę Land Corporation, the GNWT and Canada, signed the FSGA in February, 2015. To complete the ratification process the Délįnę Self Government Act (Bill 46) was given assent by the Commissioner on March 12, 2015, and Canada passed federal legislation in June 2015. The parties have agreed to an effective date of September 1, 2016, a date that is set by Order-in-Council. Délįnę, the GNWT and Canada are working collaboratively on the completion of bilateral and joint pre-effective date activities, and each party is completing the internal work necessary to ensure that it is prepared to implement the FSGA on the effective date. 


The Délįnę FSGA provides for the creation of an Aboriginal public government.  On the effective date of the FSGA, the Délînê Land Corporation, Délįnę Financial Corporation, Charter Community of Délįnę,  and Délįnę Dene Band will be replaced by a new governance structure that will be called the Délįnę Got’įnę Government (DGG). The DGG is characterized as an "inclusive Aboriginal government" that represents all residents of Délįnę.  It will be responsible for the functions of a municipal government and will also have many of the same law-making powers as the GNWT.  The DGG will include an Elders Council, a Justice Council and a beneficiaries’ board that will provide direction on the management of the rights, benefits, lands and assets of the Sahtu Dene and Metis of Délįnę as set out in the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (SDMCLCA). Most of the law-making powers of the DGG will extend throughout the Délįnę District.  The Délįnę District is one of the three geographic areas that comprise the Sahtu Settlement Area.  The Délįnę Land Corporation, a designated Sahtu organization created pursuant to the SDMCLCA, currently owns the Sahtu lands in the district. Sahtu lands will transfer to the DGG upon Effective Date. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who was involved in the negotiations and how long did negotiations take?

The Sahtu Dene and Métis of Délįnę, as represented by the Délįnę Land Corporation and the Délįnę Dene Band, negotiated the FSGA with the Government of Canada, represented by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, and the GNWT, represented by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations.  Negotiations began in January 1997 and the agreement-in-principle (AIP) was signed in 2003 in Délįnę. Final agreement negotiations concluded in September 2012; the FSGA was initialled on December 16, 2013 and signed in February, 2015.

2. What was negotiated?

The parties negotiated a self-government agreement that clarifies and provides certainty as to how the Sahtu Dene and Métis of Délįnę will implement their inherent right to self-government.  The FSGA describes the structure of the DGG and the powers and authorities the DGG will hold. In addition to the FSGA, the parties to the agreement also developed an implementation plan, financing agreement and a tax-treatment agreement. These agreements play a crucial role in determining funding to be provided to the DGG and in setting out how obligations in the agreement will be implemented.

3. Have negotiations concluded and has the FSGA been approved?

 Negotiations are complete. As part of the ratification process, Délįnę beneficiaries voted to approve the FSGA on March 10-12, 2014. The vote was successful with 65% of eligible voters voting in favour of the agreement.  The FSGA was signed by the parties in February, 2015 and both Canada and the GNWT have since passed implementation legislation.  By Order in Council, the FSGA will come into effect on September 1, 2016.

4. How is the government structured?

The Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government is an Aboriginal public government composed of a Chief (ɂekw’ahtı̨dǝ́), a Main Council (Délı̨nę K’áowedó Kǝ), a Justice Council (Dene K’ǝ Dats’eredı Kǝ) and an Elder’s Council (Délı̨nę ɂǫhda K’áowǝ Kǝ).

5. How are residents of Délı̨nę who are not beneficiaries represented?

Self-government will represent and serve all residents of Délı̨nę through a new Aboriginal public government. The Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government’s programs and services will meet NWT-wide program and service standards and will respect the rights of non-Aboriginal residents. All residents of Délı̨nę who are Canadian citizens and meet age and residency requirements may run for office in the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government and may vote in elections, though there will be some positions that will only be open to Délı̨nę First Nation Citizens to run for and vote on.