Concluding and Implementing Land Claim and Self-Government Agreements

Gwich'in (Self-Government)

Negotation Type

Self-Government Agreement

Existing Agreements

Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim (1992)

    Negotiation Parties

    • Gwich'in Tribal Council
    • Government of Canada
    • Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)


    Map of the Settlement Area

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Overview

    On April 22, 1992, the Gwich’in Tribal Council, the GNWT, and the Government of Canada signed the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement and the accompanying Implementation Plan. The Agreement took effect on December 22, 1992. Chapter 5 of the Gwich’in Agreement provides that Government and the Gwich’in can negotiate self-government agreements appropriate to the unique circumstances of the Gwich’in and in conformity with the Constitution of Canada. A self-government agreement would be brought into effect through federal or territorial legislation, or both. The Gwich'in, GNWT and Canada are currently negotiating a self-government agreement.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Who are the Gwich’in?
    The Gwich’in have traditionally used and occupied lands in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon from time immemorial. The Gwich’in Tribal Council represents Dene people indigenous to the Gwich’in Settlement Area, including the following designated Gwich’in organizations: Gwichya Gwich'in Council (Tsiigehtchic), Tetlit Gwich'in Council (Fort McPherson), Ehdiitat Gwich'in Council (Aklavik), and Nihtat Gwich'in Council (Inuvik).

    2. Who are the parties involved in the negotiations? 
    The Gwich'in Tribal Council, the Government of Canada, and the Government of the Northwest Territories are negotiating this agreement.

    3. Why are the parties negotiating?
    Chapter 5 of the Gwich’in Agreement provides that Government and the Gwich’in can negotiate self-government agreements appropriate to the unique circumstances of the Gwich’in and in conformity with the Constitution of Canada. The parties are also negotiating to implement the Gwich’in inherent right to self-government.

    4. What are the negotiations about?
    Self-government will provide the Gwich’in with the ability to make decisions at the regional level. The completed Final Self-Government Agreement is expected to implement the Gwich’in’s inherent right to self-government by describing the structure and powers of its government.

    5. What stage are the negotiations at? What is the next step in the negotiation process?
    Negotiators for the parties completed a first full draft of an AIP on April 8, 2016. The parties are in the process of reviewing the AIP internally.