The negotiations mandates are key to informing the Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT) participation in the negotiations of Aboriginal Rights Agreement as they set out the interests guiding the negotiators in concluding agreements.
The GNWT is currently negotiating 17 Aboriginal Rights Agreements and has settled 5 agreements. All commitments made through negotiations of these Aboriginal Rights Agreements must be considered through the lens of how it can be fully implemented in all agreements. This means that the GNWT must consider how provisions in the Aboriginal Rights Agreement may affect all other Aboriginal Rights Agreements. The GNWT seeks to be flexible and open during negotiations and find solutions which reflect the interests and the vision of the Indigenous government, however much of the rationale as described in these negotiations mandate is rooted in the practical limitations of negotiating and implementing all Aboriginal Rights Agreements in the NWT.
The obligations on the GNWT as set out in an Aboriginal Rights Agreement needs to take into account the practical realities of implementing the Aboriginal Rights Agreement, the resource and capacity limitations of the GNWT, and the potential impacts it may have on the GNWT’s ability to deliver programs and services. The GNWT does not currently transfer any self-government funding through the implementation of Aboriginal Rights Agreements. This is a responsibility of the Government of Canada (Canada). Separate Fiscal Agreements will set out the transfer of resources from the GNWT to Indigenous Governments in areas in which the GNWT is currently responsible for program and service delivery.