NWT Métis Nation Sign AiP to Ensure Participation in Devolution Negotiations

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February 9, 2011 - The President of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, Betty Villebrun, today signed the agreement-in-principle (AiP) on devolution formalizing their intent to be a part of negotiations towards a final agreement.

The AiP was previously signed by Northwest Territories Premier Floyd K. Roland, Chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Ms. Nellie Cournoyea, and Canadian Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians Mr. John Duncan.

“In signing the agreement-in-principle, we are in a position to influence the final agreement in the best interest of our citizens,” Ms. Villebrun noted. “Our future is in our hands and will be determined by our ability to move forward together, working cooperatively towards a final agreement from which all NWT residents will benefit from NWT decision making and resource development.”

“This agreement-in-principle represents an important step towards placing more decision making in the hands of the people and governments of the Northwest Territories,” said Minister Duncan. “I am very glad that President Betty Villebrun, on behalf of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, has signed on to this AiP. It is my sincere hope that other aboriginal groups will also join us in the near future. It is important that all of our organizations work together to help this process move ahead.”

“The AiP represents the possibilities that can be realized for our Territory,” Premier Roland said. “Signing the AiP will allow us to move forward – to take our rightful place as decision makers in the NWT, capitalize on the rich potential of our resources and fully realize the opportunities and choices that the future holds for our people.”

Premier Roland also reiterates his hope that other Aboriginal governments will join in the next phase of the devolution negotiations process whenever they are ready.

“As leaders, we have always sought and found unity when we have focussed on our future,” the Premier noted. “There is a place at the table waiting for each of our territory’s regional Aboriginal leaders.”

For more information on devolution: http://www.executive.gov.nt.ca/initiatives/Devolution/

For more information, contact:

Press Secretary
Office of the Premier/Cabinet
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 669-2302