While the premier of the Northwest Territories is touting the devolution agreement signed in Yellowknife on Mar. 11 as a “done deal,” federal Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC) Minister Bernard Valcourt said last week the consensus draft is anything but final.
“No agreement has been reached yet. There is a consensus on the terms of the agreement. The consultation must take place, it is taking place and when this has been accomplished we will know what the conditions will be,” Valcourt said during a special committee of the whole meeting that focused on AANDC Thursday evening in Ottawa.
Valcourt’s words were in response to a question from Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington asking why the federal government did not consult all the First Nations in the territory prior to negotiating the devolution deal with the territorial government.10