[excerpt] At the Gwich'in annual general assembly last week, Chief Hebert Blake of the Inuvik Native Band says the Gwich'in Tribal Council needs to approach the devolution process carefully. - Shawn Giilck/NNSL photo ...
Patrick Tomlinson, the director of intergovernmental affairs for the GTC, provided a report with those figures listed. He said the $7.5 million was a conservative estimate of what the organization could expect with increased powers over resource management being handed to the GNWT.
While that was welcomed as good news by the assembly, some members were lukewarm over the process. Blake was among them. He said he didn't want the chance to receive and invest the money from the resource revenues to overwhelm the need to manage the land responsibly and according to tradition.
“We're comfortable with where we're going (with devolution)," said Alexie.
The issue has been a contentious one for the Gwich'in people. The GTC had launched a court case against the territorial and federal governments over the devolution process a few years ago. That lawsuit argued the Gwich'in people had been properly consulted. Following the GTC dropping its lawsuit, the council signed the final agreement in October 2012.
In his comments, Alexie reminded the assembly that decision was made after the council heard from the legal counsel handling the case that there was less than a 50 per cent chance of winning the lawsuit.