Déline says new Legislative Assembly did not ‘honour’ government-to-government relationship

Délı̨ne Chief Leeroy Andre at the Sahtú Secretariat Inc. annual assembly in August in Fort Good Hope. (Francis Tessier-Burns/CKLB).

The new government has not even had its first session yet, and MLAs have already ruffled some feathers with at least one Indigenous government.

Chief Leeroy Andre is calling out the government for not inviting the Déline Got’ine Government to participate in the Northern Leaders meeting in Yellowknife last week.

Chief Andre said communities like his are at a disadvantage compared to those close to Yellowknife who can meet regularly for MLAs.

“It costs me an arm and a leg to get there.”

A large part of the discussion at the meeting was about ongoing land claim and self-government negotiations.

Déline has already negotiated its self-government agreement so Andre said his community would have discussed the need for implementation.

Right now, he said, the GNWT is not offering enough support to implement self-government.

The Government of the Northwest Territories issued its own press release on the mix-up.

“We made the assumption that the Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated and the Sahtu Dene Council, both of whom were invited, were in a position to speak on behalf of all the communities of the Sahtu,” the release quoted Clerk Tim Mercer. “This is obviously not the case and I wish to extend a sincere apology to Ɂekw’ahtı̨dǝ́ Andre and the Délı̨nę K’aowǝdó Ke for this oversight. MLAs have made it clear that they recognize the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government and wish to engage in a respectful and productive government to government relationship with it, including participation at all similar meetings in the future.”


About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis was a reporter with CKLB from January 2019 to March 2023. In his time with CKLB, he had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures.