Chief says Dene snubbed on Arctic

Norman Yakeleya participating in a drum dance in Deline, NT. (Photo courtesy of Deline Gotine)

Dene Nation National Chief Norman Yakeleya is questioning why the Dene Nation was not consulted in the recent creation of a new Arctic Region.

He points out that Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the people of the North are living in the front lines of climate change.

Yakeleya says that the Dene are also people of the North, so he is questioning why the Dene been left out of this process when Treaty 11 extends right to the Arctic Ocean.

He says that the Dene do have a place in the Arctic region and he’d like to be a part of the co-management decision making.

Yellowknife is the new regional operational base for the Coast Guard, created as part of the Arctic region.

Yakeleya says DFO and the Coast Guard have jurisdiction over Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake, but the Dene are not part of the new Arctic region – adding that doesn’t make sense to him.

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