About Self-Government

The Behzi Adha" First Nation (BAFN) is negotiating a self-government agreement with the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).

Canada and the GNWT recognize that we Dehlà Got’įne have an inherent right to govern ourselves. When they signed the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim in 1994, they committed that each Sahtu community would be able to negotiate a community-level self-government agreement when they were ready.

Our land claim was negotiated to make our land rights on our settlement lands clear.

Our self-government agreement will now build on our land claim to:

  • Establish the Dehlà Got’įne Government (DGG) as a recognized government with clear jurisdictions and authorities
  • Set up a new, more appropriate government-to-government relationship between our government, Canada and the GNWT.
  • Make sure our government gets regular funding from Canada that we can count on every year

Some of these goals will be reached in our first module of the negotiations and others will be reached in future modules of negotiations once our government is established and the GNWT has updated its negotiation mandate.

Here are some of the reasons our members have told us they want self-government:

  • So that decision-making and control over things that affect our community members every day is done by us, not other governments;
  • To be able to make our own decisions and govern ourselves according to our culture and traditions.
  • To have more control and influence on our traditional lands.
  • To have more tools to preserve our culture, language and traditions.
  • To have more control over lands, housing, justice and local services at the community level.