How Negotiations Work

The Parties are currently negotiating the different chapters of the agreement. This is the longest and most difficult part of the negotiations.

The Parties bring their ideas and positions to the negotiations in two main ways: they table papers on different subjects or they propose a draft chapter to include in the agreement. Then the other parties give their comments back or suggest different wordings.

The Main Table also uses some subject-specific Working Groups to help make progress on topics outside of the Main Table negotiations. When they are able to come to consensus, these working groups can bring recommendations to the Main Table. In other cases, they will bring key issues to the Main Table for the negotiators to deal with. There are currently working groups for lands issues, legal issues, financial issues, implementation planning and communications.


Over time, the Parties start putting a draft of the agreement together piece by piece, noting areas where the parties have different positions or where additional discussion is needed. This document is called a “rolling draft”. This version of the agreement is just a working document. It is not official and it does not mean the parties have agreed to the language in the draft yet.

Once the negotiators reach agreement on a draft, they will get approval to sign it and take it forward for ratification by their Party. This is when each government has to get the agreement formally approved. The first step will be to put it to a vote of the membership of the Behzi Adha" First Nation (BAFN) and the Land Corporation. If this vote is successful, it will go to a vote in the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories and in the Parliament of Canada. Once the agreement is approved by all parties, it will become law.

Who pays for the negotiations?

The Dehlà Got’įne participation in self-government negotiation is funded through a Contribution Agreement from the department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC).

Funding is provided each year based on a proposal submitted by the Behzi Adha" First Nation (BAFN).