The Modular Approach

The Dehlà Got’įne negotiation team identified early on that it was not interested in spending many years negotiating authorities in jurisdictions the community was not prepared to take on. Instead, it chose to take a “modular” approach to self-government. This is a new idea that was supposed to allow the Dehlà Go’tine to complete the negotiations more quickly and get the Dehlà Got’įne Government up and running sooner.

Unfortunately, after six years of negotiating a limited number of jurisdictions (core governance, administration of justice, community lands, local services and housing) the negotiations were not moving forward, mostly due to the GNWT’s position on some important issues. One example is that the GNWT does not want to include recognition of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) in our agreement. Another example is that they are insisting that the GNWT’s Core Principles and Objectives (CPOs) be included in the agreement, which would allow the GNWT to set objectives for the the Dehlà Got’įne Government’s programs. Both of these positions are non-starters for us and forced the negotiation team to take a different approach.

In June 2020, the negotiations formally changed to focus on a more limited set of powers that can be negotiated directly with Canada, which does have a mandate to implement UNDRIP.

The GNWT will continue to participate in the negotiations, but will have no authority to decide what goes in the agreement.

Under this model, the Dehlà Got’įne Government will be an Indigenous Government. We will only govern our own people. The GNWT will continue to contract with the Dehlà Got’įne Government to provide services to all residents of the community, but we will not be a public government.

For more information on the decision to change the focus of the first module of negotiations, read these two newsletters:

Here are some key points about the modular approach:

  • We intend to negotiate additional authorities and jurisdictions once the Dehlà Got’įne government has been up and running and has the people in place to do those negotiations.
  • Any additional authorities negotiated by the Dehlà Got’įne Government will be added to the self-government agreement over time.
  • It established the Dehlà Got’įne Government with stable federal funding through agreements that will last for five-year periods.

Here are the topics that will be included in Module 1, which is the agreement we are negotiating right now:

  • Definitions
  • General Provisions
  • Governance
  • Assets (management and administration)
  • Aspects of the Administration of Justice
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Taxation
  • Financial Principles
  • Transition
  • Review & Amendment
  • Ratification
  • Implementation
  • Future Subject Matters

Future subject matters can include a wide variety of things, for example:

  • Community Lands
  • Social Housing
  • Local Services
  • Language, culture and heritage
  • Education and training
  • Health and traditional healing
  • Tourism
  • Economic development
  • Income support
  • Child and family services
  • Adoption
  • Wills and estates
  • Policing and enforcement
  • Intoxicants
  • Gaming and gambling
  • Marriage
  • Trusteeship and guardianship
  • Management and regulation of lands and resources in the Dehlá Got’ı̨ne District
  • Dehlá Got’ı̨ne District governance arrangements
  • Management and administration of SDMCLCA assets other than settlement lands