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K’atlodeeche First Nation (KFN) has expressed its concerns over the recent signing of a self-government framework agreement by the Northwest Territory Metis Nation (NWTMN) and the federal and territorial governments.

In a May 20 notice to members from chief and council, KFN stated that it has made it clear to Canada and the GNWT for the past eight years that it will challenge any final agreement between those governments and the NWTMN that includes or affects Katl’odeeche Got’i Ndee, the KFN’s primary traditional territory.

The notice to members stated that, in a letter early last year to Canada and the GNWT, KFN said that a self-government framework agreement as it applies to KFN traditional territory would be an infringement on its Aboriginal and treaty rights.

“In that same letter, KFN asked the following question: ‘Based on what evidence have Canada and the GNWT concluded that the Metis ancestors of the NWTMN used, occupied and practiced self-government within Katl’odeeche Got’i Ndee prior to the assertion of Canada’s sovereignty (as did KFN’s ancestors) such that they have acquired use, occupancy and now self-government rights within this territory?’” the notice to members stated. “To date, no credible evidence of historic use and occupancy within Katl’odeeche Got’i Ndee has been provided to KFN by the NWTMN or by Canada and the GNWT.”

KFN added that it has consistently insisted that the only way to avoid a “significant infringement” on its rights and titles within Katl’odeeche Got’i Ndee is to move the NWTMN agreement area boundary to the east of its traditional territory.

Chief April Martel did not respond to repeated requests for comment before press deadline.

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The framework agreement on self-government was signed on May 19 by the Northwest Territory Metis Nation and the federal and territorial governments.

It is designed to guide negotiations toward a final agreement as part of the Northwest Territory Metis Nation land claim negotiations process. It outlines the process for self-government negotiations, including governance of the Northwest Territory Metis Nation entities, legal status and capacity of Metis governments, administration of lands, Metis government finances, law-making authority, implementation plans, and elections for Metis government.

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