Agreement-in-Principle and Final Agreement
On July 14, 2008 the initial Framework Agreement for the community comprehensive land-claims process was signed by the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Acho Dene Koe First Nation.
It is important to recognize that during the negotiation process, Acho Dene Koe First Nation represents the Dene of Fort Liard as well as the decedents of the Métis who used and occupied Acho Dene Koe First Nation asserted territory before July 21, 1922.
Together, the parties committed to a two-phased approach to the land, resources and self-government negotiations. Phase One negotiations will focus on land and resources, while Phase Two negotiations will focus on self-government.
The Framework Agreement states that Phase One negotiations will be community based, while Phase Two will be negotiated within a regional context. In the Framework Agreement, the parties determined that self-government negotiations will not begin until at least 10 years after the lands and resources agreement is signed.
Following the signing of the Framework Agreement, the parties began to draft the Acho Dene Koe First Nation Agreement-in-Principle, which laid the foundation for the final land and resources agreement.
Between 2008 and 2014 the parties discussed land, financial payments, harvesting rights, public community government, citizenship and a range of other issued as part of the Agreement-in-Principle negotiations. As a result of the tripartite effort in February 2014 an Agreement-in-Principle was signed by Acho Dene Koe, and the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories.
In doing so, Acho Dene Koe entered into the last stage of Phase One: the negotiation of a Final Agreement. The signing of the Agreement-in-Principle has also given Acho Dene Koe a mandate to pursue their land-claims in British Columbia and Yukon.
It is anticipated that Final Agreement negotiations will be completed in 2015 or 2016. Once concluded and signed by all parties, the Final Agreement will signify the end of Phase One, becoming the first community-based land and resources agreement in the Northwest Territories.