How do we get to a Gwich'in government and where are we now?
Gwich’in are currently in the negotiation phase of the government process. It will take a few years to negotiate our Gwich’in Collaborative Government agreement. Here is an overview of the process:
The agreement-in-principle (AiP) is our roadmap to collaborative government. The AiP is not as detailed as the Final Agreement. Each chapter in the AiP represents a component or jurisdiction of the final Gwich’in Collaborative Government agreement. In 2022, completed the draft AiP which contains 21 chapters.
You can read AiP chapter summaries here.
At the 2021 Annual General Assembly it was agreed by the Assembly to proceed to a Final Agreement. This means the negotiation process will continue with all parties, the Government of Canada, Government of the Northwest Territories and the Regional Gwich’in Collaborative, meeting on a regular bases to finalize the chapters outlined in the AiP.
The Regional Gwich’in Collaborative, on behalf of the partner communities, has negotiated each chapter of the AiP with the Government of Canada, and the Government of the Northwest Territories. The parties have agreed to each chapter and are now transitioning into the final agreement negotiations.
Negotiations take place at main table meetings. All parties are present at these meetings where they discuss each chapter in detail. The negotiating team establishes the Gwich’in position on each chapter based on community feedback. Following the meetings, the negotiating team discusses outcomes with community and listens to feedback. This process will continue until each chapter is finalized.
Gwich’in will vote on approving the final agreement. All eligible Gwich’in voters will have the opportunity to vote 'yes' or 'no'.
Gwich’in Government Final Agreement
If Gwich’in vote 'yes' for Gwich'in governance, the Government of Canada and the GNWT will approve the Gwich'in Collaborative Government agreement through legislation. The final agreement will be a legally binding document, enforceable by law.