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 is our roadmap for collaborative government. Each chapter in the AiP represents a component or jurisdiction that will be part of the Gwich’in Collaborative Government agreement. As of 2016, we have a draft AiP that contains 20 chapters. You can read AiP chapter summaries here.
The Regional Gwich’in Collaborative, on behalf of the partner communities, is negotiating each chapter of the AiP with the Government of Canada, and the Government of the Northwest Territories. All the parties involved must agree to each chapter in order to reach a final agreement.
Negotiations take place at main table meetings. All parties are present at these meetings where they discuss each chapter in detail. The negotiating team develops a Gwich’in position on each chapter based on community feedback. Following the meetings, the negotiating team discusses outcomes with community and asks for feedback. This process will continue until each chapter is negotiated.
Gwich’in need to vote to approve the final agreement. All eligible Gwich’in voters will have the opportunity to vote 'yes' or 'no'.
Gwich’in Self-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.