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Tuesday May 26 2015 11 POLITICS FIRST NATIONS NOW ONLINE NWT Licensed Child Day Care Program Inspection Information Parents and the public can view annual licensing inspection information on-line. Licencing inspections that take place after April 12015 will have information posted on ECEs website Dehcho First Nations GNWT clear slate to resume talks By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Lastweekmarkedasigni- cant breakthrough in land claim negotiations between the territorial government and the Dehcho First Na- tions DFN with negotiating teams making amends after monthsofhardballtacticsleft talks at a standstill. The two parties signed an agreement last Wednesday binding them to negotiating ingoodfaithwithoneanother and wiping the slate clean of past accusations. Basically what it came down to was a standoff and I guessinordertotryandbring things back to reality what we needed to do was wrestle withastatementofgoodfaith an agreement thats going to actually bring the groups to- gether and the rules of how were going to conduct our- selvessaidDFNGrandChief Herb Norwegian. What brought that on was just the accusations that went back and forth over the last few months where it - nally got to the point where no one was actually negoti- ating. It came down to tak- ing a break and it was sug- gested that what we needed was to arrive at a statement or an agreement that would actually tie people together to negotiations on how this discussion will take place. The agreement requires all partiestoparticipateinnego- tiationswithasinceredesireto successfullyconcludenegotia- tions without any ill intent or improper motives including dishonesty fraud or intention to frustrate the negotiations andtodealhonestlyandclearly with each other but does not preclude parties from taking rmpositionstheotherparty mightndobjectionablepro- vided the motive is justied. Italsocharacterizesthecall- ing into question of the other partys motives at the table or in the media as unproductive andthatallegationsofimproper conductwillbetakenseriously and halt negotiations. MartinGoldneythedeputy minister for Aboriginal Af- fairs and Intergovernmental Relations in the NWT said the agreement resulted from a move by DFN to withdraw previous accusations that the GNWTwasnotconductingne- gotiations in good faith. The Dehcho First Nations clariedandretractedanum- berofstatementsallegingbad faithonthepartofthegovern- mentoftheNorthwestTerrito- riessoaswewerehavingthese discussionswealsoidentied the need to have a statement ofprinciplesofgoodfaiththat could help guide the process moving forward and give all partiescondencethatwecould haveproductiveandrespectful negotiations Goldney said. Negotiations on land quan- tum and management will now take place over the com- ing months including rep- resentatives from Canada. The next main table talks are scheduled for mid-June. GNWTs offer wont change Goldney Though the agreement clearstheairmovingforward Goldney signalled that the GNWTs offer on land quan- tum will remain the same. We dont see a new offer fromtheGNWTforthcoming Goldney said. The premiers been very clear that the offer that is on the table is really the extent of our mandate but we do think that hav- ing more discussions at the negotiationtablewillallowfor more information exchange and hopefully appreciation for that offer will continue to grow. Negotiations broke down earlier this year after the GNWT made a nal offer on land quantum in January that DFN rejected. Further attempts at going back to the table failed to solve the im- passe with the GNWT con- tinuing to offer essentially the same quantity of land and DFN repeatedly reject- ing the offer. That offer would give DFN ownership of 33488 square- km of land with both surface andsubsurfacetitleor37500 square-km of land with only surfacetitleplus17.78percent generalizedinterestinallsub- surface oil gas and minerals. An Apr. 29 letter from Pre- mier Bob McLeod to DFN reiterated that the offer was generous and that negotia- tions would cease if DFN did not accept it. FortheGNWTcontinuing negotiations in the absence of sufcient common ground to concludeanagreementisapoor use of limited resources and will likely only result in dam- age to the relationship among the parties McLeod wrote. The Dehcho are looking for moreland.Basedoncompari- sons to the Tlicho which was offered 39000 square-km of surface title Norwegian said an equal deal for DFN based on their higher popu- lation count should amount toaround50000square-km. Prior to getting back to the table Norwegian said DFN leaders and elders will con- vene to sort out the specics of what they want to see on the issue of land quantum. We need to have a really strong thinktank on how we want to approach this whole issueoflandbecauseitsgoing to be a major undertaking he said. We have some basic principlesandoutlinesonhow we want to approach it but I think we need to tighten that up a bit and be very specic on what it is were going to in- struct our negotiators. ThoughNorwegiansaidthe newfound peace accord with the GNWT doesnt guarantee the government is willing to move on its offer it does pro- vide a path moving forward. I wouldnt say exibility buttherewillbeopennessthat wasnt there before he said. The discussion would have tobecordialandaboveboard and thats what we wanted. Study estimates 200 billion barrels of shale oil below NWT By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Thersteverassessmentof unconventional oil resources in the Northwest Territo- ries conrms there could be close to 200 billion barrels of shale resources beneath the surface in the territorys two major plays. The joint assessment re- leased last week by the Na- tional Energy Board and NWT Geological Survey makes estimates for the Canol and Bluefish shale plays in the Central Mack- enzie region. The assessment estimates a volume of 145 billion bar- rels of shale oil within the Canol and another 46 bil- lion barrels in the thinner Bluesh shale. The amount of recover- able oil was not estimated because well-test results are not yet publicly available and there is still uncertainty about whether the shales are capable of production states the joint news release issued last Friday. How- ever if only one per cent of the in-place resource was recovered from the Canol Shale it would represent a marketable resource of 1.45 billion barrels. NWT Industry Tour- ism and Investment Min- ister David Ramsay said the study confirms what the government has known all along about significant petroleum potential in the Sahtu region. Scientific research in the NWT provides critical data for decision-making about land and resource manage- ment he said. This new research complements the ongoing science to monitor permafrost seismic activity and water in the region. If developed these petroleum resources would create jobs and business opportuni- ties and provide royalties to the GNWT and Aborig- inal governments to sup- port investment in North- ern priorities. Both the Canol and Blue- sh plays would be developed through hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Fourteen exploration li- censes have been granted in the Canol play since 2010-11 for a total of 627.5 million in work-bid commitments. Seven exploration wells have been drilled since 2012 though there are no active projects currently. Husky Energy withdrew its plans to frack up to four horizontal wells near Nor- man Wells last winter while ConocoPhillips has yet to tar- get any capital funds to con- tinuing its exploratory frack- ingintheareaandlikelywont until 2016 at the earliest ac- cording to the company. T he t wo pl ay s f a l l within the Mackenzie Arc exploration region located in the Northern Canadian Mainland Sedimentary Basin. INDUSTRY OIL GAS Negotiations over land in the Dehcho will resume in mid-June between Canada the GNWT and the First Nations. PhotocourtesyofPewTrusts