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NWT Mtis Nation signs AiP with territorial federal government Working to bring Hay River together again Tuesday August 11 2015 3 POLITICS MUNICIPAL www.rmwb.cachampions CITIZEN RECOGNITION PROGRAM 2015 Do you know an outstanding resident who deserves recognition by Mayor and Regional Council Wood Buffalo residents are invited to nominate fellow individuals or groups for their contributions to improve the community. Nominations are open until September 30 2015. Forms are available online and at your local municipal contact office. Visit www.rmwb.cachampions Continued from page 1. For some strikers the ratication of the new deal was bittersweet. It was a really weird feeling folding up the office Tybring said. You see these people who youve become so attached to and I became quite emotional about it to tell you the truth. These people have re- ally supported me when there have been dark days and these fellow strikers who have been in the bargaining unit have re- ally supported me and Ive tried to support them too when I see that theyre feeling down and I might have a little left over in the tank. Over the course of the strike tensions be- tween those in Hay River who supported the strike and those who opposed it were at an all time high. There was mudslinging on social media vandalism of property and harass- ment of strikers. Now the parties agree they need to turn their attention to rebuilding tattered com- munity ties. One of the things that Im going to be proposing is some kind of mediation Bourassa said. Theres a third-party me- diation service from outside the territo- ries who we might be able to avail upon to come and provide their services to see if we cant iron out some of the differ- ences and bring the parties closer together again. But of course were going to have to make a proposal and well see how that goes from there. At the town council meeting Cassidy applauded councillors for remaining pro- fessional throughout the strike refraining from engaging in skirmishes online or oth- erwise for the most part. Moving past the strike he encouraged residents to follow their example. There were things that were said that are going to cut a little bit deep. We have to move past that and I would implore the com- munity to look to the municipal leaders and take their example from how were moving forward with this he said. Partofthathealingprocesswillincludetown employees getting down to business. Once a notication process between the employees and the town is complete employees are ex- pected to start returning to work on Aug. 12. At that point priority projects neglected during the last six months will be assigned as Hay River starts to return to a state of normalcy. We all agree that there are no winners in a labour dispute whatsoever Cassidy said. Our workers were out on strike for about six months facilities were shut down for six months and it had a pretty signicant impact on the community on the council on the staff on the non-union staff. I dont know how you can claim victory. Nobody wins. Now we need to move forward as a community and put it all behind us. POLITICS ABORIGINAL GOVERNMENT Hay River town employees take their picket line to the outskirts of the Hay River Reserve where the NWT Communities Association hosted its AGM back in May. Now strikers and non-strikers alike will have to focus their energies on rebuilding community ties and picking up abandoned projects. By DALI CARMICHAEL After almost 20 years of negotiations the Northwest Territory Mtis Nation NWTMN has finally signed a lands and resources Agreement in Principle AiP with the fed- eral and territorial governments signifying a step towards autonomy for the northern indigenous group. The document was signed on July 31 by Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bernard Valcourt NWTMN president Garry Bailey and NWT Premier Bob McLeod who also holds the title of minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Inter- governmental Relations for the territorial government. I am proud of the milestone we have ac- complished said NWTMN president Garry Bailey in a statement. It has been a long time coming as we have been in negotiations since 1996. It is a great day for the indigenous Mtis North of 60. The AiP which is not legally binding will help lay the groundwork towards the nego- tiation of a nal land and resources agree- ment for NWTMN members in Fort Smith Fort Resolution and Hay River. Negotiations addressing self-government for the NWTMN are ongoing. As the parties move closer to a nal agreement they are working towards clarifying the ownership use and management of land and resources among the NWTMN. The nal document will cover policies regarding the harvesting of wildlife sh trees and plants the management of na- tional parks protected areas subsurface resources mineral royalty sharing and eco- nomic measures. Once negotiators complete and approve a nal agreement the NWTMN is set to receive 69.4 million and 25194 square kilometres of land to be owned in fee simple. Members of the NWTMN will have the opportunity to vote on the nal agreement before it is approved by the GNWT and the government of Canada. This Agreement in Principle provides a sound basis toward advancing the in- terests of indigenous Mtis of the NWT Bailey said. Furthermore it provides a solid foun- dation upon which our government can build upon equitable and fair govern- ment-to-government relationships with the government of Canada and govern- ment of the Northwest Territories. The Northwest Territory Mtis Nation is com- mitted to achieving a final agreement in a timely manner for the interests of indig- enous Mtis of the Northwest Territories and future generations. PhotocourtesyofPSAC