North Slave Mtis Alliance takes legal action over land and resources AiP 2 Tuesday September 8 2015 POLITICS ABORIGINAL GOVERNMENT NEWS BRIEFS Whos your favourite reghter in the NWT Theyjustdealtwiththetwoworstwildreseasonsonrecord andnowitstimetosaythankyou.The DepartmentofMu- nicipalandCommunityAffairsMACAisseekingnomina- tionsfortheNWTFireServiceMeritAwards.Individualsor communityredepartmentscanbenominatedbymembers of the public. You can nominate online at www.maca.gov. nt.cabycontactingyourlocalAssistantFireMarshalorby downloadingaprintableformalsoavailableonthewebsite. The deadline for nominations is September 25. Bear sightings at Hidden Lake close parking lot trail AparkinglotatHiddenLakeTerritorialParkhasbeenclosed duetobearsightings.AccordingtoaGNWTreleasethepublic is being asked to stay away from the Cameron Falls Trail in theparklocatedontheIngrahamTrailabout47kilometres east of Yellowknife. The temporary blockade restricting ac- cess to the parking lot was installed to ensure public safety. The public is reminded not to feed wildlife and report any bear sightings to Environment and Natural Resources ENR the release said. Bear safety information is avail- able at www.enr.gov.nt.caprogramsbearsbear-safety. Nexen Energy allowed to resume limited operations at Long Lake The Alberta Energy Regulator AER is allowing opera- tions at Nexen Energys Long Lake oilsands facility to con- tinue after closing 95 of its pipelines on Aug. 28. Following an AER inspection of the site which sits southeast of Fort McMurray 40 of the lines were approved to be re-opened Nexen announced on Sunday. AER originally called for the suspension while investigating a break that occurred in June where about ve million litres of bitumen sand and producedwaterleakedaboutakilometreawayfromthesite. Fort Chipewyan Wildfire Season 2015 OPEN HOUSE September 17 2015 500PM - 800PM Mamawi Community Hall Fort McMurray Wildfire Management Area Fort Chipewyan LEARN MORE ABOUT 2015 Area Wildfires Current Plans for Wildfire Protection Homeowner Tips For more information contact Robyn Haugen Wildfire Information Officer at 780 743-7265 A STIHL MS170 CHAINSAW ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN By DALI CARMICHAEL Armed with claims of un- wanted and forced assimila- tion the North Slave Mtis Alliance NSMA has led for a judicial review of the NWT Mtis Nations NWTMN re- cently signed Land and Re- sources Agreement in Prin- ciple AiP. NSMA president Bill Enge submitted an application for the legal challenge on Aug. 26 naming the government of the Northwest Territories GNWT the federal depart- ment of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada AANDC as well as the NWTMN and its subsid- iary groups in Fort Smith Hay River and Fort Resolu- tion as respondents. We said we were going to do something we were going to le a lawsuit and it was ac- tually done Enge said. The application claims the parties to the agreement did not properly consult the NSMA regarding potential adverse effects on the Ab- original rights of its members while establishing the AiP. Our members are very worried about their future as Mtis people in the North Slave region because this land claim agreement is de- signed to strip them of their s. 35 Aboriginal rights Enge said.Theywillnolongerhave the right to harvest caribou to be consulted and accom- modated regarding any ini- tiative that the government of Canada or the government of the NWT and the private sector may wish to do on their traditional lands. A single clause in the AiP states that Mtis of Cree Slavey or Chipewyan an- cestry who resided in used or occupied any part of the agreement area on or before Dec. 21 1921 or who are a descendant of such persons are eligible to be included under the AiP. This denition frogmarches NSMA mem- bersintotheagreementEnge said erasing their existing rights. One of the top concerns for the NSMA is the right to har- vestcaribouontheNorthside of Great Slave Lake which was granted to the alliance earlier this year but was never put into practice due to hunting limitations imposed by the GNWT to protect the shrinking herd. Returning to consultations TheNSMAapplicationcalls for the listed parties to carry outmeaningfulconsultation with the NSMA to address its concerns. It also requests ne- gotiations regarding the AiP be suspended until said con- sultation occurs. In 2012 Enge said the NSMA was a part of two rounds of consultations re- garding the AiP but noted he was unsatised with the proceedings. The North Slave repre- sentatives provided both levels of the crown with our concerns and with ac- commodation measures we felt were reasonable Enge said. The crown suggested we have a meeting with the NWTMN representatives for the land claim and provide them with our suggested ac- commodationmeasures.Last December in 2014 we did have that meeting where we presented the same op- tions to the NWTMN as we did the crown. In both fo- rums they rejected our ac- commodation proposals. Twoaccommodationswere listed by the NSMA rst to change the wording to elimi- nate the inclusion of NSMA members in the agreement and second that the NSMA be privy to the nal agree- ment negotiations to ensure theirrightsremainprotected. The NSMA has made the same requests as part of the judicial review. Elections expected to stall case The NWTMN AiP covers policies regarding the har- vesting of wildlife sh trees and plants the management of national parks protected areas subsurface resources mineral royalty sharing and economic measures. Upon completion and approval of a nalagreementtheNWTMN is set to receive 69.4 million and 25194 square-kilome- tres of land east and south of Great Slave Lake to be owned in fee simple. The Journal reached out to the AANDC for comment on the matter. No answer was received before press time. A spokesperson for the GNWT said they were unable tocommentonapendingcase. TheNWTMNhasnocom- ment other than our Councils will vigorously defend our aboriginal rights and nego- tiation process NWTMN president Garry Bailey wrote in an email. No court dates have been established. Because Canada is currently in election mode we dont expect the Crown lawyers who represent the government of Canada and the GNWT to provide their responses to our applica- tion until sometime after the federal and territorial elec- tions Enge said. We sent a letter to the Federal Court of Canada asking them to place this lawsuit into case management. Filephoto North Slave Mtis Alliance president Bill Enge is heading up a lawsuit against the NWT Mtis Nations Land and Resources Agreement in Principle claiming that his members were not adequately consulted on the matter.