On April 27, 2016 a draft Self-Government AIP was approved by the Gwich’in Tribal Council’s Board of Directors to be taken to Participants and staff members for public consultation. All three levels of government (Canada, GNWT and GTC) have since participated in the consultation process, with work being done in all four Gwich’in Settlement Area (GSA) communities.
Consultations have included: meetings with the DGO Councils; public meetings; home visits in Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic and Aklavik (Inuvik will have home visits over the summer); one-on-one opportunities to speak with GTC staff at the DGO offices; community meetings with INAC and the GNWT; complete information packages mailed to all registered Gwich’in Participants, both inside and outside of the GSA; and the development and launch of a Self Government portal with the ability to comment on the new GTC website, www.gwichintribal.ca.
The GTC received strong feedback from Participants, and the report contains a number of sample questions asked through the process. Many of the questions and concerns have to do with issues that will be dealt with/negotiated during the Final Agreement process, which will occur only after the AIP is signed. It should be noted that some questions deal with concerns that have been previously negotiated under the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (1992), including hunting, fishing and trapping rights. All rights that currently exist for Participants under the GCLCA will be grandfathered-in to any new Final Self Government Agreement.
The GTC will continue home visits for consultation this summer, and is open to receiving questions, comments and concerns about the AIP and the process through face-to-face opportunities, telephone, the GTC Facebook page and the GTC website. The GTC will also continue consultation with the DGO and Band Councils in our communities.