GTC News Release - Federal Budget 2019

March 25, 2019

Gwich’in Tribal Council Supports Budget 2019 Indigenous Nation Reconciliation and Rebuilding Initiatives

The Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) is pleased with the Government of Canada’s Budget 2019 range of initiatives that support reconciliation and Indigenous nation rebuilding.  

“Our Gwich’in nation rebuilding efforts aim to rebuild our nation based on our Gwich’in traditions and on enhancing the health of the nation as a whole and of Gwich’in people as individuals,” said GTC Grand Chief and President, Bobbie Jo Greenland Morgan.   “The Budget 2019 investments to ensure First Nations children have better access to the health, social and educational services they need, for Indigenous languages preservation and revitalization, and for better access for Indigenous students to funding to finance post-secondary education, together with the reimbursement of the costs that we paid for loans to negotiate our modern treaty, will all make important contributions to our Gwich’in nation rebuilding strategy,” she said.

The Gwich’in were one of the first Indigenous Nations to negotiate a modern treaty with Canada when the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (GCLCA) was concluded in 1992.  The cash component of the treaty benefits that were negotiated in concluding the GCLCA has been eroded by the need to incur and repay a treaty negotiation loan.  Canada’s decision to reimburse modern treaty holders who incurred these costs will enhance the financial health of the Gwich’in nation. 

Our Gwich’in language is the foundation of Gwich’in culture.  The Government of Canada’s significant, multi-year investment in Indigenous language preservation and revitalization will enhance our efforts to rebuild our nation based on our language, culture and tradition. Our children and our traditions are the basis for our future. 

“Budget 2019 investments in helping First Nations children access important health and social services and to provide better access for First Nations students to funding for post-secondary education will help us build a healthy Gwich’in nation based on healthy individuals who have the skills and education that they and that the Gwich’in nation need for the future,” said Grand Chief Greenland-Morgan.

The GTC has been very pleased with the commitment of the Government of Canada to Indigenous nation reconciliation and rebuilding.  We look forward to continuing to work with Canada as a leader and as a partner in this effort.  The recent Budget 2019 investments are a big and important step forward.

For more information, please contact:

Carolyn Lennie

Chief Operating Officer

Phone: 867-777-7934

Email: clennie@gwichin.nt.ca

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