When ratified, Deline will become the first stand-alone community in the N.W.T. with a self-government agreement.

It’s been a work in progress for almost 20 years.

Later today, chief negotiators of a new self-government agreement for Deline are expected to sign off on the draft deal.

“Our members and elders have always expressed the fact that we're probably over-governed for a small community,” says chief negotiator Danny Gaudet. “And because we’re over-governed,  we haven't been able to probably meet the needs of our community."

When ratified, the agreement will amalgamate the band, municipal government and land corporation into one entity called the Deline Gotine Government.

That would give the band’s 900 members control over delivering services such as education, health and justice. The responsibilities will come with money to run those services, but the final amount is not yet public.

Band members still have to vote on whether to approve the deal. That’s expected to happen in March.

If approved, the territorial and Canadian government would have to change legislation.

Gaudet hopes to see that happen by the end of 2014. But, he says, taking over services, such as education and housing, could take years.

A transition team is still working on the timeline and details.