North

Dene Nation postponing annual summer assembly

The Dene Nation is postponing its annual summer assembly. This year's gathering was supposed to mark the 50th year of the existence of the Dene Nation.

This year's gathering was supposed to take place in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., in July

Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya says the gathering may not be held until next year. (Randall Mackenzie/CBC)

The Dene Nation is postponing its annual summer assembly scheduled for July in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T.

"It is the 50th year of the existence of the Dene Nation and we wanted to have a special recognition to our past fierce warriors or leaders," said Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya.

Yakeleya says the gathering may not be held until next year, which is the 100th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 11, which gives Dene a claim to part of a territory that stretches 950,000 square-kilometres across the N.W.T., Nunavut and Yukon, including a coastline section of the Arctic Ocean. 

Dene chiefs talking to federal government about COVID-19

Yakeleya has also now taken part in two conference calls with federal cabinet ministers and other Dene chiefs to talk about COVID-19.

He said it's a sign "the tide is turning" in the relationship with the federal government.

"We are embarking on a reconciliation path of nation-to-nation," he said.

Yakeleya said the main concern is restarting the economy in the North as it deals with COVID-19.

With files from Sara Minogue

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