Federal committee to hear from 9 N.W.T. groups today about Indigenous land claims

The standing committee on Indigenous and Northern affairs has been meeting with groups across the country in response to the auditor general's 2016 report on First Nations specific claims.

Yellowknife meeting part of cross-country series, following 2016 auditor general's report

MaryAnn Mihychuk, the chair of the House of Commons standing committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, speaks in the foyer of the House of Commons in June 2017. The committee will be in Yellowknife for a hearing on land claims this week. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

A public hearing, put on by the standing committee on Indigenous and Northern affairs, will hear testimonies from nine Indigenous groups from the Northwest Territories today on how the federal government has handled outstanding, specific claims and on-going land claims, including self-government agreements. 

Monday's hearing is part of a series of meetings that have been held across the country within the past month. They're in response to the auditor general's 2016 report on First Nations specific claims — historic agreements that weren't met — and the former Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. 

"Overall, we found that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada did not adequately manage the resolution of First Nations specific claims," the report says.

"Certain of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada's practices did not encourage negotiations, funding to First Nations was arbitrary and inconsistent, and information sharing between the Department and First Nations was limited."

The committee is chaired by MaryAnn Mihychuk, Liberal MP and former employment minister. Other members include Gary Anandasangaree, a Liberal MP from  Scarborough, Ont. and Arnold Viersen, a Conservative MP from Peace River, Alta. 

Who will present at Monday's hearing?​

  • Deh Gah Got'ie First Nations    
    • Sam Gargan, sub-chief and mayor of Fort Providence 
  • Dene Nation   
    • Bill Erasmus, national chief
  • North Slave Métis Alliance   
    • Bill Enge, president
    • Christopher Devlin, legal counsel
  • Behdzi Ahda First Nation   
    • Wilbert Kochon, chief 
    • Joseph Kochon, chief negotiator
  • Northwest Territory Métis Nation   
    • Garry Bailey, president
    • Jake Heron, chief negotiator
  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation   
    • Duane Smith, chair and chief executive officer
    • Kate Darling, general counsel
  • Tlicho Government    
    • George Mackenzie, grand chief
  • Gwich'in Tribal Council    
    • Bobbie Jo Greenland-Morgan, grand chief and president
  • Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated   
    • Ethel Blondin-Andrew. chairperson
  • Government of the Northwest Territories    
    • Bob McLeod, premier
    • Mike Aumond, Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs