North

Tlicho Agreement marks 10th anniversary

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the Tlicho Agreement — the first self-government and land claim agreement in the Northwest Territories.

'It takes a lot of people pulling in the right direction,' says negotatior John B. Zoe

Tlicho from Gameti, Wekweeti and Whati will be arriving in Behchoko today to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Tlicho Agreement — the first self-government and land claim agreement in the Northwest Territories.

When John B. Zoe talks about the agreement he helped negotiate, he speaks about it not as the beginning of something new, but a return to something the Tlicho had for the thousands of years before Europeans arrived.

"The road back to governance is a lot of work, but we need to celebrate the accomplishments we've made so far."

The agreement gave the N.W.T. Dene group ownership of a 39,000 square kilometre block of land and control over their traditional lands between Great Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake.

The federal government also agreed to pay the Tlicho $152 million over 14 years, and give the Tlicho some lawmaking powers, such as taxation, and authority over resource development.

"It takes a lot of people pulling in the right direction," said Zoe. "I think that's the most important thing, that there is support for it, that it's not something that happens in isolation."

The celebration include a community feast at the cultural centre in Behchoko on Thursday and a three-day $50,000 handgames tournament.

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