Tłı̨chǫ Government CEC Meet with Ottawa Leadership
Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty, Chief Clifford Daniels, Chief Doreen Arrowmaker, and Chief Adeline Football met with federal ministers in Ottawa this week to advocate for federal support on many short, medium, and long-term issues that are important to the Tłı̨chǫ. Some key issues on the agenda for discussion included:
- a new federal infrastructure cooperation agreement;
- funding to improve the Behchokǫ̀ sewer & water infrastructure;
- approving a collaboratively drafted Modern Treaty Implementation Policy; and
- annual ongoing funding to support Tłı̨chǫ language programming;
- ensuring proposed federal gun-control legislation Bill C-21 will not impact northern hunting rifles.
The Chiefs participated in productive meetings with Minister Dominic LeBlanc, MP Michael McLeod, and a brief engagement with Minister Dan Vandal. They also met with Minister Marc Miller, to discuss solutions and next steps on these important issues.
Throughout these meetings, the Chiefs emphasized the success of the Infrastructure Cooperation Agreement (“ICA”) currently in place with the GNWT, and expressed interest in negotiating a similar agreement with Canada to ensure that Canada’s procurement practices align with Chapter 26 of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement.
They outlined the consistent underfunding of the sewer and water infrastructure in Behchokǫ̀ that has resulted in ongoing challenges for the community’s access to clean water. To remedy this, they called for federal support to help complete extensive improvements to the system that are long overdue.
They called for approval of a collaboratively-developed Modern Treaty Implementation Policy that would radically change the federal approach to modern treaty implementation and ensure that promises included in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement are realized.
They requested federal support for the language programming funding model that has been developed through the Collaborative Fiscal Policy Development Process (the “Collaborative Process”). This ongoing language funding would support Tłı̨chǫ language programs in the long-term to help ensure our language is passed on to future generations of Tłı̨chǫ, and our Tłı̨chǫ way of life is maintained.
The Chiefs’ advocacy efforts were well-received, and we expect that they will have a positive impact on federal support on these key issues.