Tłı̨chǫ Government celebrates the passage of the new NWT MRA
Behchokǫ̀ (Tuesday, August 28, 2019) - Tłı̨chǫ Government celebrated the recent passage of the Mineral Resources Act (“MRA”) by the NWT’s Legislative Assembly. This vital piece of post‑devolution legislation improves the mineral resources regime in the NWT in important and beneficial ways for Tłı̨chǫ Government, Tłı̨chǫ people, and all residents of the NWT, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike.
The MRA creates greater opportunities for Indigenous engagement with prospectors and miners, provides greater Indigenous control over areas where mining will—and will not—be prioritized, and ensures benefits from mining projects are shared with Indigenous peoples. This reflects modern realities in the NWT and confirms the need for full Indigenous participation in resource development.
Since 2017, Tłı̨chǫ Government has been working in partnership with the Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT) and other Indigenous Governments to develop the MRA. This cooperative and collaborative process ensured that the interests of Tłı̨chǫ Government and other Indigenous Governments were reflected in the MRA. The MRA will ensure that mineral resource development can occur in a conscientious manner that respects the important role of Indigenous Governments in the governance of the NWT.
“The Tłı̨chǫ Government was actively engaged in the Mineral Resources Act,” said Grand Chief George Mackenzie. “We were a full partner in developing this law and I commend the GNWT staff and officials who worked with us. The good faith and hard work of all parties to the process ensured we developed a good law that meets all of our needs.”
Grand Chief Mackenzie acknowledged that much work remains to be done to develop the regulations to implement the MRA stating, “the development of the law was the first big step. Our team looks forward to continuing to work with GNWT to develop the regulations to implement this law. With all the lessons we learned during the development of the Act, we are confident that we will be able to work even more closely, with GNWT during the next phase of the process.” Grand Chief Mackenzie explained that “once it is in force, this law will help ensure greater prosperity for our people and the entire region while ensuring that our lands, waters, and heritage are protected. This is good news for everyone.”
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