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To outside observers, it would appear that the creation of the territory of Nunavut and the dissolution of the Inuit fonal requirement were part of a coordinated blueprint to change the future of Canada`s North. But for those who worked within the federal system, the reality was very different. Nunavut and the NLCA were followed as separate and sometimes contradictory initiatives. New section 4 required the Canadian government to recommend to Parliament acts creating the territory of Nunavut. It provided that Canada, the GNWT and TFN would negotiate a political agreement regarding the financial authorities and arrangements for the Government of Nunavut and the date of its creation. The agreement is expected to be concluded by April 1992, before the Inuit vote on their land rights agreement. We discuss important land claims in Canada in our courses – if you would like to learn more about fonal claims and how they affect advice and engagement with Aborigines, contact us for more information. In the 1970s, two major issues were addressed in the Northwest Territories: Confederation`s commitment to negotiate outstanding Aboriginal land rights in accordance with its extensive 1973 fonal claims policy, and land distribution and territorial government restructuring initiatives. In February 1976, the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC) presented to the federal Cabinet a presentation on The Claims of Inuit Aborigines in the NWT, including the creation of a separate territory from Nunavut as part of the payment of Inuit lands.

ITC has proposed a treeline between Western and Eastern NWT, with Nunavut limiting the Mackenzie Delta-Beaufort Sea region occupied by the Inuvialuit. A revised Inuit claims proposal, presented in December 1977, maintained the concept of a new territory. During the same period, dene and M├ętis submitted their land rights to the Western NWT and also made proposals for the division and restructuring of the NWT government. 3) NLCA is the largest Aboriginal land use regime in Canadian history The Inuit also worked with a relatively small core negotiating team, led by a number of Inuit chief negotiators and regional negotiators, assisted by a small but committed and relatively coherent group of non-Inuit consultants. Given the small size of the negotiating teams, negotiations were centralized around a main table. There was limited capacity to expedite negotiations through working groups or meetings. While some topics were controversial, the atmosphere was generally respectful and serene, with both sides firmly committing to an agreement. However, self-preservation dictated that the federal team of focal claims remains very agnostic in the creation of Nunavut. If we proposed that the claim could not be resolved without Nunavut or if we invited a dialogue on how the claims package might differ with Nunavut, we risked being frozen until the outcome of the political development process. Our only option was to keep our heads down and continue with the land agreement in the hope that it could be approved without Nunavut or that it would eventually trigger a decision on Nunavut. Despite the importance of Nunavut and the NLCA, initiatives within the federal government have been assigned to separate and relatively small core teams within the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND).

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