Dene Continue Talks in Nunavut Land Claim Dispute

Saturday, June 14, 2003 at 19:13




The chief negotiator for the Athabasca Dene First Nations involved in a traditional land claims dispute with Ottawa says progress is being made.


The discussion centres around the borders the government used in creating the territory of Nunavut, a process that was finalized in 1999.


Ron Robillard represents the Dene communities of Hatchet Lake, Black Lake and Fond du Lac. He says Ottawa’s decision to include only the Inuit and a few other parties in drawing up the boundaries stems from its assertion that the Dene had given up traditional claims rights by signing treaties 8 and 10.


Robillard notes that a number of Dene communities in other provinces have taken the feds to court over the boundaries.


He says Ottawa, in turn, has agreed to negotiate a settlement over the right to harvest in Nunavut.


A framework is in place and talks are continuing on a monthly basis.


Robillard isn’t sure when the process will be complete, but strongly believes that it’s on the right track.