- A Guide to Property Taxes
- Adopt a Street
- City Art Collection
- Community Contact List
- Community Events
- Emergency Preparedness
- How Do I .......
- Ice Measurements
- NWT Diamond Jubilee Year Celebrations
- Online Services
- Organization Chart of City Departments
- Program Registration
- Public Safety
- Ruth Inch Memorial Pool
- Special Events
- Special Needs
- Spring Clean Up
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Yellowknife Public Library
- Yellowknife Seniors
- Yellowknife Transit
Akaitcho Agreement Negotiations Discussion Paper
Akaitcho Agreement Negotiations:
Land Identification and Selection processes relating to
the City of Yellowknife
- A Discussion Paper -
The Northwest Territories is undergoing a period of what can be described as unprecedented economic growth and potential. At the same time, treaty entitlement and self government agreements of Aboriginal peoples in the NWT are being both negotiated and implemented. The combination of economic opportunity and the settling of the claims of Aboriginal peoples can result in a vibrant and respectful environment for all NWT residents. The City of Yellowknife (“City”) recognizes that it must do its part to provide services and infrastructure in this time of growth and change.
To that end, the City is releasing this Discussion Paper to contribute to the process of lands identification and selection in anticipation of Minister McLeod’s intention to deal with outstanding City land acquisition applications in January 2006. Our intention in releasing this Discussion Paper is two-fold. First, we wish to communicate our outlook relating to land identifications and selections as they relate to the City and its environs. Second we would like to restate the City’s continuing support of all the efforts on behalf of the Federal and Territorial Governments directed towards dealing fairly and in a timely manner with the outstanding claims of Aboriginal peoples in the Northwest Territories.
The City supports the fair, equitable, and timely settlement of the claims of Aboriginal Peoples.
The City is committed to building a strong and cooperative working relationship with all Aboriginal Peoples, based on a mutual understanding of each others values and traditions.
Specific Issues:Municipal Service Agreements: The City may be called upon to provide services and infrastructure to residents and property included in a treaty entitlement or self government agreement whether within or adjacent to City boundaries, most likely through the negotiation of municipal service agreements. The City is ready to begin those discussions when the time comes for them to take place.
The selection of land, including lands adjacent to the City’s boundary, should be accompanied by a written agreement or agreements with the appropriate party (or parties) for the provision of municipal services, harmonized development and land-use standards, compensation for the loss of tax base and/or grants-in-lieu, and for any other reasonable concerns of the City that may arise during the course of land identifications selections.
Acknowledgement of the City’s “forced growth” issues: The City of Yellowknife is the only territorial “City” of the Northwest Territories, in addition to being the Capital City. It faces unique challenges and forced growth pressures as is set out in the 2004 General Plan and Background Paper. Land selection processes should consider the City’s unique urban environment, growth and other pressures, in addition to its statutory responsibilities. The City is not just simply a “third party interest”.
Land continuity: There must be continued and cost-effective access (via land, water or air) to municipal lands and assets on, between or adjacent to settlement lands for purposes including, but not limited to, infrastructure development and maintenance. Land identifications/selections must not limit passage into or out of the City by land, water or air.
Governance structure: The existing governance structure of the Council of the City should not change unless the City has been directly consulted on, and agrees to, any proposed changes.
Resource and Environmental Principles:
Environmentally Sensitive Areas: Both present and future environmentally sensitive areas within and outside the City’s boundaries, including but not limited to the Yellowknife River Watershed and the Sewage Lagoon, require identification and protection. Locally significant fish stocks, wildlife habitats and ecologically significant areas in Yellowknife and its environs also require identification and protection.
Water use: Municipal and private interests in water require consideration. These interests include but are not limited to ground water, natural drainage systems, watersheds, reservoirs, water licences, water lots, shoreline, easement access for servicing, in addition to historic rights of water use. Furthermore, specific attention needs to be paid to purity standards and water use regulations.
Implementation Costs: The City will not bear any costs for the implementation of an Akaitcho Agreement unless it has expressly agreed to do so and has taken into consideration the relevant jurisdictional and cost issues.
Compensation for Revenue Loss: People enjoy the services the City can offer as a result of the revenue it generates. It is in everyone’s interest that the City’s ability to derive revenue from sources such as property taxes, service fees, utility charges and grants-in-lieu from Crown Lands not be impaired. Any revenue loss to the municipality arising from an Akaitcho Agreement must be compensated.
City Participation in Land Identification/Selection Processes:
The City recognizes that the parties to the Akaitcho Territory Framework Agreement must negotiate their Agreement amongst themselves. However, the City takes the view that it should directly participate in the land identification/selection process as it affects the City given the potential impact on it and the particular expertise the City has with respect to this subject matter.
The City also takes the view that it would be advantageous if the Parties to the Framework Agreement agree on a communications strategy whereby residents of the City are kept informed of the progress of the negotiations in order to foster a better understanding of the Akaitcho Agreement process and its possible effects on the City and its residents.
The City has produced this Discussion Paper in the hopes that it can contribute to the ongoing discussions leading to an agreement that both deals with the interests of the Aboriginal Peoples, Government, and the issues facing the City during this important time. The City both can and should be part of achieving these desired outcomes. Again, the fair, equitable, and timely settlement of the claims of Aboriginal peoples, and the City’s commitment to building a strong and cooperative working relationship with all Aboriginal Peoples based on a mutual understanding of each other’s values and traditions, can together form the basis for the successful growth and well-being of this community.