Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions concerning self-government? Inuvialuit Regional Corporation has prepared a selection of frequently asked questions to better your understanding on this topic.

If your question is not listed or answered below, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to provide you with relevant information. Self-Government Communications Advisor in Government Affairs Division is Samantha MacKay, smackay@inuvialuit.com 1 867 777-7033 

What are the next steps after the Agreement-in-Principle?

Negotiations toward a final agreement have begun now that representatives of the Parties (the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation) have signed the AIP. These negotiations will address matters that are not covered by the AIP and are necessary to complete and approve a self-government agreement.

Are there any plans to assist Inuvialuit residents in preparing for new responsibilities under self-government?

The Inuvialuit Government will have strategies in place to address appropriate skills training and capacity development before exercising law-making authority, and this may be reflected in an Implementation Plan. Some existing federal funding is available to the Inuvialuit for training and capacity building activities to support the skills required for new self-government responsibilities.

What will happen to my current benefits as an Inuvialuk from the federal and territorial governments after Self-Government?

There are federal and territorial programs and services for which the Inuvialuit Government will not assume responsibility and these will continue to be provided to the Inuvialuit as for all Canadian or territorial residents. These include programs such as the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance and the Territorial Health Insurance Program.

What benefits are expected for Inuvialuit as a result of the final Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement?

The Inuvialuit Government will have authority over matters of importance to the Inuvialuit people. Some of these matters include Inuvialuit culture and language, social programs, and education programs for the training and development of Inuvialuit children and adults.

Self-Government will allow the Inuvialuit to set their own priorities and to make decisions regarding their future. By bringing decision-making closer to the community, the programs and services developed and delivered can be better suited to the needs of the Inuvialuit.

What is the difference between an Aboriginal government and a public government?

A public government represents and serves all residents in an area, and is elected by eligible voters in that area. The Government of the Northwest Territories and hamlet councils are examples of public governments.

Inuvialuit focused their negotiations on the establishment of an Aboriginal government, meaning it is a government for the Inuvialuit and will serve the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic Region. The Inuvialuit Government will have authority under the final Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement to provide programs and services to Inuvialuit. Only Inuvialuit will get to vote for representatives of the Inuvialuit Government.

The final Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement will clarify the responsibilities of and the relationship between the Inuvialuit Government, the Government of the Northwest Territories and Canada. As community and NWT residents, Inuvialuit will still be able to vote for their town or hamlet councils, their Member of the Legislative Assembly and their Member of Parliament.

What will the Inuvialuit Government be able to do?

The future Inuvialuit Government will create laws and will have other powers and responsibilities regarding Inuvialuit. The Inuvialuit Government will have the power to make and enforce Inuvialuit laws, design policies and programs, and deliver programs and services to Inuvialuit. The Inuvialuit Government will have powers over matters such as language and culture, health and social services, social assistance, education, economic development and justice.

Inuvialuit laws will apply to those Inuvialuit who live in the Western Arctic Region, which includes the communities of Aklavik, Inuvik, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk and Ulukhaktok.

What will the Inuvialuit Government look like?

The Inuvialuit will develop and approve their own constitution, which will set out the structure for government. There will be at least one representative from each Inuvialuit community in the Western Arctic Region to sit on the Inuvialuit Council and one leader (Ataniq) who will be elected at-large by all Inuvialuit who are eligible to vote. The constitution will recognize the traditional roles and responsibilities of elders and youth within the Inuvialuit Government.

How is the Inuvialuit Final Agreement different from the final Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement?

The Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) was signed June 5, 1984, and was given Royal Assent on July 25, 1984.

The IFA is a comprehensive land claim settlement agreement and deals with land and harvesting rights, participation in the management of land and wildlife, and financial compensation. The final Self-Government Agreement will not conflict with the IFA. The IFA's institutions, like the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and Inuvialuit Game Council, will continue to be responsible for the implementation of the IFA.

The final Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement will include law-making authorities of the Inuvialuit Government, the Government of the Northwest Territories and Canada. The final Self-Government Agreement would enable the Inuvialuit Government to pass laws and to deliver programs and services established by those laws.

What is the significance of reaching the Agreement-in-Principle stage?

The Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) is a major milestone toward achieving a final agreement. It provides a sense of what a final agreement will look like and allows the parties to start preparing for the changes that a final agreement will bring. It is the basis on which a final agreement will be negotiated.

The publication and distribution of the AIP provides the Inuvialuit, as well as residents of the Western Arctic Region, with the opportunity to review its content. Now that the three parties have signed the AIP, they have begun to negotiate the final Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement, which is the final stage of negotiations.

What is the Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle?

The Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) is an agreement between the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories. It describes the jurisdictions and authorities of the future Inuvialuit Government and clarifies the relationship that will exist between the three levels of government. It will allow for the establishment of a future Inuvialuit Government, bringing more decision-making powers closer to the Inuvialuit communities.

While it is not a legally binding document, the AIP is a significant milestone toward achieving a final agreement. The final Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement will be legally binding once ratified by all three parties