Modern Day Treaties: ‘Development’, Politics, and the Corporatization of Land in the Sahtu Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement

  • Carly A. Dokis University of Alberta
Keywords: Aboriginal people, Sahtu Dene, Métis, Land Claims, Development, Resource Management


In 1993 Aboriginal people in the central Mackenzie valley signed a comprehensive land claim agreement providing the Sahtu Dene and Mיtis with fee simple title to 41,437 km² of Sahtu Settlement lands. The Sahtu Dene and Mיtis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement has radically altered governance structures in the region, replacing Chief and Council with the Land Corporation as the primary decision-making authority pertaining to lands and resources. The current role of the Land Corporation has required a broad transformation in how Sahtu Dene and Mיtis communities engage outside interests looking to conduct business on Sahtu lands. This paper examines shifting community dynamics as a result of changing governance structures and economies in the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories. In addition to considering the consequences of land corporatization in decisions related to oil and gas exploration, this paper examines the role of the Land Corporation within wider contexts of normative Sahtu Dene and Mיtis forms of governance and decision-making.


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