An agreement-in-principle (AIP) was reached earlier in April that clears the way for the Gwich’in and Inuvialuit to obtain self-government.

On April 16, the Gwich’in Tribal Council, the Inuvialuit, and Canada signed the AIP that will recognize new legislative and administrative powers in the Beaufort-Delta region, including authority over culture, language, education, local government operations, training, child and family services, and health care.

The AIP provides for the establishment of a new public government structure which will also provide for guaranteed representation for Gwich’in and Inuvialuit.

Approximately 7,100 people live in the Beaufort-Delta communities of Alkali, Fort McPherson, Homan, Inuit, Palate, Sachs Harbor, Tsiigehchic, and Tukoyakuk. Gwich’in and Inuvialuit make up 75 percent of these residents.

The two First Nations began negotiating self-government agreements in 1995.