The Canadian government has agreed to negotiate community agreements with the five Sahtu municipalities of Colville Lake, Fort Good Hope, Tulita, Deline and Norman Wells. The Sahtu Dene and The Metis of Tulita are also negotiating their own self-management agreement. As the municipalities of Norman Wells and Tulita are both located in the Tulita/Norman Wells district of the Sahtu Settlement Area, they have set up an “administrative line” together to delineate the geographical scope of their autonomy and the provision of social programs and services. The agreement gives the Sahté Dene and Metis title to 41,437 square kilometres of land in the Northwest Territories, a territory slightly larger than Vancouver Island. On 1,813 square kilometers of this land are included underground rights. The Métis Nation of British Columbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the federal government last year – the first step toward a self-management agreement. The Sahtu Dene and Metis received a tax-free payment of $75 million ($1990) over a 15-year period. Under the agreement, you will receive a share of the annual resources generated by the Development of the Mackenzie Valley, including a share of Norman Wells` oil and gas licences. The Sahtu Dene Council must be consulted before surfaces are developed for oil or gas exploration, development or production; and before any mineral exploration that requires a land use permit or water permit. Although a Métis government has been proposed as a possibility elsewhere in Canada, the land corporation is the first to sign an agreement in principle for the creation of a business. CONSIDERING that Her Majesty, Queen of Canadian Law, and Sahtu Dene and Metis, represented by the Sahtu Tribal Council, signed the agreement on September 6, 1993; The agreement set a timetable for these negotiations, under which both sides would make “the best efforts” to sign an agreement in principle within four years.

At the time of Berger`s investigation, George Barnaby of Fort Good Hope was elected a member of the territorial council that represented the Mackenzie/Grand Bear area. He resigned during his tenure and was elected vice-president of the Indian Brotherhood of the NWT (now Dene Nation). He became a strong supporter of the general land agreement. Legislation on the approval, effect and application of an agreement between Her Majesty the Queen in Canadian law and Dene of Colville Lake, Deline, Fort Good Hope and Fort Norman and the Metis of Fort Good Hope, Fort Norman and Norman Wells, represented by the Sahtu Tribal Council, and with a view to making appropriate amendments to another Act The agreement provides for the negotiation of communal self-government agreements that will come into force through federal and territorial laws. The Sahtu communes are Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells, Tulita, Delene and Colville Lake. All municipalities are currently involved in self-management negotiations with Canada and the GNWT. Now that the agreement is in principle signed, the next step is the signing of a final agreement that could take years.