Drawing the line
Yellowknives, Dogrib to meet without government to discuss boundaries

Jorge Barrera
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 29/00) - Government has been told to butt out of talks to settle a boundary between the Yellowknives Dene and Treaty 11 Dogrib First Nation.

The decision came during a recent meeting between the two groups at a Japanese restaurant in Edmonton.

There, Chiefs Richard Edjericon and Peter Liske of the Yellowknives Dene met with John B. Zoe, Dogrib chief negotiator, to discuss the next step in the dispute over exactly where Yellowknives' territory ends and Dogrib lands begin.

"We agreed to resolve our own issues without the interference of the government," said Chief Peter Liske, of the Ndilo Yellowknives.

No details were laid out at the May 12 session but both sides agreed that progress must continue from their April 2000 talks.

"We hope we can come to the table in the next two weeks," said Liske last week.

Zoe could not be reached for comment.

A provision in the Treaty 11 land claim/self government agreement-in-principle gave the Dogrib a 39,000 square kilometre block of land which overlapped with the Deh Cho First Nations and the Yellowknives.

The Yellowknives argued that they were not consulted, even though some of their territory was included in the block of land. They want a boundary to define the First Nations' territories before any other talks can take place.

"Once the boundary is established then will talk about overlap," said Liske.

Overlap agreements describe how neighbouring First Nations will share common lands.