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Nadli dumps Fort Liard

Grand chief insulted by Bertrand letter

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Liard (Oct 21/02) - Due to a letter labelling the Deh Cho Process a "failure," the Deh Cho First Nations' executive committee has decided to relocate the fall leadership assembly to Fort Providence.

nnsp photo
Michael Nadli - NNSL file photo

Michael Nadli, Grand Chief of the Deh Cho First Nations (DCFN), said he was disappointed to learn secondhand of the Acho Dene Koe (ADK) letter, which was signed by Acho Dene Koe Chief Floyd Bertrand.

The correspondence, dated Aug. 29, was sent by the ADK to the Wrigley and Nahanni Butte First Nations.

"It was quite critical of the (Deh Cho) Process," Nadli said. "I take offence to those kinds of letters."

Bertrand replied that a reference in the letter to the Deh Cho Process being a failure was not what was intended.

"I mis-worded my letter, I guess. I meant to say something other than that," he said in an interview Oct. 15.

Bertrand said his motivation for sending the letter was to ascertain whether, like the ADK, the Nahanni Butte and Wrigley First Nations also have traditional territory overlap issues with the Yukon. He said Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Robert Nault indicated in early August that the Yukon boundary dispute could be resolved more efficiently if all affected First Nations were involved.

"It wouldn't take anybody out of the Deh Cho Process," Bertrand explained. "It's a claim on the Yukon side, not the NWT."

A secondary reason for moving the leadership assembly to Fort Providence, according to Nadli, is the possibility of a joint chiefs meeting with the Dogrib to discuss the Horn Plateau boundary issue.

Fort Providence is closer to the Dogrib region than is Fort Liard.