Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 125

125 Arctic Yearbook 2015 After this first round of consultations, in May 2010, the federal government launched a Federal Action Plan to Improve Northern Regulatory Regimes. The aims were twofold: ensure that development would not be impeded by “red tape” and bring the northern regulatory regimes into line with those of the rest of Canada. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) appointed a chief federal negotiator with the mandate to negotiate the merging of the four NWT land and water boards into a single board. The federal government had thus clearly chosen the report’s second option (Terriplan Consultants 2010). However, consultations had to be held with the three Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal land claim organizations (Gwich’in, Sahtu, and Tlicho) because all of them opposed merger of their newly created land and water boards. In total, the AANDC Chief Negotiator “has held over 50 consultation meetings with Aboriginal groups and organizations, co-management boards and industry. In all, 24 Aboriginal groups were invited to participate in technical consultations and funds were made available to them to assist them in the consultation process” (AANDC 2014). Following these consultations, the chief federal negotiator recommended to the Minister to merge the land and water boards into a single board. This recommendation was accepted by the Minister and put into draft legislation, but the negotiator had to request two more amendments because of the opposition of all of the Aboriginal groups in the Mackenzie Valley (Pollard 2014): First, the draft bill was amended to allow creation of regional MVLWB subcommittees, with each o