Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. As most Members are aware, in 1916 a conservation agreement called "The Migratory Birds Convention" was developed to protect and manage, on a sustainable basis, those birds that migrate between Canada and the United States. Under the convention, both countries enacted laws and regulated the hunting of migratory birds by aboriginal people and sports hunters.
As I understand it, Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Wildlife Services of Environment Canada led a series of consultations across the country and the Northwest Territories between 1991 and 1993 to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act. The act was then amended in 1994 to include a non-derogation provision to secure aboriginal and treaty rights with respect to migratory birds. Now, in 1995, the convention is in the process of being changed to recognize these treaty and aboriginal rights, consistent with section 35(1) of the Constitution Act of 1982 of Canada.
The federal government is presently set to begin the final negotiations with the United States to amend the convention. I've been communicating directly with one of the aboriginal representatives on the Canadian negotiating team on this important issue, Mr. Speaker, in an attempt to put forth the concern and represent the issues of my constituents. I won't go into the details at this time, but I will say that the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council and the people of the North Slave region generally have a number of concerns with the federal government's latest proposal for change.
The point I would like to make, Mr. Speaker, is that if our government, namely the Department of Renewable Resources, has a position on the proposed amendments and the impending negotiation, we, in the North Slave, are not aware of it. While I recognize and acknowledge the role and contribution of the department representing the views of all territorial residents in providing input into the revision of the act, I'm at a loss to determine their role in representing those same interests in the negotiations to amend the convention, itself.
The people of the North Slave and the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council need to be assured that their aboriginal and treaty rights are protected and that, in an effort to remove barriers to harvesting, new ones are not being created that could impact on future generations.
Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.