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U.S. Department of the Interior - International Affairs
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Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada




Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Department of the Interior of the United States of America concerning Indigenous and Northern Issues

The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Department of the Interior, of the United States of America hereinafter referred to as "the Participants";
Recognizing that Canada and the United States of America work on a wide range of common interests and issues in the context of indigenous and northern issues;
Wishing to promote mutually beneficial exchanges in areas of policy development, institutional building, program delivery, research, legislation, and other pertinent areas;
Taking due note that Indigenous peoples and communities in each country have different languages, political structures, customs and beliefs, and that Indigenous peoples and communities are located in urban, rural and remote settings;
Desiring to respect the dignity and rights of Indigenous peoples within the respective countries through mutual cooperation; and
Intending to strengthen cooperation in indigenous affairs through processes that facilitate the mutual exchange of information, experiences, ideas and knowledge, in order to improve the quality of life of Indigenous peoples in each country.
Have reached the following understanding:

  1. The Participants intend to develop bilateral cooperation in accordance with paragraph 2, concerning indigenous and northern issues in the following areas:
    1. policy and legislation experience;
    2. socio-economic development of Indigenous peoples and the North
    3. institutional building and governance for Indigenous peoples;
    4. northern environment and sustainable development
    5. capacity building through partnerships;
    6. preservation and development of traditional Indigenous economies, traditional way of life and unique cultures of Indigenous peoples; 
    7. indigenous education;
    8. consultation with and accommodation of indigenous communities; 
    9. indigenous land tenure, title and planning; 
    10. emergency preparedness and law enforcement on indigenous reserves, including how related cultural concerns are addressed in indigenous communities located near our shared border; and 
    11. other mutually decided issues.
  2. The Participants intend to cooperate by:
    1. visiting and/or exchanging officials and experts;
    2. meeting and video conferencing on indigenous and northern issues;
    3. Cooperating in projects and consultations through existing and ongoing means;
    4. exchanging information, sharing experiences and research; and 
    5. other mutually decided forms of cooperation.
  3. For the purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the Participants intend to encourage and facilitate direct contacts between tribal/aboriginal governments, regional, territorial and local governments of both countries, academic institutions and the private sector.
  4. Where travel is involved, the sending Participant should pay for international travel expenses, as well as in-country travel expenses of its participants and representatives, unless otherwise arranged.  The Participants intend to make arrangements in advance regarding the payment of any other expenses incurred in consequence of this MOU.
  5. Cooperation under this MOU is subject to Canadian and American laws and regulations, and treaties and international agreements to which Canada and the United States of Americas are both a party.
  6. The Participants intend to designate officials to co-ordinate activities under this MOU through the development of a joint work plan.
  7. Activities pursuant to this MOU may commence upon its signature by the Participants.
  8. Either Participant may discontinue its participation in activities under this MOU at any time by providing a written notice to the other Participant.
  9. The Participants may modify this MOU in writing at any time upon their mutual written consent.

Signed in duplicate at Ottawa this 29th day of March 2010 in the English and French languages.

Chuck Strahl for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
 
Ken Salazar for the Department of the Interior, of the United States of America