In the late 1970’s following the Paulette case, the government of Canada wanted to negotiate with the Dene.
These negotiations took place over a number of years. At one point, the Métis wanted to join the negotiations as a separate party. However, the Dene Chiefs did not agree. The Chiefs decided that they would add the Métis to the negotiations with the understanding that the rights negotiated would be for all the Dene including their descendants.
It was a political decision made by the Dene Chiefs.Canada accepted that the Métis would be added to the negotiations under the Dene. Hence the name: Dene/Métis negotiations. These negotiations reached an Agreement in Principle (AIP) state in the late 1980’s. At a meeting held in Dettah, the Akaitcho Dene along with the Deh Cho Dene rejected the package due to a number of problems.
The largest issue related to the status of the treaty and the extinguishment clause. The Dene requested a number of changes to the AIP but Canada refused to accept the requested changes. Then, Canada walked away from those negotiations in 1990.