About the Wek’eezhii Land and Water Board

On August 4, 2005, the Tlicho people of the Northwest Territories signed the Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement with the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories.  The treaty gives land, resources and self-government rights to the Tlicho people.  With the signing of the agreement, the Wek’eezhii Land and Water Board was created, becoming a legally recognized management authority for the area known as Wek’eezhii.

The Purpose of the Wek’eezhii Land and Water Board

(WLWB) is to regulate the use of land and water and the deposit of waste throughout the area.  Providing for the conservation, development and utilization of land and water resources to provide the optimum benefit for all Canadians and, in particular, for residents of Wek’eezhii, is a major requirement for the Board.

As an institution of public government

the Board is a co-management body, whose members are appointed by the federal and the Tlicho Government.  By law, the Board is a regional panel of the larger Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, which has jurisdiction throughout the Mackenzie Valley.  The Board is also a decision-making authority, whose decisions are legally binding on government and developers applying for authorization for projects.

Functions of the WLWB include issuing, amending, extending, renewing or canceling Water Licenses and Land Use Permits within Wekeezhii as well as making decisions on water compensation and access to construction materials.  In doing so, the WLWB is guided by the Mackenzie Valley Land Use Regulations, as well as by the Tlicho Agreement and the Mackenzie Valley Resources Management Act.

The WLWB also carries out preliminary screenings of development proposals to judge adverse environmental impacts or public concern, which may lead to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board carrying out an environmental assessment or environmental impact review on the proposed development.

The Board currently consists of five members appointed by the federal and Tlicho governments.  The main office is located in the Tlicho community of Wekweeti.