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.
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.
Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board
The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) is a regulatory authority that originates from Part 4 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA). The roles and responsibilities of the MVLWB include:
- Reviewing and making decisions on transboundary projects;
- Ensuring consistent application of the MVRMA up and down the Mackenzie Valley; and,
- Reviewing and making decisions on applications filed in the regions where land claims have not been settled.
The MVLWB consists of:
- The MVLWB Chairperson, nominated by the majority of the members and appointed by the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (AANDC);
- Five members of the Sahtu Land and Water Board;
- Five members of the Gwich’in Land and Water Board;
- Five members of the Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board; and,
- Four members appointed pursuant to Section 99 of the MVRMA.
The MVLWB meets at least once per year. The Section 103 Panel meets regularly to make decisions respecting applications in the regions where land claims have not been settled or for transboundary applications.
The MVLWB is supported by a Chairs Committee, an Executive Directors Committee, and staff from the MVLWB Yellowknife office and from the offices of the Regional Boards, as required. The offices of the GLWB, SLWB, and WLWB are located in Inuvik, Fort Good Hope, and Wekweeti respectively. The WLWB has a second office in Yellowknife.
* Appointed pursuant to Section 99 of the MVRMA