Land and Water Regulators
Commissioner's Lands are lands managed and administered by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), and specifically, by the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA).
Commissioner’s Lands are mostly located inside municipal areas. To determine land ownership inside municipalities, visit the Administration of the Territorial Land Acts System (ATLAS) at http://www.maca.gov.nt.ca/gis. ATLAS is a land information system that uses GIS technology. ATLAS provides accurate graphic and written information on each parcel of land within a community's boundaries.
Researchers intending to conduct projects on Commissioner’s Lands should contact the regional office of the MACA - Land Administration closest to their fieldwork area. At its discretion, MACA may issue a lease if the project entails intrusive activities or long-term capital improvements.
Contact information for MACA’s regional offices’ can be found at: http://www.maca.gov.nt.ca/contactus/contactus.html
Private Lands Administrations
Research on Private Lands in a Settled Land Claim
Settled Land Claims in the NWT are divided into Crown Lands and Private Lands.
In each of the Land Claim Areas, different bodies manage their Private Lands and are responsible for regulating access to, and use of, these lands.
There are four Settled Land Claim Areas in the NWT:
- Inuvialuit Settlement Region
- Gwich’in Settlement Area
- Sahtu Settlement Area
- Tłįchǫ Agreement Lands
Inuvialuit Settlement Region
The Inuvialuit Land Administration (ILA) is responsible for administering and managing the lands received under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. The ILA reviews and approves applications to access and use Inuvialuit Private Lands. Permits are required by researchers in order to access Inuvialuit Private Lands.
Note that you have to contact the ILA directly to confirm whether you need to apply for a land use permit - this is not a part of other licensing processes. If you are required to apply, you will need to prepare and submit a permit application for your project.
You may direct inquiries to:
Chief Land Administrator
Inuvialuit Land Administration
P.O. Box 290
Phone: (867) 977-7106 (Land Use Applications Manager)
Fax: (867) 977-7101
Gwich’in Settlement Area
The Gwich’in Land Administration (GLA), part of the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC), is responsible for administering and managing the lands received under the Gwich’in Land Claim Settlement Act. Permits are required for researchers in order to access Gwich’in Private Lands.
Note that you have to contact the GLA directly to confirm whether you need to apply for a land use permit– this is not part of other licensing processes. If you are required to apply, you will need to prepare and submit a permit application for your project.
You may direct inquiries to:
Gwich'in Land Administration
P.O. Box 1509
Phone: (867) 777-7913
Fax: (867) 777-5336
Sahtu Settlement Area
The District Land Corporations are responsible for managing the lands received under the Sahtu Dene and Métis Land Claim Agreement. Land Access & Benefits Agreements may be required by researchers in order to access Sahtu Private Lands.
Note that you have to directly contact the appropriate District Land Corporation to verify whether your fieldwork location is in Sahtu Private Lands, and if so, to seek access to those Lands. There are three districts in the Sahtu – the Déline District, Tulita District and K’ahsho Got’ine District (Colville Lake and Fort Good Hope). Below is the contact information for each land corporation:
Déline Land Corporation
P.O. Box 158
Phone: (867) 589-3618
Fax: (867) 589-8101
Tulita District Land Corporation Limited
c/o Tulita Métis Land Corporation
Phone: (867) 588-3734
Fax: (867) 588-4025
K'ahsho Got'ine Land Corporation Limited
P.O. Box 80
Fort Good Hope, NT
Phone: (867) 598-2529
Fax: (867) 598-2437
Tłįchǫ Agreement lands
The Tłįchǫ Lands Protection Department (TLPD), part of the Tłįchǫ Government, is responsible for administering and managing the lands received under the Tłįchǫ Land Claims and Self-government Act.
Note that you have to contact the TLPD directly to confirm whether you need a permit to access Tłįchǫ Lands.
Direct your inquiries to:
Tłįchǫ Lands Director
Tłįchǫ Lands Protection Department
P.O. Box 412
Behchokò, NT X0E 0Y0
Phone: (867) 392-6381
Fax: (867) 392-6389
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)
On Crown Land in the ISR, you will require a Land Use Permit from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) if your research will exceed certain thresholds. This assessment is based on the extent of the potential impacts of your proposed research on the environment. Activities that fall below the thresholds outlined in the regulations do not require a Land Use Permit.
It is your responsibility as a researcher to contact INAC and determine whether you require a Land Use Permit.
More information can be found in these publications:
INAC’s Operations Directorate administers the field activities of the department in the NWT through its district and sub-district offices. It regulates the use of land under the Territorial Lands Act and the Federal Real Property Act through its Land Administration office. District offices are located throughout the NWT, and are responsible for the administration, inspection and enforcement of environmental legislation. They also serve as the field contact for all departmental clients.
For contact information for the district offices, visit:
NWT Water Board (NWTWB)
The NWT Water Board is responsible for Water Licences in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR).
The NWT Water Board provides for the conservation, development and utilization of the water resources of the ISR that will provide the optimum benefit of the waters for all Canadians, and for the residents of the NWT in particular. Under the Act, an application must be made to the Board, and a Licence issued, prior to the use of any waters or disposal of any waterborne waste. The application requirements apply equally to departments and agencies of the federal government. The only exclusions are the use of water for domestic purposes, in-stream uses such as fishing, swimming, or boating, to put out a fire, or in an emergency, to control or prevent a flood.
For more information, visit http://www.nwtwb.com
Land and Water Boards
You will require a Land Use Permit and/or a Water Licence if your activities in the NWT are planned to exceed certain thresholds based on the potential impacts of your proposed research activities on the environment. Activities that fall below the thresholds outlined in the regulations do not require a Land Use Permit. Water Licences are issued according to NWT Water Regulations criteria.
For activities taking place in the Mackenzie Valley, apply to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board for a land use permit, except in those regions where there is a settled claim such as the Gwich'in, Sahtu and Tlicho areas. Each of these has their own respective boards where permit applications for both Crown and Private Lands are accepted. In the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR), land use permits for the use of Crown Lands are obtained from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), and for the use of Inuvialuit Lands, from the Inuvialuit Land Administration (ILA) office. Water licences in the ISR are obtained from the NWT Water Board.
As a researcher, it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate Land and Water Board and determine whether you need a Land Use Permit and/or Water Licence for your research.
To determine whether your proposed research requires a land use permit and/or a water licence, to apply for a permit and/or licence, or for more information on the Land and Water Boards, visit their websites or contact them directly:
Gwich’in Land and Water Board (GLWB)
Responsible for issuing Land Use Permits and Water Licences within the Gwich’in Settlement Area.
Gwich'in Land and Water Board
P.O. Box 2018
Phone: (867) 777-4954
Fax: (867) 777-2616
Sahtu Land and Water Board (SLWB)
Responsible for issuing Land Use Permits and Water Licences within the Sahtu Settlement Area.
Sahtu Land and Water Board
P.O. Box 1
Fort Good Hope, NT
Phone: (867) 598-2413
Fax: (867) 598-2325
Wek’èezhı̀ı Land and Water Board (WLWB)
Responsible for issuing Land Use Permits and Water Licences within the Wek’èezhı̀ı Management Area.
Wek’èezhı̀ı Land and Water Board
P.O. Box 32
Phone: (867) 713-2500
Fax: (867) 713-2502
Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB)
Responsible for issuing Land Use Permits and Water Licences in unsettled claims areas in the NWT until the balance of the land claims are settled in the Mackenzie Valley. The MVLWB also processes transboundary land and water use applications in the Mackenzie Valley, and ensures consistency in the application of relevant legislation throughout the Mackenzie Valley.
Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board
P.O. Box 2130
7th Floor - 4922-48th Street
Phone: (867) 669-0506
Fax: (867) 873-6610