Gwich’in Lands

Land Use Plan

The Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement was signed in 1992. The Gwich’in own approximately 22,330 km2 of land in the Northwest Territories, and 1,554 km2 in the Yukon. The Gwich’in are currently negotiating a self-government Agreement Principle.

The CLCA calls for in Land Use Planning Board to be established, to develop a land use plan for the Gwich’in settlement area. The purpose of the plan is to avoid land use conflicts and negative impacts on people or the environment, while allowing opportunity for resource development.

The Land Use Planning Board was formed soon after the agreement was signed, and was officially established by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act in 1998.

The Planning Board developed a Land Use Plan for the Gwich’in Settlement Area that provides for the conservation, development and utilization of land, water and resources. The plan is particularly devoted to the needs of the Gwich’in, while considering the needs of all residents and other Canadians.

The plan took six years to develop. The Planning Board consulted extensively with Gwich’in communities and organizations, territorial and federal government departments, industry groups and environmental non-government organizations. The Plan is based on existing traditional and scientific knowledge about the region, and provides background information and establishes land use zones in the Settlement Area. The land use plan also identifies outstanding environmental issues and recommends actions to be taken by the appropriate agencies in addressing the issues.