The Tlicho in the N.W.T. are opening up the doors to resource development in an area that has been under a development moratorium for almost eight years.

At a meeting in Gameti last week, leaders approved a land use plan for 39,000 square kilometres of land. The moratorium had been in place since the Tlicho signed the Tlicho Agreement in 2005.

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Tlicho Grand Chief Eddie Erasmus said opening the land means they will transition from lands protection to lands administration. (CBC)

Industry will be able to apply for permits to develop the land beginning June 1, which could allow the Tlicho government to collect more revenues.

Tlicho Grand Chief Eddie Erasmus said adopting the land use plan is a transition from lands protection to lands administration.

"It means that we are now in control of administering, monitoring and have control over applications of land and any development that could take place in those areas," said Erasmus.

The Grand Chief said they still have historically significant lands that are protected from resource development.