The Tlicho government has launched a court challenge against the federal plan to merge regional land and water boards into a single superboard as part of the law that created devolution in the Northwest Territories.
The Northwest Territories Devolution Act was passed in March. It also included amendments to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
The Wek’eezhii Land and Water board, which covers the traditional territory of the Tlicho, is among the regional land water boards the devolution act would roll into a single land and water board, made up of members from across the territory.
Grand Chief Eddie Erasmus says that will take away the Tlicho's ability to make decisions about projects on their own land.
“Canada cannot simply ignore its constitutional promises to our people. We won’t allow it and its truly upsetting that we are forced into the courts in order to uphold the Crown’s honour,” he said in a news release.
“We thought the days of the government in Ottawa thinking it ‘knows best’ about our lands, resources and future were over when we signed the Tlicho Agreement. We won’t go back to the days when outsiders made decisions about our future and that of Wek’eezhii.”