Negotiations Topics

Devolution will transfer the responsibility for managing public land, resources and rights in respect of water in the Northwest Territories (NWT) from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT). The transfer will include federal records, assets, buildings, leases, legislation and funds to support the delivery of these programs.

As may be expected, a transfer of this magnitude requires the parties to work out many details about what will be transferred and when and how the transfers will be made. Identifying those details and coming to an agreement on them was at the heart of devolution negotiations.

Some of the subjects that were discussed at the main table included:

  • Transfer of responsibility for managing NWT public land, resources and rights in respect of water
  • Transfer of legislation regulating public land, water and resources
  • Protection of existing rights holders (e.g. current mining leaseholders)
  • Management of waste sites on public land
  • Job offers for federal staff working in impacted programs
  • Transfer of federal buildings and records
  • Annual funding to support the delivery of transferred programs
  • Delineation of the onshore/offshore boundary
  • Resource revenue sharing between the GNWT and Government of Canada

Some of the subjects that were, or are currently being discussed in side negotiations include:

  • Coordinating the management of on-shore and off-shore oil and gas resources
  • Federal/territorial cooperation on future projects of national significance
  • Resource revenue sharing among the GNWT and participating Aboriginal governments
  • Developing a new resource management relationship between the GNWT and Aboriginal governments


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