Land Claims

In April of 1992, the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement was finalized and signed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Northwest Territories Government Leader, and representatives of the Gwich’in Tribal Council. An implementation plan to accompany the Agreement was also signed.

Highlights of the Agreement

The following are elements negotiated under the Agreement, for the Gwich’in people in Aklavik, Inuvik, Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic:

Gwich’in-owned lands
The Gwich’in own approximately 22,330 square kilometres of land in the Northwest Territories, and 1,554 square kilometres in the Yukon. This includes subsurface (mineral) rights to 6,158 square kilometres of land in the Northwest Territories.

Economic benefits
The Gwich’in receive a tax-free payment of $75 million (1990) paid over a 15-year period, a share of resource revenues from development in the Northwest Territories, and a 15-year subsidy of property taxes on certain Gwich’in municipal lands.

Land and environmental management
The Gwich’in participate in land use planning and in the management of renewable resources, land, water, and Gwich’in heritage resources.

Hunting and fishing
The Gwich’in obtained exclusive rights to be licensed to conduct commercial wildlife activities on Gwich’in lands and preferential rights in the whole settlement area.

The Land Claim Agreement provides for negotiation of self-government which will be brought into effect through legislation.


Read more on the Reports page.