The Gwich'in Tribal Council has the right to sit on any board that is set up to carry out environmental monitoring and testing within the Gwich’in Settlement Area. If a government department is given the responsibility for this, they must work with the Gwich'in Tribal Council.
If a public board such as the Gwich'in Land and Water Board or the Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board, makes a decision that will affect their neighbours (i.e. Sahtu, Inuvialuit, Nunavut), a representative from the affected group can sit on the board.
All boards have an equal number of members nominated by the Gwich'in Tribal Council and by government. These boards are public boards.
The Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement allows the duties of the boards to be changed as long as:
– the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board's functions do not change; and
– the Gwich'in Tribal Council is consulted on any changes to the boards' duties.
Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) became law in December 1998. It is designed to watch for impacts on the environment from land and water uses. There will be regular environmental studies done to measure these impacts and the results will be made public. The MVRMA brings chapter 24 (Land and Water Regulation) of the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (GCLCA) into effect.
The Boards that fall under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act are the:
– Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board;
– Gwich'in Land and Water Board;
– Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board; and
– Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board.