Concluding and Implementing Land and Resources and Self-Government Agreements



  • Tłı̨chǫ Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement

Agreement Type

  • Regional Comprehensive Land Claim and Self-government Agreement (land, resources and self-government Agreement)


  • Dogrib Treaty 11 Council
  • Government of Canada
  • Government of the Northwest Territories

Map of Agreement Area


The Tłı̨chǫ Land Claims and Self-government Agreement is the first combined land, resources and self-government agreement in the NWT. Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories(GNWT) and the Tłı̨chǫ are parties to the agreement.  

The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement was signed by the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council (Tłı̨chǫ), the Government of Canada and the GNWT on August 25, 2003, and came into effect on August 4, 2005. The Agreement provides the Tłı̨chǫ with ownership of a single block of 39,000 square kilometres of land, including subsurface resources, centred on the four Tłı̨chǫ communities.

The Government of Canada will also provide the Tłı̨chǫ Government with capital transfer payments totalling $152 million over 14 years and the Tłı̨chǫGovernment will receive a share of resource royalties collected by government from resource development in the Mackenzie Valley.

The Agreement also provides for self-government. The Tłı̨chǫ Government was created with law-making authority over Tłı̨chǫ Citizens in Tłı̨chǫ communities and on Tłı̨chǫ lands. This law-making authority includes aspects of education, adoption, child and family services, training, income support, social housing, and Tłı̨chǫ language and culture.

Consistent with the Agreement, the Tłı̨chǫ Community Governments (TCGs) of Behchoko, Whatì, Gamètì, and Wekweètì were established pursuant to territorial legislation on August 4, 2005.  The TCGs replaced the Indian Act Bands and NWT municipal corporations that were in place prior to the effective date of the Agreement.  The TCGs are responsible for municipal services and represent and serve all residents in the communities. 

The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement is accompanied by an Intergovernmental Agreement that establishes the Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency, pursuant to territorial legislation. The Agency is responsible for the management, administration and delivery of health, education and other social programs and services to all residents in the four Tłı̨chǫ communities and on Tłı̨chǫ lands, based on Tłı̨chǫ Laws and NWT Laws.

Tłı̨chǫ Communities

  • Behchokǫ̀
  • Whatì
  • Gamètì
  • Wekweètì

Tłı̨chǫ Government

The Tłı̨chǫ Government is the governing authority on Tłı̨chǫ lands.  The Tłı̨chǫ Government has the power to pass laws, enforce its own laws and establish its own government structure and manage its affairs.  Some of the powers and authority of the Tłı̨chǫ Government include:

  • Use, management, administration and protection of Tłı̨chǫ lands and renewable and non-renewable resources
  • Land use planning for Tłı̨chǫ lands
  • Managing and harvesting of fish and wildlife on Tłı̨chǫ lands
  • Creation of new offices, entities and institutions
  • Managing the rights and benefits provided under the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement? 

The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement is the first combined comprehensive land claim and self-government agreement in the Northwest Territories.  It was negotiated by the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), and the Government of Canada. The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement was signed by the parties on August 25, 2003 with an effective date of August 4, 2005.  

  1. Over what geographic area does the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement apply?

The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement includes four geographic areas. The largest area is "Monfwi Gogha De Niitlee", which is the traditional use area of the Tłı̨chǫ. In this area, the Tłı̨chǫ are able to exercise rights set out in the Agreement.

The second area is a resource management area, called "Wek'eezhii" which falls within Monfwi Gogha De Niitlee. It is bordered by other land claim settlement areas and traditional use areas of neighbouring Aboriginal groups.

The third geographic area also falls within Monfwi Gogha De Niitlee, and is called "Tłı̨chǫ lands". These are the lands that the Tłı̨chǫ own in fee simple.
A fourth geographic area is "Ezodziti", an area of historical and cultural importance to the Tłı̨chǫ. The Tłı̨chǫ do not own this land, nor do they have any additional harvesting or management rights here. However, the area has been protected in the interest of preserving its historical and cultural importance to the Tłı̨chǫ people.

  1. What rights and benefits related to land, resources and self-government did the Tłı̨chǫ receive under the Agreement? 

The Tłı̨chǫ received approximately 39,000 square kilometres of land in a single block surrounding the four Tłı̨chǫ communities of Behchokǫ, Whatı̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀̀, Gamètì and Wekweètì.

On their lands, the Tłı̨chǫ own both the surface and subsurface (mineral) rights. In addition to Tłı̨chǫ lands, the Tłı̨chǫ receive approximately $152 million paid over 14 years, and a share of mineral royalties generated from the production of resources in the Mackenzie Valley. The Tłı̨chǫ Government has the power to enact laws in relation to the use, management administration and protection of Tłı̨chǫ lands and the Tłı̨chǫ Government can also enact laws over a wide range of subject matters for Tłı̨chǫ  Citizens on Tłı̨chǫ lands or in Tłı̨chǫ communities.                    

  1. Who is a "Tłı̨chǫ Citizen"? 

A "Tłı̨chǫ Citizen" is a beneficiary to the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, whose name is on the Tłı̨chǫ Citizens Register, and is defined in the Agreement to be a person who is:

  • a "Tłı̨chǫ person", or meets the conditions of the "community acceptance process set out in the Tłı̨chǫ Constitution;
  • a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident of Canada, or is Tłı̨chǫ and as a result of adoption became a citizen of a country other than Canada; and 
  • is not enrolled under another land claims agreement. 
  1. What subject matters are contained in the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement?

The Tłı̨chǫ Agreement contains 27 chapters including the following: 

  • Enrolment
  • Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Tłı̨chǫ Community Governments
  • Tłı̨chǫ Lands
  • Access to Tłı̨chǫ Lands
  • Wildlife Harvesting Rights
  • Wildlife Harvesting Management
  • Land and Water Regulation
  • Subsurface Resources 
  • Financial Payments 
  • Mineral Royalties 
  • Protected Areas
  • Heritage Resources
  • Economic Measures
  1. How are residents of Tłı̨chǫ communities who are not Tłı̨chǫ Citizens represented?

The new restructured public governments in the Tłı̨chǫ communities serve and represent all residents. For each of the community governments, all eligible voters  have the opportunity to vote, to nominate candidates and to run for office. The exception is that only Tłı̨chǫ Citizens can be elected as Chief and no more than half of the council seats may be filled by candidates who are not Tłı̨chǫ Citizens. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to all governments established under the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, and all governments are accountable to the people they represent.