Development of the Sahtu Land Use Plan
The Board was formally established in 1998 when Part 2 of the MVRMA came into force. Over the years, the Board has worked with communities, governments, industry and other stakeholders to:
- create a vision for the Sahtu Settlement Area;
- collect information about land, resources, and people of the Settlement Area; and
- develop a land use plan that provides for the conservation, development and use of land, waters and other resources.
The Board initially worked with communities, industry and other stakeholders to define their vision, goals and land use issues. Meetings, open houses, workshops and household interviews were held with over 700 people from Sahtu communities, government, industry and non-government organizations.
The Board developed a comprehensive library and a Geographic Information System (GIS) (through the Sahtu GIS Project) that describes the biophysical and cultural values of the Sahtu Settlement Area. Both traditional and scientific knowledge were used in developing the Plan. People were generous in providing detailed information, including identifying harvesting and cultural areas, and providing traditional names and stories about their land use.
The Plan evolved through a cyclical process of research, comments, meetings and revisions:
- A Preliminary Draft was released early in 2003, which established early zoning and policy direction.
- Draft 1 was completed in February 2007 and prompted written comments from 23 organizations. The Board revised the zoning and Plan requirements based on the comments received.
- "Working Draft 2" was released in August 2007 to communities, AANDC and the GNWT, to determine if revisions were proceeding in the right direction.
- Further work and consultations on Draft 2 was continued through May 2009. The Board received 30 written submissions on Draft 2, and consulted extensively with communities and planning partners to prepare Draft 3.
- Draft 3 was released July 2010. This was followed by a public hearing and 3 technical workshops to better understand outstanding issues. The Board responded to workshop participants and written comments by preparing a discussion document and hosting a Tri-Partite meeting of three approval parties (SSI, GNWT, AANDC) in September 2012.
- This led to the drafting of the final Sahtu Land Use Plan that was adopted by the SLUPB on April 29, 2013. It became a legally binding document that same year following the sequential approval from SSI (July 4), GNWT (July 25), and AANDC (August 8). It remained legally binding until the 5-year review received its final approval by Canada on June 7, 2023, at which time this revised document became legally binding.