The mandate of the Department of Lands is to manage, administer, and plan for the sustainable use of public land in the Northwest Territories in a fair and transparent manner that reflects the interests of the people of the Northwest Territories.
The Department of Lands operates within the central belief that land management and administration is a core public good and critical asset that needs to be effectively and efficiently managed.
Key principles of the Department of Lands include:
- Land management decision making should recognize and respect Aboriginal and treaty rights, as well as third party land interests and legal rights.
- Decisions about public land should take into consideration ecological, social, cultural, recreational, and economic values.
- Decisions about land and resources within the Northwest Territories should be made in an effective and accountable manner and as close as practical to the people being served.
- Traditional and scientific knowledge should be brought to bear in the effective and efficient management of land within the Northwest Territories.
- Land use planning and land management should be a shared responsibility across the Northwest Territories.
- Land management decision-making processes should be clear, transparent, consistent, and communicated.
- Natural resources should be managed and developed in a manner that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The Department of Lands is responsible for the management and administration of all public lands in the Northwest Territories (on both Territorial and Commissioner's land), including:
- Administration and management of Territorial and Commissioner's Land (land inventories, dispositions, valuation, survey applications, mapping)
- Land use sustainability standards, guidelines and policies
- Land use initiatives
- Project assessments
- Land use planning, including regional land use plans
- Land use administration, including permitting and securities
- Compliance and enforcement of land use, including inspections