About us

The Northwest Territories (NWT) Surface Rights Board is an institution of public government established pursuant to the Surface Rights Board (SRB) Act of the NWT. The SRB Act came into force generally on April 1, 2014. However the specific provisions governing SRB operations did not come into force until April 1, 2016.

The purpose of the NWT SRB is to fairly resolve matters in dispute regarding access to lands in the NWT and waters overlying those lands in the Mackenzie Valley and the compensation to be paid for that access. These lands include Gwich’in Land Claim Settlement lands, Sahtu Land Claim Settlement lands, Tlicho Land Claim Settlement lands, as well as private, Commissioner’s and Crown lands. It also includes Inuvialuit Land Claim Settlement lands.


See map of Administrative Boundaries in the Northwest Territories
in the Resources section for more detailed lands information.

To do so, the NWT SRB may make orders setting out the terms and conditions on which a person (such as an individual, corporation, government, etc.) may access those lands and waters as well as the compensation to be paid for that access.


The NWT SRB Act meets Canada’s obligations arising from the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement and the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement to establish surface rights legislation in the NWT.

The NWT SRB is mandated to resolve disputes over terms and conditions and compensation, between holders of surface or subsurface rights and the occupant of the surface when an agreement cannot be reached by the parties through negotiation or mediation.

Board Composition

The Board consists of no fewer than five and no more than nine members including the Chairperson; all of which must be residents of the NWT. All appointments are made by the NWT Minister of Lands under section 7(3) of the SRB Act.

At least one member must be a resident of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR), Gwich’in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area and the Mowhi Gogha De Niitlee. There are also five alternate members who must meet the same residency requirements as the associated member.

Member and Alternate Member appointments are for a term of 5 years and may be reappointed for a second consecutive term subject to Ministerial approval.

Board Members: Ian McCrea, Alternate Member; Louie Azzolini, Chairperson; Danny Bayha, Member; Tyson Pertschy, Member; Robert Tanche, Member; Mike Vaydik, Member and Vice-Chairperson; Harvey Pierrot, Alternate Member. 

Staff and legal counsel: Doug Rankin, Executive Director and Larry Reynolds, Legal Counse: 


Click for Board Member Profile Pages

Click for 'Become a Board Member' Page

Click for Staff and Legal Counsel Profile Pages

Click for About Us Presentation