NWT Surface Rights Board



The NWT Surface Rights Board is established to resolve matters in dispute relating to access to Gwich’in, Sahtu, Tłı̨chǫ and Inuvialuit lands, and the waters overlying those lands, as well as, surface access to land in unsettled areas.  The Board is responsible for setting out the terms and conditions on which an individual or entity may access those lands and waters; and the appropriate compensation to be paid in respect of that access. 

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Government of the Northwest Territories

Department Responsible

Department of Lands


Surface Rights Board Act (NWT)

Board Composition

The Board consists of no fewer than five and no more than nine members, including the Chairperson.

Among the individuals appointed, at least one member is a resident of each of the following regions: Inuvik or the Northwest Territories portion of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR), Gwich’in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, and the Mowhi Gogha Dè Niitlèè.

Alternate Members

There are five alternate members. Each is subject to the same residency requirement as that member.


The Chairperson is appointed by the Minister of Lands.


There is no Vice-Chairperson.


No quorum is stipulated in the legislation; however, Board established bylaws state quorum consists of a minimum of three members (including the Chairperson).

Appointment Instrument

Members are appointed by the Minister of Lands under section 7(3) of the Surface Rights Board Act (NWT).

Term Duration

A member holds office for a term of five years and may be eligible for reappointment.

Term Limitations


A member may hold office for up to two consecutive terms. 

Time and Travel Requirements

Meetings may be held at times and locations in the Northwest Territories that the Board considers necessary or desirable for proper conduct of its business.

A member may participate in a meeting by any means of communication, including by telephone.


Members shall receive remuneration according to Executive Council classification and Financial Management Board Secretariat directives:

Category – Regulatory/Quasi-Judicial

Chairperson - $400 per day

Member - $325 per diem

Chair and members – 50% per half-day (i.e., 3.5 hours or less), for work on board business for each day of meetings

Other Considerations

The Chairperson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Board and exercises the powers and performs the functions set out in the Board's bylaws. 

All members must be a resident of the Northwest Territories.

If a member or alternate ceases to meet the applicable residency requirement, the Minister shall send written notification to that member and their appointment is terminated.

The Minister shall appoint members and alternates who have knowledge or experience that will assist the Board in fulfilling its purpose, including Aboriginal traditional knowledge and experience in relation to that knowledge.

Members appointed in relation to a specific region shall have considerable knowledge in respect of lands, environment or Aboriginal traditional knowledge in relation to the applicable settlement area or the Mowhi Gogha Dè Niitlèè.

If a member is absent or incapacitated or if their office is vacant, the alternate member who is subject to the same residency requirements as that member, shall perform the functions normally performed by that member.

Members and alternates hold office during good behaviour and may be removed by the Minister for cause.

All disputes in a particular settlement area must heard by a panel, of which at least one member must be a resident of that particular area.

Current Membership

Position Appointee Term Start Term Expiry Number of Terms Appointed By Nominating Authority
1. Chair
Louie Azzolini 2020-04-01 2025-03-31 2nd term Minister of Lands
2. Member
(Vacant - 5 year term) Minister of Lands
3. Member
(Inuvik or the NWT portion of the ISR)
Tyson Pertschy 2021-07-08 2026-07-07 1st term Minister of Lands
4. Member
Mike Vaydik 2020-04-01 2025-03-31 2nd term Minister of Lands
5. Member
Danny Bayha 2020-04-01 2025-03-31 2nd term Minister of Lands
6. Alternate
Ian McCrae 2020-04-01 2025-03-31 2nd term Minister of Lands
7. Alternate
(Inuvik or the NWT portion of the ISR)
(Vacant - 5 year term) Minister of Lands
8. Alternate
(Vacant - 5 year term) Minister of Lands
9. Alternate
Mr. Harvey Pierrot 2020-04-01 2025-03-31 1st term Minister of Lands
10. Member
Mr. Robert Tanche 2022-08-23 2027-08-22 1st term Minister of Lands

(Board details as of Feb 06, 2023)