Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Laws




Professor Sara Seck


The author examines the environmental regulatory regime in the Mackenzie Valley region of the Northwest Territories which includes the regulatory structure established by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the private contractual instruments of environmental agreements, impact benefit agreements and socio-economic agreements. The author concludes that these instruments work together to form a complex regulatory system that is sometimes maladapted to the adaptive management framework necessary for effective regulation in an increasingly unstable arctic environment. The author argues that effective environmental management in the Mackenzie Valley requires a regulatory approach grounded in principled flexibility and shared environmental goals across a multiplicity of instruments. The Mackenzie Valley region is better suited than other regions to develop this approach due to its history of integrated resource management and co-management with Aboriginal people and because of the protections provided to Aboriginal rights by Section 35 of the Canadian constitution.