All-Season Road

Whatì All-Season Road - Part 1 from Tlicho Government on Vimeo.

The Tłı̨chǫ Government has been working with the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Transportation to develop a proposal for an all-season road to Whatì. The proposed Road would follow the route of the old winter road to Whatì. See the map below (or view map in PDF here);

The proposed road will be built mostly on Territorial land, but about 17 km will be built on what are now Tłı̨chǫ Lands. However, the Tłı̨chǫ Government will swap the land with the GNWT, so that the full length of the road is on Territorial lands. This will ensure that full liability for road operation rests properly with the GNWT. The total length of the road will be about 95km. A number of bridges and culverts will be built to cross rivers and streams along the route.

Once the road is in, the region will have access year round, which will decrease the cost of living and increase the amount of time that the winter roads to Gamètì and Wekweètì are operable. There are social impacts that the Tłı̨chǫ Government and Whatì Community Government have carefully examined through studies, consultations and the Interagency Committee. Both governments have committed to implement programs and measures to promote community health and resilience in this time of change.

The Tłı̨chǫ Government and GNWT have been studying the idea of an all-season road to Whatì since the 1980’s and produced a number of reports on the proposal. The impacts of the road, to the environment and our communities are described in detail in the “Project Description Report”. This report describes in great detail how the road will be built, what the expected impacts are and the process that must be followed to approve the construction of the road.

What’s Next? (Updated August 3, 2016)

The Project Description Report, and applications for a land use permit and water licence were submitted to the Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board on March 31, 2016. On July 21, 2016 the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) decided to refer the project for an Environmental Assessment. The Environmental Assessment will look at the impacts from the road and the measures proposed to prevent negative impacts. This process will now be carried out over the next number of months. It will likely include a scoping session and potentially a public hearing. More info will be described once the MVEIRB releases its work plan.

The Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board cannot issue permits for the project until the Environmental Assessment is complete.

This is a list of reports and presentations that are available to look at that describe the project:


For more information on the Tłı̨chǫ all-season road please contact:

Tammy Steinwand-Deschambeault
Director, Culture and Lands Protection
Department of Culture and Lands Protection
Tłı̨chǫ Government
(867) 392 6381 ext 1351

Michael Conway
Regional Superintendent
Department of Transportation
Government of the Northwest Territories
(867) 767-9089 ext 31194