Proceed to a Hearing

Hearing procedures follow the format prescribed in the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act and the Board’s Rules of Procedure. An application to the Board will usually be heard and decided by a panel of three Board members. If settlement land is involved at least one of the panel members will be a Board member nominated by the Council of Yukon First Nations. However, the Act does allow the parties to an application to agree to a panel comprised of a single Board member.

Location of Board Hearings

A dispute involving settlement land will generally be heard in the traditional territory of the Yukon First Nation whose settlement land is involved. A dispute relating to non-settlement land will usually be heard in the community closest to the land in question.

Hearing process

Applications to the Board are dealt with as informally and expeditiously as the circumstances and considerations of fairness permit. The Board’s Rules of Procedure provide considerable direction on the hearing process.

Upon completion of a hearing, the Board issues its decision with reasons.

Who may participate in a hearing?

Section 29 of the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act identifies the parties to a hearing. The parties to a hearing may include:

  • the parties to the dispute and any other party the Board determines has a right or interest in the land areas affected by the dispute;
  • where settlement land is an issue, the affected Yukon First Nation and any affected interest holder;
  • in some cases, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and/or a designated minister of the Government of the Yukon; and
  • in the case of applications related to accessing mineral rights on non-settlement land, the mining recorder.

What kind of hearing decisions may the Board make?

Binding Orders

Orders of the Board are binding and may be enforced in the same manner as an order of the Supreme Court of Yukon.

Types of Orders

Depending upon the nature of the dispute the Board may:

  • require security to be given to address any loss or damage that may occur regarding the surface of the land;
  • require compensation to be paid for any loss or damage that may occur regarding the surface of the land;
  • designate the kind of equipment that will be allowed on the surface of the land;
  • designate the route of access that must be taken when entering onto the surface of the land;
  • limit the times of access (for example, access might not be allowed during spring melt due to the potential damage that may result); and
  • stipulate other terms and conditions which the Board, in accordance to its enabling legislation, considers appropriate to address the issues in dispute.