The Snap Lake Environmental Monitoring Agency was established as part of the environmental agreement between De Beers Mining Canada, the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the affected Aboriginal groups, which is comprised of the Tli Cho Government, Lutsel k’e Dene First Nation, Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the North Slave Metis Alliance. The main purpose of the organization is to act as a public “watchdog” organization to ensure environmental regulatory compliance by De Beers Mining Canada and to ensure an appropriate and comprehensive inspection process by government regulators.
Snap Lake Environmental Agency’s Board is comprised of eight representatives from the four signatory Aboriginal groups. The Board strives to involve Aboriginal traditional knowledge and conventional science in its assessment of mining activities and environmental reports submitted by De Beers and government inspectors. To achieve this goal, the Agency has both a traditional knowledge panel made up of Elders that have hunted, trapped and lived in the area of the mine site, and a science panel made up of experts who are foremost in their field and familiar with working in the Northwest Territories.