CANADA
03/25/2014 17:13 EDT | Updated 05/25/2014 05:59 EDT

N.W.T. Devolution Act gets royal assent, becomes law

The N.W.T. Devolution Act gained royal assent Tuesday, the final step in the legislative process to becoming law.

The act will take effect April 1, transferring power over land and resources to the government of the Northwest Territories.

The act also merges of the Northwest Territories’ four land and water boards into a single superboard, a controversial proposal among N.W.T. aboriginal groups whose land and water boards were created through land claims.  

In response to a letter of protest from Dene National chief Bill Erasmus, Queen Elizabeth's senior correspondence officer said she would not intervene in the passage of the act but had instructed staff to forward the letter to Canada's governor general.

Aboriginal groups in the N.W.T. have discussed launching a legal challenge to the act.