Northwest Territories - ASEQ-EHAQ


L'Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec / Environmental Health Association of Québec

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories

How To File a Human Rights Complaint

Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission:

Navigating the intricacies of the Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission’s complaint process can seem daunting, especially if you feel your rights have been violated. This guide offers an overview of how to file a Human Rights claim in Northwest Territories, detailing the steps of the process from determining eligibility to the possibility of a judicial review. Whether you’re looking to educate yourself or actively seeking justice, the information provided here can serve as a valuable roadmap in your pursuit of equity and justice in Northwest Territories.

Please note: This guide is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or representation. Always consult with a legal professional regarding your specific situation.

Filing a Complaint:

  1. Meet with a Human Rights Officer and they will assist in filing a complaint form if the complainant decides to file a complaint.
    1. The Human Rights Officer is the first point of contact and the person you will be telling your story to initially.
    2. The form and guide can be found here.
  1. For the complaint to go forward, it must be reviewed and accepted by the Executive Director. Before the decision is finalized, complainants can provide further support for their complaints. Only grievances based on the areas and grounds listed in the Northwest Territories Human Rights Act are entertained.
    1. If your claim is denied by the director, you have the opportunity to appeal your complaint to the Commission.
  1. Upon complaint acceptance, the respondent is notified and receives a copy of the complaint form. They are subsequently briefed by a Human Rights Officer on the ensuing process.
  1. Dispute Resolution: Following your complaint’s submission, a Human Rights Officer will mediate discussions between all involved parties. The Human Rights Officers, while knowledgeable about human rights, do not decide on complaints. Their goal is to foster understanding and assist in resolving issues. This step is confidential, allowing candid dialogue. If an agreement is achieved, the complaint is resolved. Otherwise, the investigation process follows.
  1. Investigation: An impartial Human Rights Officer will gather comprehensive details about the complaint. This involves interviewing relevant individuals and examining crucial documents, culminating in an investigative report. This report is reviewed with both parties before finalization. Once complete, it’s sent to the Executive Director, who then forwards recommendations to the Commission.
  1. Commission’s Decision: Upon thorough review, the Commission decides either to dismiss the complaint or move it to the Adjudication Panel for a hearing. Both parties receive written communication about this decision.
  1. Hearings: The Northwest Territories Human Rights Adjudication Panel supervises hearing proceedings, allowing parties to present their cases before an Adjudicator. After careful evaluation, the Adjudicator issues a decision on the complaint. This Panel functions autonomously from the Commission.

For further details on the Adjudication Panel and hearing procedures, click here.


The Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission comprises the Director and a dedicated team of staff members. The Director, who also serves as the secretary to the Commission, is chiefly responsible for overseeing the complaint process and the daily operations of the Commission office. Staff members play a vital role in supporting both the Commission and the Director, offering a wide spectrum of services, from guiding parties in the complaint process to disseminating information about the Northwest Territories Human Rights Act to the public.

Adjudication Panel:

The Northwest Territories Human Rights Adjudication Panel is an independent entity responsible for hearing complaints referred by the Commission. Additionally, this panel is tasked with reviewing appeals against the Commission’s decisions to dismiss complaints.