Section 13.8.38 of the land claim establishes the framework for a Wildlife Research Fund by pointing to the intention that the Board will have an "independent research capability." The Land Claim Implementation Plan provides more details about the rationale for establishing the Wildlife fund: "The Board will require information about wildlife in order to manage it. Since the current managers of wildlife in the Sahtú settlement area (DRR, DFO, DOE) do not conduct wildlife research at a level sufficient to provide the type and amount of information it is anticipated that the Board will require, it has been agreed to establish a Wildlife Studies Fund." The Plan directs the Board to avoid funding research that would duplicate research conducted by government departments. As well, the Board is directed to ensure that wildlife research "shall directly involve RRC(s) and Sahtú Dene and Métis harvesters to the greatest extent possible."
Funds available each year for research depend on revenue from investments of the Fund principal. In the past, the Board has issued annual calls for research proposals. Recently the Board has taken a more strategic approach founded in priorities established through engagement with Ɂehdzo Got'ı̨nę and the new multi-stakeholder Sahtú Environmental Research and Monitoring Working Group.
The Implementation Plan is reviewed and amended every ten years. The first amendment took place in 2004, and that version is now under review http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100031169/1100100031170