Special committees are created as needed by the Assembly. For example, the Eleventh Assembly established three special committees to deal with each of the following matters: the northern economy; constitutional reform; and aboriginal languages. The Special Committee on Health and Social Services, Special Committee on Housing and the Special Committee on Division were set up during the Twelfth Assembly. The Thirteenth Assembly established a Special Committee on National Unity to co-ordinate consultations with Northerners on national constitutional matters. As well, the Special Committee on Western Identity was established to consider official symbols, heraldry, and other matters of identity as a result of the creation of the new Northwest Territories after division.
The Assembly determines the specific responsibilities of each special committee and often identifies a specific time frame for the completion of their mandate.