Though formally part of Mosul Governorate, the northern part of Shexan District is now under the administration of the Kurdistan Government as part of Duhok Governorate.
The center of Shekhan District is Shekhan town, known as Ain-Sifene town in Arabic and Aramaic. The district was split between KR and Iraqi control for some time. Shekhan's territory was a small emirate, and the ruler had an abode in Baadra. The district was shrunk after 1958 July 14, with Bashik district being skinned away (1959) and joined to Mosul and then Hamdanya. Al-Qosh was removed in 1970 and joined to Tel Kef. Two subdistricts remain in Shekhan District: Mizouri and Mereba subdistricts.
When Shekhan town was under Iraqi control, the KRG administered its share of the district from Atrosh. Shekhan suffered from Arabization: after 1975, Kurdish families were expelled, and Yezidis were resettled in Mahat and Baadra collective towns. Arab families were brought in and granted the Kurdish homes and lands.