Thaidene Nene established as Canada’s newest national park reserve
“Thaidene Nene is an area of breathtaking beauty, natural abundance and immense cultural significance to the Indigenous communities in the region. Our government is proud to work side-by-side with the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation, the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, and the Deninu K’e First Nation to establish Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve, as part of our commitment to double the amount of nature protected across Canada for today and future generations.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“Thaidene Nene is a celebrated cultural area with rich wildlife populations and unique landscapes that support traditional ways of life and activities important to all northerners. Protecting the ecological and cultural value of Thaidene Nene ensures local residents and visitors alike will have the opportunity to enjoy and respect this unique area for generations to come.”
The Honourable Robert C. McLeod,
Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories
“The protection and stewardship of Thaidene Nene is the sacred responsibility of the Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation, as passed down to us through the generations from our elders. Achieving the protection of Thaidene Nene for the Łutsël K’e Denesǫłine is a decade’s long dream, and is a critical step towards ensuring our way of life can be maintained and shared with all Canadians. I look forward to working in partnership with our neighbouring Indigenous communities, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories to steward this incredible landscape and to showcase its incredible natural and cultural values for the benefit of our people, other Northern communities, and all Canadians.”
Chief Darryl Marlowe,
Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation
“The Northwest Territory Métis Nation is proud to be a full government partner in the establishment of the East Arm National Park Reserve. This Impact Benefit Agreement recognizes the continuation of Indigenous Métis way of life in the park. This is a historic day that confirms the government to government relationship between Canada and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation. The Northwest Territory Métis Nation looks forward to implementing our new relationship with Parks Canada in the park based upon the principles of reconciliation.”
President, Northwest Territories Métis Nation
“Deninu Kue First Nation would like to extend its congratulations to Łutsël K’e First Nation, the Thaidene Nene Park Negotiating team and the other parties involved in reaching this establishment agreement. We have been greatly involved with this process for the past three years. Part of our involvement was surveys which showed majority support for the park to move ahead with the goal of protecting the land, wildlife and resources but at the same time ensuring our historical treaty rights to hunt, fish, trap and gather would not be infringed on, which this agreement accomplishes. This agreement signifies a strengthening relationship between the Federal Government, Government of the Northwest Territories and the affected Indigenous Groups, which we hope will continue. We are proud to be participating in this milestone and look forward to being the gateway community to Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve.”
Chief Louis Balsillie,
Deninu K’ue First Nation
Thaidene Nene represents the Northwest Boreal Uplands natural region of Canada’s national park system and is home to many boreal and tundra mammals such as barren-ground caribou, moose, muskox, grey wolf, black and grizzly bear, red and Arctic fox, lynx, wolverine, as well as many species of birds and fish.
The East Arm of Great Slave Lake has been home to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial. After the arrival of European explorers, this unique ecological area continued to play a central role in the lives and cultures of Indigenous peoples and also formed an important part of travel, trade, and natural resources development in the Northwest Territories.
Thaidene Nene means ‘Land of the Ancestors’ in the Dënesųłiné—or Chipewyan—language. Indigenous rights will continue to be exercised and protected in Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve, including the right to harvest food through hunting, trapping, and fishing.
Thaidene Nene will have the status of a national park “reserve” until land claims with the Akaitcho Dene First Nations, and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation have been settled. North Slave Métis Alliance also assert rights in the area.
The Government of Canada will be investing $40 million towards infrastructure and for the operations of the national park reserve in the first 12 years and $3.4 million annually for operations thereafter.
An operational management board and a regional management board, based on a consensus model, will be established for the national park reserve.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Parks Canada Agency
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