Lutsel K’e and Parks Canada agree to National Park in NWT
by admin ~ October 26th, 2006
In a signing ceremony on Oct. 13, 2006, Lutsel K’e and Parks Canada agree to creation of a new park in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake and adjoining lands. Previously opposed 30 years ago, because it was thought such a park would interfere with hunting rights, Lutsel K’e has reversed its decision. The area has experienced significant impact from mining claims in the Territories, and the community hopes to create some measure of protection for the land, caribou, and their traditional way of life. As one aboriginal hunter put it: “We’ve noticed that the caribou are much skinnier. They’re not coming around as much as they used to – And the elders say the mines are polluting the area through emissions from their oil stoves, the noise, and dust.” Thaydene Nene (“Land of the Ancestors”) will cover some 30,000 square miles. Let’s hope the new park also provides some measure of recognition for the historical importance of Pike’s Portage (and our own canoeing heritage), which may fall within the boundaries of the park? For anybody who knows the history of the Thelon Game Sanctuary, canoeing and canoers have figured prominently in the history of conservation and game management in the Territories (as both a significant mode of transport and ally of parks creation). The story was covered in both U.S. and Canadian presses, and you can find the links here:
- CBC: Dene Agree to Vast National Park
- Washington Post: Protecting Wilderness, Tribal Culture Cited
- National Geographic News: Bigger Than Yellowstone
- Government of Canada Press Release
- Nov. 21, 2007, interim land withdrawls announced for Ramparts River and wetlands (Ts’ude niline Tu’eyeta) and East Arm of Great Slave Lake (Thaydene Nene): “Today’s announcement will protect these lands from any new industrial development allocations for four to five years while the process of establishing long term protection mechanisms is complete” (CPAWS). “The next steps toward permanently protected areas include a mineral assessment, the preparation of a socio-economic report and a report with recommendations on boundaries, management and other factors” (CBC). Announcement is praised by locals and environmentalists (CBC).