New Agreement for Proposed National Historic Site on the Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, Canada
by admin ~ March 13th, 2007
The Sahtugot’ine of Deline get funding and support from Parks Canada to protect lands and harvesting rights on two peninsulas in Great Bear Lake: Scented Grassy Hills and Grizzly Bear Mountain. The community of Deline has worked for 20 years to protect these lands from surface and subsurface mineral rights, and have formally proposed that the lands be set aside for all Canadians and visitors as a National Historic Site under the Northwest Territories Protected Areas Strategy.
The new agreement provides $10 million in funding for initial development of the National Historical Site and operations for the next five years, and was signed between Parks Canada, the Deline First Nation, and the Deline Land Corporation. Long used as an important gathering place and traditional harvesting area, the Sahtugot’ine of Deline continue to make a livelihood from the Sahoyúé and ehdacho regions of Great Bear Lake, and seek protection of the site for traditional uses, ecological values, and to commemorate Dene place names, traditional knowledge, and oral histories in the area. “This national historic site will be managed in a way that enables the Sahtugot’ine to continue their traditional uses of the land and provides opportunities for Canadians to experience and appreciate the land and its heritage values” (1). The new Historic Site reflects the shared vision of government and First Nations for the future of the NWT, and the importance of recent agreements such as the Northwest Territories Protected Areas Strategy and the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement of 1993.