CPAWS-NWT was formed in 1996 by volunteers, and began to hire staff in 1999. We are based in Yellowknife, and our NWT-based volunteer Board of Directors guides our current work.
We envision a territory with a network of protected areas that will conserve our natural and cultural values for current and future generations. We envision a territory where land and resource management policies give high priority to the protection of natural and cultural values, and allow for carefully planned areas of well-managed and sustainable resource development, conserving healthy ecosystems while meeting the needs of NWT communities. Our work is based on the principles of conservation science, and grounded in collaborative work with communities across the NWT.
We operate in a large and sparsely populated territory, where effective relationships are crucial for working toward conservation goals. As a grassroots organization, NWT communities are the foundation of our conservation work. Our results-based campaigns are driven by local desire to see special places protected for current and future generations. We work closely with NWT communities and Aboriginal governments, the federal and territorial governments, and other environmental organizations, making long-term commitments to each proposed protected area. With strong connections to the people who live in NWT communities and our National organization behind us, we have a proven track record and an impressive list of accomplishments to our name.
CPAWS-NWT played a key role in the development of the NWT Protected Areas Strategy, and continues to play an important role in assisting communities to seek protection of important natural and cultural places. Recent conservation successes include the expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve and the establishment of Saoyú - ʔehdacho National Historic Site on Great Bear Lake, both in 2009.