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The Northwest Territories Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NWT) is part of a national non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting Canada’s wilderness. Our work is based on the principles of conservation science, and grounded in collaborative work with communities across the NWT.


CPAWS-NWT is a strong, effective, well-resourced organization that motivates and empowers its volunteers, partners and the public to carry out conservation planning and stewardship initiatives in the NWT.


CPAWS-NWT’s mission is to promote the conservation of land, water, and wildlife in the Northwest Territories (NWT).

This means helping to protect the dynamic natural and cultural heritage of the NWT on a long-term basis, in a manner that fosters a healthy relationship between humans and the natural world. Our mission includes protecting both natural and cultural values of the NWT because of the close ties between nature and culture. Nobody knows better than NWT residents which lands and waters are essential to sustaining cultures, values and economies. We believe that conservation of our land, water, and wildlife upholds the right of future generations of NWT residents to inherit the same diversity in natural and cultural resources enjoyed by previous generations, as well as equitable access to the use and benefits of these resources.


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 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 played a key role in the development of the NWT Protected Areas Strategy, and continue to play an important role in assisting communities to seek protection of important natural and cultural places. Read about our successes and what we’ve been up to in our newsletter archive.

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