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Aulavik National Park

The Aulavik National Park, meaning “place where people travel” in Inuvialuktun, was established in 1992. It spans 12,200 km2and is located in the Arctic lowlands on the northern end of Banks Island. It is the northernmost national park in the Northwest Territories. It is a treeless landscape, but is rich with wildlife. It contains the world’s highest density of muskoxen. Approximately two thirds of the world’s muskoxen live on Banks Island with approximately 25% of them living in Aulavik National Park. The park is also home to grizzly bears, Arctic wolves, Arctic foxes, birds, polar bears, seals, beluga and bowhead whales, and peary caribou. 160 km of the Thomsen River, considered to be Canada’s most northerly navigable river, runs through it. The park houses many archaeological sites, and is accessible only by plane for a short time in the summer. It was formed as a collaboration between the Inuvialuit, GNWT, and the Government of Canada and was established as part of Canada’s green plan. It was established as a park because it is a representative natural area of Canadian significance in the western Arctic lowlands natural region, is a vital landscape for regional wildlife, and is important for Inuvialuit subsistence trapping, hunting and fishing.