Thaidene Nëné signing ceremony celebrates historic agreement between Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation, Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories

ŁUTSËL K’É, N.W.T., August 21, 2019 – A historic signing ceremony is taking place today between Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation (LKDFN), the Parks Canada Agency and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) for the establishment of Thaidene Nëné – “The Land of the Ancestors”. The agreement formalizes the new protected area and provides for a unique co-governing approach to how the area will be managed. The parties are committed to consensus decision-making that will take guidance from Indigenous Law, the Canada Parks Act and the Territorial Protected Areas and Wildlife Acts. At the signing ceremony, the LKDFN Chief Darryl Marlowe stated that, “Achieving the protection of Thaidene Nëné for the Łutsël K’é Denesǫłine is a decades-long dream, and is a critical step towards ensuring our way of life can be maintained and shared with all Canadians.”

Over the course of the past decade, CPAWS has been proud to support the LKDFN’S vision for establishing Thaidene Nëné. “It has been exciting to see how a partnership forged between Indigenous and crown governments can catalyze a conservation outcome for ecosystems and the people who live from the land,” said Kris Brekke, CPAWS-NWT Executive Director. Alison Ronson, CPAWS Interim National Executive Director, adds, “CPAWS has worked for many years with the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation on protecting this important part of the Northwest Territories and we’d like to offer our congratulations to them, as well as to Parks Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories, on this occasion.”

Thaidene Nëné is a 26,376 km² area that includes boreal forest, tundra and freshwater ecosystems around and beyond the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, providing habitat for caribou, bear, moose, muskoxen, wolves and fish. These ecosystems sustain the culture and livelihood of the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation and other First Nation and Metis communities. Thaidene Nëné contributes significantly to Canada’s efforts to meet international commitments to protect 17% of lands and inland waters and is a natural solution to climate change.

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Honourable Robert C. McLeod, Minister of GNWT Environment and Natural Resources and Chief Louis Balsillie of Denı́nu Kų́ę́ First Nation are also in attendance to speak at this historic announcement.

The official signing ceremony will be followed by a community feast hosted by the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation. A multi-day celebration will include hand games, a fishing derby and a drum dance.

Read the press release from LKDFN here:

Disclaimer: English only press release