After fifty years of negotiation, a large area in the Northwest Territories has been established as Canada’s newest national park reserve. Near the east arm of Great Slave Lake, over 26,000 square kilometres are now protected through partnerships between Parks Canada, Government of Northwest Territories, the Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, and with the Deninu K’ue First Nation and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. About 14,000 square kilometres of this wilderness will be managed as a national park.

Thaidene Nëné, which translates to “Land of the Ancestors,” is a pristine, isolated area that includes boreal forest and tundra. The Government of Canada’s decision to officially sanction this park reflects their mandate to double the amount of land and oceans protected across Canada by 2020.

photoLaani Uunila, Parks Canada

“The Northwest Territory Métis Nation is proud to be a full government partner in the establishment of the East Arm National Park Reserve,” said Garry Bailey, president of Northwest Territories Métis Nation. “This is a historic day that confirms the government to government relationship between Canada and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation.”

The government has pledged to invest $40 million towards the park for the next 12 years, and $3.4 million annually for the future.