Learn about the NWT's Conservation Network

Sambaa K’e

What is Sambaa K’e?

The Sambaa K’e (salm-bah-k) Candidate Area is approximately 10,600 km2 and is situated in the south-central part of the Dehcho region.

Sambaa K’e is of great ecological and cultural importance to the Sambaa K’e Dene Band. It contains the source waters of the Trout River and portions of the headwaters of the Muskeg, Arrowhead, Petitot, Poplar and Redknife Rivers. The Trout River basin, including Trout Lake, is a critical harvesting area for the community.

Much of the Sambaa K’e Candidate Area is temporarily protected through the Dehcho region interim land withdrawal in place as part of the ongoing land, resources and self-government agreement negotiations and in effect until December 31, 2020.

Sambaa K'e

Why is it important?

  • Sambaa K’e is rich in wildlife and fish and is important for subsistence harvesting. The area is home to moose, wolverine, many species of waterfowl and some species-at-risk, such as boreal woodland caribou, olive sided flycatcher and rusty blackbird.
  • The Sambaa K’e watershed is of critical importance to the community of Sambaa K’e and downstream communities. The Sambaa K’e people maintain a very traditional lifestyle, relying on the land for basic necessities and to keep their culture strong.


  • 2006 - Sponsorship is initiated with the Government of Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service. The Sambaa K’e Working Group is established with the following members:
    1. Sambaa K’e Dene Band
    2. Canadian Wildlife Service
    3. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    4. Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)
    5. Ducks Unlimited Canada
    6. NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines
  • 2011 - All assessments of the Candidate Area’s values are completed. A final Working Group report is drafted.

Next steps

  • The GNWT is currently working with the community of Sambaa K’e, the Government of Canada and other partners to conclude the planning and decision making processes for the Sambaa K’e Candidate Area.
  • The GNWT will continue to recognize and respect Aboriginal and treaty rights, including requirements of land, resources and selfgovernment agreements.

Map of the consultation boundary

Sambaa K'e

Fact sheet