GNWT to begin Thaidene Nëné Territorial Conservation Area engagement sessions

July 10, 2015
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (July 10, 2015) - The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has been working collaboratively with Aboriginal governments and is pleased to announce that it has a proposed approach towards the establishment of a Thaidene Nëné territorial park and wildlife conservation areas. The collaborative approach ensures that the majority of the land within the TDN area remains under territorial management to best meet northern interests.

GNWT is beginning stakeholder and public engagement sessions this July to discuss the proposed conservation areas. These sessions will include consideration of proposed territorial conservation area boundaries, discussion of northern laws and policies that may be used to address key interests in TDN, and exploration of a 'conservation economy initiative' that builds a diverse regional economy supported by TDN along with other opportunities . The Government of Canada plans to release details regarding its interests in the TDN area in the near future.

The Thaidene Nëné area is a beautiful cultural landscape with unique geography and rich wildlife populations, and encompasses a number of key ecological, cultural and recreational features including the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, NWT. It is also rich in economic opportunities. Given its numerous values, a unique northern approach to planning, conservation, and management is being discussed for the area under consideration.

“Thaidene Nëné is one of the first post-devolution initiatives to feature a made-in-the-North approach to finding balance in a unique area with numerous ecological, cultural and potential economic attributes” says GNWT Minister of Environment and Natural Resources J. Michael Miltenberger. “We wanted to ensure that northerners are able to maintain the northern lifestyle throughout TDN. We have worked with our Aboriginal government partners to build agreement on that."

The existing consultation boundary for the TDN area includes over 12,000 km2 for proposed territorial conservation designations. These lands are currently protected by territorial land withdrawals while future uses are being considered.

“The Government of Canada commends the Government of the Northwest Territories on their efforts to conserve the natural and cultural values of the Thaidene Nëné area,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, federal Minister of Environment and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada. “The Government of Canada will continue to collaborate with the GNWT, Aboriginal groups and communities and other stakeholders, and will be making a related announcement in the near future.”

The GNWT is seeking input from direct stakeholders and the general public to help make Thaidene Nëné a truly Northern experience and regional economic opportunity. The GNWT stakeholder and interest holder sessions commence on July 14 in Yellowknife. This will be followed by GNWT evening public engagement sessions in the following locations from 7:00-9:30 p.m. :

July 15 – Yellowknife (Tree of Peace Friendship Centre)

July 27 – Fort Smith (Roaring Rapids Hall)

July 28 – Hay River (Ptarmigan Inn)

July 29 – Fort Resolution (Community Hall)

For those who are unable to participate in any of these sessions, feedback can be provided in writing to Darin Bagshaw at Darin_Bagshaw@gov.nt.ca

Since April 1, 2014, following the devolution of responsibility for land, water, and resource management, the GNWT  has worked collaboratively with Parks Canada and interested Aboriginal governments on the establishment of Thaidene Nëné conservation areas.

For more information, please visit http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/programs/thaidene-nene-area-interest.

Media inquiries:
Roya Grinsted

Cabinet Communications
Government of the NWT
Tel: 867-669-2308
Email: roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca