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Parks Canada’s Gift to the Earth

Working Together: A Common Vision to Conserve and Share Canada’s Greatest Natural Treasures

The path of stewardship that was started in Banff is not one that Parks Canada has walked alone.

Parks Canada could not have succeeded in conserving large natural areas and species’ habitat without a common vision shared with others. Aboriginal people, our partners, other governments, regional communities, conservation organizations, volunteers and stakeholders have been, and will continue to be, an integral part of Parks Canada’s success. The challenge of protecting our land and marine environments and connecting Canadians to our shared natural heritage continues to increase in our rapidly changing world. The Gift to the Earth recognizes Canada’s dedication to creating protected areas for the use and benefit of future generations, despite these challenges.

As we enter our second century of service to Canadians, the efforts of Parks Canada are increasingly focussed on conservation of the diverse marine environments that make up our three immense oceans and the Great Lakes.

Canada is being recognized by WWF-International for its gifts of conservation but by far the greatest gifts we receive are the ones given to us by the Earth itself―clean water, fresh air, food, clothing, shelter, and beauty and inspiration. Human beings are bound to the Earth in an endless cycle of receiving and giving.

Aboriginal people have always understood this concept. They honour the land and live in respect of it.

“Even when we don’t walk on the land, our spirit is walking the land. This work has taken many years, many people working with passion and dedication. We must always remember the words of our Elders: Take care of the land and the land will take care of us.
Jonas Antoine, Dehcho First Nations Elder, Nahanni Expansion Working Group  

Former Grand Chief Gerald Antoine, Dehcho First Nations, on the Nahanni River
Former Grand Chief Gerald Antoine, Dehcho First Nations, on the Nahanni River
© Frédéric Baril