The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring Canada’s historic and natural heritage is protected through its network of national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. To this end, on August 22, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the establishment and boundaries of Canada’s 44th national park, Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories. Read the Press Release
The Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve will serve as a launching area for visitors to this northern wilderness. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the spectacular landscapes of the upper reaches of the world-famous South Nahanni River, and to hike, canoe, raft and climb in the new Nááts'ihch'oh and recently expanded Nahanni national park reserves. This new national park reserve protects 70 percent of the upper South Nahanni watershed within the Sahtu Settlement Area. Together, the Nahanni and Nááts'ihch'oh national park reserves protect about 86 percent of the entire South Nahanni watershed. Within the park reserves, habitat for mountain woodland caribou, grizzly bears, Dall's sheep, mountain goats and Trumpeter swans will be preserved.
Measuring 4,895 square kilometres, Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve adjoins Nahanni National Park Reserve (which was significantly expanded in 2009) and it touches the Yukon boundary to the West. This area has been travelled and valued for hunting and its spiritual importance by the Shutagot’ine (Mountain Dene) of the Tulita District. The mountain from which the park takes its name is credited with great spiritual powers.
The Impact and Benefit Plan was signed in March 2012 by the Government of Canada and the Sahtu Dene and Metis of the Tulita District for the establishment of Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve. This will ensure the provision of lasting economic, cultural, and social benefits on which Aboriginal and northern communities can build even greater growth and prosperity. These economic benefits along with the balance achieved between preserving wildlife habitat while continuing to allow for natural resource development in the north fulfill tenets of Canada’s Northern Strategy.