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A National Park Proposal on Bathurst Island

Background – The Story So Far...

A group of people pose on a landing strip by the open door of a twin otter aircraft Resolute community members and Parks Canada official participated in a field trip to the proposed national park on Bathurst Island in September 2010.
© Parks Canada

1994 | The national park proposal on Bathurst Island is first discussed with the Resolute Hunters and Trappers Organization.

1995 | A number of park feasibility studies about the Bathurst Island area begin in 1995 and conclude in 2001. The studies look at mineral and energy resources, archaeology, wildlife and traditional knowledge.

The Mineral and Energy Resource Assessment (MERA), completed in 1999, shows high potential for mineral and hydrocarbons in the eastern part of the proposed park study area. This high potential area overlaps with significant Peary caribou calving habitat.

1996 | The first Interim Land Withdrawal for the proposed national park study area is approved. The withdrawal is renewed in 2001, 2004, 2009 and is now in place until 2014. 

Three people gather around a map to look at its features. Resolute community members participate in an information session about the Bathurst Island National Park proposal. 
© Parks Canada

2002 | The Government of Canada proposes a park boundary for negotiation with
Inuit.  | Further progress on establishing this proposed national park was delayed for several years for a range of reasons unrelated to the national park itself.

2009 | The  Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) and Parks Canada resume work on the national park proposal.  The QIA is the organization designated to negotiate an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) and a park boundary on behalf of the Inuit of the Qikiqtaluuk (Baffin) Region of Nunavut.

2010 | Negotiation of an IIBA between Parks Canada and QIA begins in Iqaluit.  |  Parks Canada holds community information sessions in Resolute and organizes a field trip for community members to Bathurst Island. 

2012 | After two years of negotiation, the IIBA is near completion.

To learn about the next steps toward creating Qausuittuq National Park go to ”What’s Happening”.

Purple saxifrage flowers in full bloom on arctic tundra.
A pair of Peary caribou look out over the tundra landscape. © M. Manseau, Parks Canada
A muskox stands alone on the arctic tundra.
The shining sun hangs like a brilliant ball low in the blue sky above three people standing on flat snow covered ground that stretches off into the distance.