Ivvavik National Park of Canada
Arctic Willow © Parks Canada / Wayne Lynch
Ivvavik was the first national park in Canada to be created as a result of an Aboriginal land claim settlement - The Inuvialuit Final Agreement (1984). The Inuvialuit wanted to ensure that this biologically and culturally rich area would be protected from development. In the 1970s significant oil and gas reserves were found on the Alaskan North Slope and under the Beaufort Sea. A proposed plan to build a pipeline across the North Slope would have done irreparable damage to the integrity of the environment and potentially to the long-term survival of the caribou population. A large part of the herd's calving grounds were already protected in the adjacent Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. By designating the Yukon's North Slope as a national park, the wishes of the Inuvialuit and other Canadians for protection of this special place were met.
Parks Canada and the Inuvialuit co-operatively manage Ivvavik. Common goals are to ensure the long-term integrity of the wilderness, the health of wildlife populations, and the preservation of cultural resources. They also ensure that the Inuvialuit can continue to practice their traditional lifestyles, which include hunting, trapping and fishing. A shared vision for Ivvavik is: The land will support the people who protect the land.
This vision statement illustrates that Ivvavik's managers will ensure the well being of the land, wildlife and their habitats. The land in turn will support the people -- traditional users and visitors -- by supplying good camping areas, clean water, traditional harvests, and enriching experiences.