Thaidene Nëné is a majestic and magical place including many important ecological and cultural features

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Bald eagle with wings outstretched perches at the top of a tree
Bald eagles are an iconic species in the Thaidene Nëné area

Rocky cliff with trees at the edge of a lake, with Great Slave Lake behind
The Thaidene Nëné area is known for its dramatic landscapes, beautiful waters, and brilliant skies

Located at the eastern end of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories, the proposed Thaidene Nëné national park reserve is part of a larger group of proposed protected areas around the East Arm and Artillery Lake regions. Thaidene Nëné means ‘Land of the Ancestors’ in the Chipewyan language. The Łutsël K'e Dene First Nation (ŁKDFN) consider Thaidene Nëné to be the ‘heart of the homeland’ as well as a sacred place. The Northwest Territory Métis Nation (NWTMN) also has significant cultural ties to the area. Thaidene Nëné is a culturally rich area, including the traditional and present-day hunting, fishing, gathering and spiritual areas used by various Aboriginal peoples. Many local residents and visitors also use the Thaidene Nëné area for a variety of activities.

In January 2015, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) initiated work on developing a matrix of protected area designations and northern tools for the 33,600 square kilometre Thaidene Nëné land withdrawal area. It was agreed that a significantly smaller national park reserve would be part of that matrix. Parks Canada is working to add 14,000 square kilometres of Thaidene Nëné to its existing network of national parks, national marine conservation areas, national historic sites and the proposed Rouge National Urban Park.

The proposed Thaidene Nëné national park reserve will uniquely contribute to the Government of Canada’s goal of representing each of the 39 distinct, terrestrial natural regions within Parks Canada’s National Parks System. The Northwestern Boreal Uplands Natural Region, which stretches from Great Bear Lake in the northwest to the shores of Hudson Bay in the southeast, is one of the regions currently unrepresented in Canada’s National Parks System.

The proposed Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve, with its dramatic transition from the boreal forest of the Taiga Shield to above tree-line in the southern Arctic tundra, is an outstanding example of the Northwestern Boreal Uplands Natural Region. Fort Reliance National Historic Site / Old Fort Reliance Territorial Historic Site and the traditional travel route between Great Slave Lake and Artillery Lake known as Pike’s Portage, are also within the Thaidene Nëné study area.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with Canadians to conserve, present and restore Canada’s rich natural heritage for present and future generations. Launched in May 2014, Canada’s National Conservation Plan provides a vision to advance conservation efforts across the country in three priority areas including: conserving lands and waters, restoring ecosystems and connecting Canadians to nature.

The proposed Thaidene Nëné national park reserve would help deliver on Parks Canada’s vision that:

"Canada’s treasured natural and historic places will be a living legacy, connecting hearts and minds to a stronger, deeper understanding of the very essence of Canada."

In achieving that vision, Parks Canada continues to collaborate with the GNWT.

Developing an understanding of the variety of existing and potential uses and interests in the Thaidene Nëné area is an essential component of the national park establishment process and will be obtained in part through Parks Canada’s consultations with Aboriginal groups, as well as discussions with the GNWT, third parties, stakeholders and local communities.

Parks Canada will be undertaking consultations with Aboriginal groups and communities as well at third-party interests, stakeholders and the public during the summer and fall of 2015. During the winter of 2016, Parks Canada will report the results of the consultations to the federal Minister of the Environment and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada. The Minister will then take the proposal to Cabinet.

Should the Governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada agree to proceed, Parks Canada and the GNWT would then launch the negotiation of a national park reserve establishment agreement. Also during this time, Parks Canada would complete negotiations with the ŁKDFN and NWTMN.

Explore this website to discover what makes Thaidene Nëné special and get background information.

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