© 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 / Wayne Lynch
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.
In October 2018, the new management plan for Ivvavik National Park was tabled in Parliament and will guide management decisions for the next 10 years. Ivvavik National Park was established in 1984 through provisions in the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) and together with Parks Canada, the Inuvialuit have worked to manage Ivvavik with the attention to the spirit and intentions of the IFA. The new management plan was developed by Parks Canada in close collaboration with a variety of Inuvialuit and other regional partners including the community of Aklavik, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and the Yukon Territorial Government. The Wildlife Management Advisory Council (North Slope) – a cooperative management body created under the IFA to manage wildlife in Ivvavik National park and the remainder of the Yukon North Slope – provided valuable input during the drafting process and formally recommended the final version of the plan to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. During the summer of 2017, other regional partners, stakeholders and the public at large provided insightful feedback as part of the public consultation phase on a draft of the new plan. To allow for the broader public to view the management plan and provide feedback, a draft was posted on both the Parks Canada and Consulting with Canadians websites. Hard copies were mailed out to various stakeholders to review. Support for the management plan was received during consultation with Indigenous peoples, stakeholders and Canadians at large.