Nahanni National Park Reserve

Nahanni National Park Reserve

eAwaz Lifestyle

Ndahecho Gondié Gháádé (Following the Words of Our Elders) Agreement includes a new model for the Nahanni National Park Reserve cooperative management body, and additional provisions for economic benefits and employment and training opportunities

Nahanni Butte – Protected areas play a vital role in conserving natural and cultural heritage, fighting climate change and biodiversity loss, and providing Canadians with opportunities to learn more about iconic cultural and natural settings. The lands, waters, and ice that Parks Canada administers overlap with traditional territories, treaty lands and ancestral homelands of Indigenous peoples. Parks Canada recognizes the important roles Indigenous peoples play in protecting and conserving these cherished areas.

Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, together with Chief Steve Vital, Nahʔą Dehé Dene Band, and Grand Chief Herb Norwegian, Dehcho First Nations, announced the signing of the Ndahecho Gondié Gháádé Agreement to support social and economic opportunities for Nahʔą Dehé Dene and Dehcho Dene with regard to Nahanni National Park Reserve. The signing of this agreement builds on 20 years of successful cooperative management, and enhances the relationship in a context of respect and reconciliation.

This agreement recognizes and supports the crucial participation of Nahʔą Dehé Dene Band and Dehcho First Nations in the management of Nahanni National Park Reserve. Key elements include new and innovative models for cooperative management, funding for the new Nahʔą Dehé K’ehodi (Guardians on the Land) program within Nahanni National Park Reserve, employment opportunities, capacity development and economic provisions, as well as support for Elders and youth to participate in “on the land” programs within Nahanni National Park Reserve.

Shared governance arrangements, as described in this agreement, provide ways for Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples to engage in collaborative decision-making for protected heritage places. They are an important way for the Government of Canada to honour its commitments to renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, rooted in the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

This agreement will help ensure Indigenous connections to the land are honoured, and Indigenous rights are respected. It will also advance the shared interest of Parks Canada, Nahʔą Dehé Dene Band and Dehcho First Nations to protect the ecological and cultural integrity of the ecosystems found within Nahanni National Park Reserve.