Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 09, 2009 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Announces the Expanded Boundary for Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada

"The greatest conservation achievement in a generation"

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 9, 2009) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today tabled historic legislation that will result in a massive expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada.

"Nahanni is one of the Crown jewels of our incredible system of national parks and it is with pride that I take part in the greatest conservation achievement in a generation," said the Honourable Jim Prentice. "Enshrining this magnificent area in legislation, under the Canada National Parks Act, is a gift to future generations that will ensure Nahanni National Park Reserve is managed according to the most stringent conservation standards."

The expansion will make Nahanni six times its current size, and the third largest park in Canada. It will protect over 30,000 square kilometres (a little less than the size of Vancouver Island), which is approximately 91% of the Greater Nahanni Ecosystem in the Dehcho region. It will enhance Nahanni's UNESCO World Heritage Site designation as a protected area and will now include much of the South Nahanni River watershed

"Nahanni National Park Reserve is important to the culture of the Dehcho First Nations. The expanded boundary will ensure Nahanni continues to be revered as a place of mystery, spirituality and healing," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "We are very pleased to have reached this remarkable achievement through strong collaboration with Dehcho First Nations, and with the support of the Government of the Northwest Territories."

"Even when we don't walk on the land, our spirit is walking the land," said J. Antoine, Nahanni Expansion Working Group. "This work has taken many years, many people working with passion and dedication. We must always remember the words of our Elders, "take care of the land and the land will take care of us."

"The Nahanni personifies the spectacular nature of the Northwest Territories landscape," Premier Floyd K Roland said. "It is a region that holds great cultural and traditional value to the people of the NWT and represents our spirit, beauty and potential to travellers from around the world. The size and nature of this expansion highlights our shared commitment, as Northerners to protect and sustain the value and wonder of our region for the future."

Today's announcement follows a 2007 commitment by the Government of Canada to expand Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada.

To further encourage Canadians and visitors from abroad to get out and enjoy these national treasures, Canada's government has frozen fees in all national parks and historic sites managed by Parks Canada this year and next.

Also available on the Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    819-997-1441
    or
    Parks Canada
    National Corporate Communications Branch
    Media Relations
    819-994-3023
    or
    Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
    Media Relations
    819-953-1160