Parks Canada

Parks Canada

March 17, 2011 14:53 ET

Parks Canada Employee Receives International Cultural Resource Achievement Award

George Wright Society Award recognizes the value of cooperative relationships in Gwaii Haanas

GATINEAU, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - March 17, 2011) - Parks Canada congratulates Ernie Gladstone, Field Unit Superintendent for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, for being recognized with the George Wright Society's Cultural Resource Achievement Award. This is the first time the society has presented an award to a recipient from outside of the United States.

Presented today at the 2011 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas and Cultural Sites in New Orleans, Louisiana, the award recognizes Mr. Gladstone's leadership and role on the Canada-Haida Nation Archipelago Management Board – one of the most successful cooperative management arrangements in the world.

"The partnership formed between the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada for the management of Gwaii Haanas is built on the principles of mutual understanding, appreciation and trust," said Mr. Alan Latourelle, Parks Canada's Chief Executive Officer. "Today's prestigious award recognizes the significant contributions made by Aboriginal peoples and Parks Canada in the management of Canada's protected landscapes. I am proud of the leadership the Archipelago Management Board has demonstrated in protecting one of the most spectacular and wild places in our country."

"Effective leadership is a key part of any success" said Mr. Dave Harmon, Executive Director of the George Wright Society. "Ernie and all those involved in the management of Gwaii Haanas have played a critical role in the success of the Reserve's management and we are pleased to be able to offer this recognition for their exemplary and important work."

Mr. Gladstone is the Superintendent of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, a post he has held since 2001 when he was appointed as Parks Canada's first Haida Superintendent. Since that time, the protected areas of Gwaii Haanas have grown to include the newly established Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve. These sites are cooperatively managed by the Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation under the Archipelago Management Board. As co-chair of the board, Mr. Gladstone has dedicated himself to establishing an effective partnership that has been critical to the protection and presentation of the area's natural and cultural heritage. Gwaii Haanas is the only protected area in the world to be managed from mountain top to sea floor.

"The Canada-Haida Nation Archipelago Management Board is a testament to the value of cooperation in protecting our natural and cultural treasures," said Mr. Gladstone. "I sincerely thank the members of the George Wright Society for this honour, which recognizes the efforts of the Board and its heartfelt commitment to advancing the common goals of the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada: protecting and preserving the natural and historical interconnection between the land, sea and people that is Gwaii Haanas, while providing opportunities for employment and tourism to support the local community."

"This cooperative relationship has been long seen as an International model for protecting lands in the context of living Indigenous cultures who continue to rely on those lands," said Guujaaw, President of the Haida Nation. "In this instance, we have found a way to work around competing jurisdictions in the interests of looking after Gwaii Haanas. The International acknowledgement of this project through recognition of Ernie Gladstone and the AMB is fitting and well deserved."

Founded in 1980, the George Wright Society is a non-profit association dedicated to the protection, preservation, and management of cultural and natural parks and reserves through research and education. Based in Hancock, Michigan, the Society promotes professional research and resource stewardship across natural and cultural resource disciplines, provides avenues of communication, and encourages public policies that embrace these values.

In 2011, Parks Canada celebrates the centennial of its establishment as the Dominion Parks Service, the first federal agency in the world managing national parks. Special places like Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site have made Parks Canada a recognized leader in the conservation and preservation of natural and cultural heritage.

Parks Canada works to ensure Canada's historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our treasured natural and historic places.

For additional information on Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, please visit

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