Through our work in the Northwest Territories we are helping to create one of the largest protected areas in Canada and a precedent-setting model for co-management between First Nations, federal and territorial governments. Thaidene Nene, or “Land of the Ancestors," is a 6.5-million-acre area that sits within the transition zone between Canada’s Boreal Forest and Arctic tundra. It's an extraordinarily rich habitat for grizzly bears, wolves, birds and fish, and some of the world’s last free-ranging herds of barren-ground caribou. The canyons, rivers and waterfalls are also culturally sacred for Lutsel K’e, holding ancient wisdom and providing sustenance in accordance with their traditional practices.
TNC Canada developed maps and scientific research of the region’s most important and unique natural features, which—merged with data about cultural sites such as graveyards and traditional travel routes—helped determine the park boundaries. We raised $15 million to establish the Land of the Ancestors Trust, a long-term financing solution that will revitalize traditional stewardship and long-term economic development.