Nunavut's Ukkusiksalik National Park is one step closer to completion, as the federal government prepares to swap some land with the area's Inuit association.
The proposed park, which was officially designated in 2003 by then Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, isjust south of Repulse Bay in the Wager Bay area, on some Inuit-owned land.
As a result, the park cannot proceed unless there's a land exchange between the Kivalliq Inuit Association and the federal government.
But Michael Nadler, Nunavut's regional director general with the Indian and Northern Affairs Department, told CBC News that it's well on its way to swapping some land with the association.
"Two parcels of land have been identified by the Kivalliq Inuit Association: one near the Kikavik deposit northwest of Baker Lake, and another north of Repulse Bay," Nadler said Wednesday.
The two parcels of land were largely selected for their mineral wealth and economic development potential, he said. The park area to become a national park within the next two years,Nadler added.
First identified as a park in 1978, the 22,000-square-kilometre Ukkusiksalik National Park represents the Central Tundra natural ecosystem. At the heart of the park will be Wager Bay, a 100-kilometre inland sea that extends west from Hudson Bay. The site is home to polar bears, caribou, foxes, wolves, and 125 bird species.
Once it's completed, the park will be Nunavut's fourth national park, after Auyuittuq, Quttinirpaaq and Sirmilik national parks.