Feds, territorial gov't postpone signing of Thaidene Nene final agreement

The signing of the final agreement for the Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve was set for July 25. Parks Canada now says it needs more time.

The federal, territorial and Lutselk'e governments were set to sign the agreement July 25th

In 2010, Canada and the Lutselk’e Dene First Nation committed to negotiate a park agreement for the establishment of Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve at the eastern end of Great Slave Lake. (Parks Canada)

The signing of the final agreement for the Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories has been postponed.

The proposed park, 26,376 square kilometres of land northeast of Lutselk'e, N.W.T., is touted as what would be the most progressive protected area in Canada. Its core would be a national park, with a territorially protected area surrounding that.

The federal and territorial governments and the community of Lutselk'e were scheduled to sign a final agreement on the creation of the national park reserve in the community on July 25, but that has been postponed until August.

A spokesperson with Parks Canada says the federal and territorial governments need more time as they are still finalizing details surrounding the park's creation.

This comes as some Indigenous groups, such as the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the NWT Métis Nation have expressed concerns about how the park has been developed. 

Chief Edward Sangris, from Detah, N.W.T., raised the issue at last week's Akaitcho assembly in Lutselk'e, saying he is concerned about how the park will affect his people's treaty rights to hunt, trap and fish. 

Parks Canada has said Indigenous treaty rights will be protected within the park.

This graphic, created by the Canadian Press, shows the proposed boundaries for Thaidene Nene, including the areas removed from the proposal for possible resource development. (The Canadian Press/Mapbox streets)