Thaidene Nëné was established in August 2019 and is located at the eastern End of the east arm of Great Slave Lake. It is comprised of a Territorial Protected Area created through regulations under the Protected Areas Act, a future wildlife conservation area to be created under the Wildlife Act, and a National Park Reserve which are collectively known as an Indigenous Protected Area as designated by the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation.
While YKDFN supports the establishment of the National Park Reserve, we take issue with the Territorial Protected Area which encroaches onto Chief Drygeese Territory. Before establishment YKDFN made it clear to the Government of the Northwest Territories that they were not on board with the proposed boundary that encompassed the north shore of McLeod Bay. YKDFN was not properly consulted on the inclusion of this area, which falls within Chief Drygeese Territory, and were not prepared to negotiate YKDFN’s interest in this area. Since establishment, the Environment Department has been working closely with the Treaty, Rights and Governance Department to address and manage YKDFN interest in the North Shore of McLeod Bay. YKDFN has received multi-year funding to do this work and will be rolling out more programs specific to this concern in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Over the summer of 2019 Environment staff completed a boat routing program to highlight culturally sensitive areas found along the east arm of Great Slave Lake. This work was done to inform a larger project YKDFN is undertaking for access management to Thaidene Nëné for those individuals who will be traveling along the east arm to access the park. Safety, protection of cultural resources, and monitoring are the top priorities for this work.