November 26, 2019 (Yellowknife, NWT) Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) National Boreal Program offers a sincere congratulations to Indigenous partners, the K’asho Got’ı̨nę of the Sahtú region and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) in signing, establishing and collaboratively managing a new Indigenous protected area. Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta near Fort Good Hope, NWT is a 10,000 square-kilometer internationally acclaimed area with a high volume of carbon-dense wetlands and important migratory bird and waterfowl populations.
Located in the Ramparts River watershed of the Sahtú region, Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta is a critical wetland system that provides key habitat for migratory birds and many species that are at risk, including grizzly bear, northern mountain caribou, wolverine, short-eared owl and boreal woodland caribou. Conservation of this unique place will help to preserve the cultural significance of the area, as well as its biodiversity.
Enormous concentrations of waterfowl converge upon this complex of boreal vegetation interspersed with open wetlands each spring and summer. Overall, it is one of the top three most populated areas within the broader Mackenzie River Valley in terms of waterfowl. But a warming climate and a changing landscape has created concern among the people of Fort Good Hope.
Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta is an important traditional and spiritual area where waterfowl and wildlife are abundant. This is a place where the Sahtú Dene and Métis hunt, fish, trap and live on the land as they have for generations. In this protected area, community-led stewardship and a Guardians program will play a major role in preserving its natural habitat. Local Sahtu members will be involved in the management, monitoring and protecting of the land, water, plants and animals of Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta. This sacred harvesting area represents a way of life for the Indigenous communities dependent on this land and will achieve permanent protection through this signed agreement