Mikisew Kitaskino Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 02, 2022
Mikisew Cree First Nation leads collaborative efforts between governments, industry and neighbouring nations to further expand Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland Park. This expansion is a significant addition to the world’s largest protected boreal forest and it further protects species at risk and important boreal watersheds.
Fort Chipewyan, AB – Mikisew Cree First Nation celebrates the expansion of the Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland park that will see the park grow by 1,438 km2 from its western border.
Chief Peter Powder of the Mikisew Cree First Nation along with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, and Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks, Jason Nixon, celebrate the completion of a large expansion to the Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland park.
The newly protected area conserves habitat for at-risk species, including boreal caribou and the threatened Ronald Lake wood bison herd. The newly protected portion of the park fulfills another objective of the Mikisew Cree First Nation’s land use vision by conserving ecologically and culturally important watersheds that support the Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site.
“It is great to see this expansion become a reality. Expanding this protected area is part of our vision for Peace Athabasca Delta, North America’s largest inland river delta, and important resources such as the woodland caribou and wood bison” said Chief Peter Powder. “We respectfully acknowledge our elders for the wisdom they shared in helping us identify these watersheds for protection and we are proud future generations will benefit from their foresight. Canada’s Nature Fund helped us chart the collaborative strategy that allowed us to achieve this significant outcome with the support of our neighbouring nations, the provincial and federal governments and many industry partners. We’ve proven we can achieve great things when partners work together.”
Mikisew Cree First Nation, through support from Canada’s Nature Fund, led the collaborative discussions, which began in 2019, with several companies surrendering Crown mineral agreements to make the expansion possible. Collaborative discussions now focus on the protection of additional bison habitat and increasing the connectivity of the parts of the park on each side of the Athabasca River. The total area of the Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland Provincial Park is now over 775,000 acres or about six times the size of Waterton Lakes National Park. Kitaskino means “our land” in Cree and Nuwenëné means “our land” in Dene.
For information or to book an interview: Serena Mah/Media & Communications Consultant E: firstname.lastname@example.org M: 780 982 5058 W: www.mikisewcree.ca.