Government Commitments


Governments in Yukon sign deal to protect massive conservation area

June 19, 2024

The Inuvialuit and the federal and Yukon governments signed a new conservation agreement to ensure greater protections for almost 850,000 hectares of the territory’s northeast coast.

APTN News: The new agreement – which also includes the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Inuvialuit Game Council, Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee and Aklavik Community Corporation – focuses on the northeastern slope of the territory in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

The new protected area, the Aullaviat/Anguniarvik Traditional Conservation Area, covers 1.8 per cent of the Yukon’s landmass.

The agreement ensures protection and conservation of wildlife such as the Porcupine caribou herd, polar bears and migratory birds. It will also help preserve and promote traditional use amongst Inuvialuit mostly living in Aklavik and Inuvik in the Northwest Territories who access the land.

“Aullaviat/Anguniarvik means ‘where wildlife and people travel, a place to hunt’ and this place has been a vital part of the Inuvialuit homeland since time immemorial,” said Aullaviat/Anguniarvik working group representative William Storr in a release.

“The traditional use and management of this area is central to our Inuvialuit culture, identity and values. We are proud to finally establish an agreement with Canada and the Yukon that will allow us to continue to take care of the animals and sustain our culture.”

Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault called the agreement “historic,” in a release.

“Through partnerships like this, Canada continues to make progress toward conserving 30 percent of lands and waters in Canada by 2030,” he said.

The agreement comes 40 years after the signing of the 1984 Inuvialuit Final Agreement. The Final Agreement identified the entire northern portion of the Yukon as a place for conservation of wildlife, habitat and traditional Inuvialuit use.

Canada is contributing $10 million towards a trust fund for the creation of an Inuvialuit land guardian program, cultural revitalization and other capacity-building initiatives. Philanthropic contributions have contributed an additional $3.5 million, bringing the total trust fund to $13.5 million.

Celebrations for the agreement will take place June 19 and 20 in Aklavik.

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