Government Commitments


Nunatsiavut Government and Government of Canada take major step forward toward establishing Inuit Protected Area along the northern coast of Labrador

March 15, 2024

NationTalk: Parks Canada – Parks Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that recognizes and honours the historic and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories, and cultures, as well as the special relationships Indigenous peoples have with ancestral lands, waters, and ice.

Today, Johannes Lampe, President of Nunatsiavut, and the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the successful completion of a feasibility assessment that deemed the establishment of a new Inuit Protected Area in northern Labrador as both feasible and desired.

The proposed 16,791 square kilometre Inuit Protected Area is located in the Labrador Sea, in the coastal waters adjacent to Torngat Mountains National Park in northern Labrador. The area is home to polar bears, whales and dolphins, seals, breeding and migrating seabirds, waterfowl, and a variety of fish species. If established, it will conserve a portion of the Labrador Shelf Marine Region and protect the fjords that extend into Torngat Mountains National Park.

Building on this major step forward and supported by Fisheries and Oceans Canada as the federal authority on fisheries, the Nunatsiavut Government, Makivvik Corporation, stakeholders, and Parks Canada will continue to work toward finalizing and signing a Memorandum of Understanding to begin working on the negotiation phase on the establishment of a new Inuit Protected Area. Focus during this stage will be placed on key items, including a final boundary, a co-management structure, and ongoing consultations with rights holders, partners, stakeholders, industry, and communities.

In addition to conserving biodiversity, protecting these marine ecosystems in northern Labrador will contribute to the vitality of Inuit culture and traditions and the well-being of Labrador and Nunavik Inuit who have been stewards of this region since time immemorial. Inuit have extensive knowledge of the land, water and sea ice in this area and are sustained, to this day, by its wildlife. Inuit knowledge, coupled with western science, has been used as the foundation during the feasibility assessment and will continue to play a key role in the establishment of the Inuit Protected Area.

Today’s announcement underlines the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing reconciliation and the implementation of rights and treaty obligations through a renewed nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationship with Indigenous peoples. It also highlights the shared interest of the Nunatsiavut Government, Makivvik Corporation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Parks Canada to protect the ecological and cultural integrity of the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of northern Labrador.

Once established, the new Inuit Protected Area could contribute 0.29 per cent, an area approximately three times the size of Prince Edward Island, to the Government of Canada’s commitment to protecting biodiversity and conserving 30 per cent of marine and coastal areas by 2030.