Nunavut wants to nominate Ukkusiksalik Kuunga as a Canadian Heritage River
With the recognition of Back River, "the residents of Baker Lake will be quite proud"
Nunavut’s culture and language minister James Arreak says the Government of Nunavut wants to see the Ukkusiksalik Kuunga, known as the Back River in English, added to the Canadian Heritage River System.
But Nunavut MLAs, meeting Nov. 1 in the legislature’s Nov. 1 Committee of the whole, said they want to make sure the Inuktitut name is used when the GN nominates the river.
Baker Lake MLA Moses Aupaluktuq said he welcomed the nomination as a future Canadian Heritage River for Ukkusiksalik Kuunga, which lies close to his community.
“Our future is full of possibilities, with the recognition of the river as a Heritage River, and the residents of Baker Lake will be quite proud of this status since, even without it, the Inuit of Baker Lake are already quite attached to it today,” he said.
Other Canadian Heritage Rivers in Nunavut include Harvaqtuuq (Kazan River), the Kanajuup Kuungat (Thelon River) and the Kuujjuak (Soper River).
The Coppermine River has also been nominated to the Canadian Heritage River System for its natural heritage, cultural heritage, and recreational values.
The Canadian Heritage Rivers System was established in 1984 by federal, provincial and territorial governments “to conserve rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational heritage, to give them national recognition, and to encourage the public to enjoy and appreciate them.”
Today, there are 42 Canadian Heritage Rivers (37 designated, with another five nominated) across Canada, says the Canadian Heritage Rivers System website.
All protective actions on Canadian Heritage Rivers respect the rights of aboriginal peoples, communities, private landowners, and other stakeholders, it says.
And governments retain their jurisdictional powers and management responsibilities throughout the nomination and designation process.