Ottawa puts Nunavut’s Ukkusiksalik National Park under legal protection
Park around Wager Bay now officially established under National Parks Act, Ottawa says
Ukkusiksalik National Park in Nunavut’s Kivalliq region has been officially established under the Canada National Parks Act resulting in greater ecological protection, a news release from Parks Canada said Aug.12.
The park was first proposed in 1978, but an Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement wasn’t signed with the Canadian government until 2003, the Aug. 12 release said.
Jean Chrétien, then the prime minister, participated in a signing ceremony in Iqaluit in 2003.
As part of the IIBA, the Kivalliq Inuit were to receive $3 million in cash, a youth scholarship program and Inuit-preference provisions in the hiring of park staff and the awarding of park-related contracts.
The park, which encompasses Wager Bay, is home to many species, including polar bear, snow geese, muskox and the Arctic hare, the news release said, as well as more than 500 archaeological sites within its nearly 21,000 square kilometre area.
This past March, Ottawa added 327 square km to the park, following a land swap with the Kivalliq Inuit Association.
“Canada’s North is home to the world’s most spectacular scenery and pristine wilderness and I’m tremendously pleased to be announcing Ukkusiksalik will be protected for future generations,” Leona Aglukkaq, the minister responsible for Parks Canada, said in the release.