Ottawa, First Nations declare new National Wildlife Area in N.W.T.

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YELLOWKNIFE — A vast northern wilderness that has for centuries been a cultural sanctuary for northern Indigenous people has become Canada's latest National Wildlife Area.

Edehzhzie, more than twice the size of Banff National Park, comprises more than 14,000 square kilometres of forest, lakes, rivers and uplands.

Many bird species that migrate south have their breeding grounds there and it is home to animals including bears, lynx, caribou, moose and bison.

Edehzhie has been a Protected Area since 2018 and is partly managed by local First Nations through guardian programs.

The designation, as well as protections from the territorial government, will permanently protect the area and block any future energy or mineral development.

The federal government is kicking in $10 million to support management and research in the area.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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