Aboriginal and Local Perspectives on the Community Benefits of Conservation: A Case Study of a Proposed Canadian National Park and the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation

  • Nathan Bennett University of Victoria
  • Raynald Harvey Lemelin Lakehead University
  • Stephen Ellis Thaidene Nene Parks Working Group
Keywords: Conservation, Community Benefits, Social and Economic Development, National Parks, Aboriginal Peoples


Lutsel K’e, Northwest Territories, is a rural Aboriginal (Dene) community with a population of 400 that could soon become the gateway to the third largest national park in Canada. The Thaidene Nene Working Group of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation is interested in the potential of the park in contributing to local socio-economic development. A collaborative research project with researchers from Lakehead University in Canada, examined various perspectives on how to maximize local development potentials in the community, with the purpose of providing information to the community and Parks Canada for direct use in park and community planning and development. This descriptive paper focuses on local and Aboriginal community member perspectives on the perceived and desired benefits of the creation of a national park in the traditional territory of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation.


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