Edéhzhíe Candidate AreaLast updated: August 2016
Edéhzhíe (eh-day-shae), includes the Horn Plateau, Horn River, Mills Lake and Willowlake River. The Edéhzhíe Working Group's recommended boundary is 14,250 km².
- Map of Edéhzhíe (map pdf)
- Photo Gallery of Edéhzhíe (viewer)
- Videos about Edéhzhíe (berries and water)
Importance of Edéhzhíe
- The Horn Plateau is a unique ecosystem. The headwater lakes and muskeg on the Plateau feed the Rabbitskin, Willowlake and Horn Rivers and Mills Lake, which are important fish and wildlife habitat, and sources of clean water.
- The richness and diversity of Edéhzhíe have made this area a central cultural and spiritual gathering place for the Dehcho and Tłįchǫ peoples and figures prominently in Dene legends.
- Edéhzhíe hosts numerous cultural sites, trails and harvesting areas, and has always been used for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other traditional uses. Mills Lake is a key northern wetland on the Central and Mississippi continental flyways for migratory birds.
Status and History
- In 2002, the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) - Environment Canada sponsored Edéhzhíe as a Candidate Area. The original study area boundary was 25,000km2.
- Documentation and assessments of the area's ecological, cultural and economic values are complete.
- The Edéhzhíe Working Group finalized the Recommendations Report in November 2009 after a public review process. It describes a recommended final boundary, level of protection and management structure suggested for Edéhzhíe. The recommended boundary, at 57% of the original study area, includes most important conservation areas and excludes areas that may provide economic development opportunities. A co-operative management regime between CWS and the First Nations was recommended. The finalized Recommendations Report was submitted to the Dehcho First Nations, Tłįchǫ Government, territorial and federal governments and other working group organizations.
- The Edéhzhíe Candidate Area is now in the advanced stages of Step 6 of the PAS process, in which a formal request has been made for the site to become a permanent protected areas.
- In June 2010, the Dehcho First Nations and Tłįchǫ Government sent a letter to Environment Canada requesting the establishment of Edéhzhíe as a National Wildlife Area under the Canada Wildlife Act. The Edéhzhíe Working Group Recommendations Report formed the basis of the request.
- A Land Withdrawal Order exists granting an interim land withdrawal of surface and subsurface rights until June 5th 2018 for the Edéhzhíe Working Group's recommended boundary (14,250 km²).
- The Government of Canada is currently reviewing the proposal.
Edéhzhíe Working Group Vision Statement
Edéhzhíe is a spiritual place that is ecologically and physically unique. It is where the ancestors of the Dehcho and Tłįchǫ Dene went to sustain themselves when food was scarce. The waters are pure and the animals abundant. The Edéhzhíe National Wildlife Area will be managed using the best available knowledge to protect the watersheds, vegetation and wildlife that are necessary for sustaining the culture of present and future generations of Dehcho and Tłįchǫ Dene, as well as for the enrichment of all Canadians.
Vision statement in Slavey (pdf)
- 2009 - Edéhzhíe | Edéhzhíe Working Group Final Recommendations Report (full text pdf)
- 2008 - Edéhzhíe | Socio-Economic Assessment Baseline (summary pdf | full text pdf)
- 2008 - Edéhzhíe | Socio-Economic Assessment Development Options (summary pdf | full text pdf)
- 2006 - Edéhzhíe | Ecological Assessment (summary pdf | full text pdf)
- 2006 - Edéhzhíe | Hydrocarbon Assessment Summary Report (link)
- 2006 - Edéhzhíe | Renewable Resources Assessment (summary pdf | full text pdf)
- 2005 - Edéhzhíe | Cultural Documentation (contact the Conservation Planning staff for more information)
- 2004 - Edéhzhíe | Non-Renewable Resources Assessment Phase 1 (link)