Saoyú-ʔehdachoLast updated: November 2012
Saoyú (saw-you-eh) and ʔehdacho (aa-daa-cho) are two major peninsulas on the west side of Great Bear Lake totalling 5,550 km² in size. These peninsulas form the Saoyú-ʔehdacho National Historic Site of Canada.
- Factsheet on Saoyú-ʔehdacho including a map (full pdf | map jpg)
- Photo Gallery of Saoyú-ʔehdacho (viewer)
- Saoyú-ʔehdacho Celebration (page)
Importance of Saoyú-ʔehdacho
- Saoyú-ʔehdacho is deeply linked to the history of the Sahtugot’ine, the Dene of Great Bear Lake. To the Sahtugot’ine, the oral traditions and stories that are tied to the land help define who they are as a people. In recognition of the historical and cultural importance of these areas, Parks Canada designated these peninsulas as a national historic site in 1999.
- Saoyú-ʔehdacho has intact boreal forest, and is home to important wildlife species including woodland caribou, grizzly bears, wolverine and peregrine falcons.
- Established National Historic Site.
- The subsurface rights are withdrawn under the Territorial Lands Act (P.C. 2009-1588).
- Surface lands are owned by the Délįne Land Corporation (approximately 20%) and Parks Canada (approximately 80%).
- A Cooperative Management Board has been established to oversee
implementation of the Cooperative Management Agreement signed by
Parks Canada and Délįne for the protection and management of Saoyú-ʔehdacho NHS.
Co-Chairs Raymond Taniton and Tom Nesbitt, as well as four other
members, have been appointed by Parks Canada, the Délįne Renewable
Resources Council, and the Délįne Land Corporation.
- The community of Délįne entered Saoyú-ʔehdacho into the PAS process in 1999. National Historic Site designation was an important step in recognizing the importance of the peninsulas, but it did not protect the land from development. The community followed the direction of its elders to seek permanent protection.
- In 2002, an interim land withdrawal protected Saoyú-ʔehdacho while the PAS partners conducted assessments of the area's values to assist in decisions about future management.
- In March 2007, the Minister Responsible for Parks Canada announced funds for the initial development and annual ongoing operational costs for protecting and cooperatively managing Saoyú-ʔehdacho NHS of Canada.
- The Délįne First Nation, the Délįne Land Corporation, Délįne Renewable Resources Council and Parks Canada began work to negotiate an agreement for the co-operative management of the site. The negotiation was completed and the agreement signed in September 2008.
- The PAS Saoyú-ʔehdacho Working Group completed their Final Report in late 2007, which summarized the results of the cultural, ecological and economic assessments and consultations.
- In April 2009, the Minister Responsible for Parks Canada traveled to
Délįne to attend community celebrations and formally announce the
signing of the Saoyú-ʔehdacho NHS Cooperative Management Agreement and the
completion of the transfer of protected lands to Parks Canada.
The Shared Vision
Some elements of Délįne and Parks Canada's shared vision for Saoyú-ʔehdacho NHS include:
- cooperative management, with a central role for Délįne in day-to-day site management,
- respect for Sahtugot'ine harvesting rights, and
- a central focus on on-the-land cultural learning and healing programs, with elders playing a central role in passing Sahtugot'ine cultural on to youth.
- maintenance of commemorative integrity and opportunities for Canadians to learn about the site and about Sahtugot'ine culture
- 2006 - Saoyú-ʔehdacho | Socio-Economic Background Information and Preliminary Assessment (toc pdf | full text pdf)
- 2006 - Saoyú-ʔehdacho | Renewable Resource Assessment (summary pdf | full text pdf)
- 2005 - Saoyú-ʔehdacho | Reconnaissance of Flora and Fauna (summary pdf | full text pdf)
- 2005 - Saoyú-ʔehdacho | Non-Renewable Resource Assessment Phase 2 (summary pdf | full text link)
- 2004 - Saoyú-ʔehdacho | Cultural Values Report available from Délįne Special Projects Officer 867.589.8117
- 2004 - Saoyú-ʔehdacho | Commemorative Integrity Statement (summary pdf | full text pdf)
- 2002 - Saoyú-ʔehdacho | Non-Renewable Resource Assessment Phase 1 (link)
- 1996 - Grizzly Bear Mountain & Scented Grass Hills | Historic Sites and Monuments Board Agency Paper: Narrative and Landscape (pdf)
Working Group Reports
- 2007 - Saoyú-ʔehdacho | Working Group Final Report (pdf)
For more information on Saoyú-ʔehdacho, please contact Parks Canada
Phone: (867)777-8800 Fax: (867)777-8820