Have your say – Bill S-14!

Bill S-14, the Protecting Canada’s Natural Wonders Act, is a Bill introduced in the Senate of Canada in the fall of 2023. Among other things, it will formally establish Akami-Uapshk-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve (MMNP) as a National Park Reserve governed under the Canada National Parks Act.

The Bill as originally tabled recognizes NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) members as “traditional land users,” entitled to carry on certain traditional activities in the Park. This was intended to implement the provisions of NCC’s Shared Understanding Agreement (SUA) with Parks Canada, and to allow our members to exercise their rights until such time as section 35 agreements can be negotiated.

Despite efforts from NCC to educate Senators about the longstanding connection and rights that NunatuKavut Inuit have to the Park, the Senate chose to amend the Bill to remove NCC members from the category of traditional land users. This was done based on defamatory statements and misrepresentations made to the Senate committee by the Innu Nation and their representatives. The amended Bill was passed by the Senate in December. It is set to move to the House of Commons this year.

NCC will be working hard to ensure the Government of Canada respects the rights of NunatuKavut Inuit and reverses the Senate’s amendment to remove NCC members as traditional land users from Bill S-14 when it goes through the House of Commons process.

At NCC’s Annual General Assembly on February 3, 2024, NunatuKavut Inuit passed a resolution that says NCC’s SUA with Parks Canada must be honoured and that Bill S-14 must be amended to ensure that NunatuKavut Inuit rights are respected.

What can you do to help?

We have a form letter ready that will be emailed to your local MP and automatically cc’d to Environment and Climate Change Minister, Steven Guilbeault. It’s easy. Just click on one of the links below, fill out the short form and click “send letter.”

What are others saying?

Dwight Lethbridge, an Inuk from Cartwright and a member of NCC, has written a powerful open letter about his own family’s connection to the Park. It is called “Open Letter to those who need to know I exist.”

If you want to share your story, please email Kelly at communications@nunatukavut.ca or call 709-280-5965

Supporting Documentation

References from Chesley Lethbridge’s book “A Life of Challenge (One Labradorians Experiences)”

“The Pardy name, on my mother’s side of the family, began with the arrival of George Pardy, around 1800, who first settled on Porcupine Strand at a place now called Pardy’s Head. He married an Inuit woman of unknown name.” (pp. xi)

“In 1971, the Federal Government of the day decided to designate a number of National Parks areas throughout Canada, and two would be in Labrador. I have always admired the beauty of Porcupine Strand, and thought it should be reserved as an untouched area for people to enjoy, for time immemorial.” (pp 109)

“The following is some correspondence that I sent and received in support of the idea of a park:” (pp. 109) (attached)