On September 22, 2015, the NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) celebrated the signing of an exciting Shared Understanding Agreement with Parks Canada.
The agreement provides a framework for consultation, cooperative management and planning on the Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve. “We are extremely pleased about our partnership with Parks Canada on this momentous agreement,” said Todd Russell, President of the NCC. “It ensures that our people will be able to continue using the park for traditional activities like fishing, hunting and trapping, as they have for generations, and will provide an economic boost in the region through tourism.”
In a July 31, 2015 news release, Parks Canada stated that “the national park reserve in the Mealy Mountains of Labrador will protect a nationally significant example of the East Coast Boreal Natural Region. This new national park reserve will provide unique Aboriginal cultural experiences and outdoor recreation activities such as canoeing, backcountry camping, and hiking.”
The Shared Understanding Agreement clearly outlines terms around management participation, traditional activities, cultural resources and economic opportunities, employment and training. This includes the formation of a consensus board comprised of representatives from both the NCC and Parks Canada.
The contribution agreement commits to activities around tourism development, capacity building for employment and entrepreneurs and cultural and heritage resource development.
“The NCC will work with our people to tell the story of NunatuKavut,” said President Russell. “We know visitors will be in awe of the natural beauty of our territory but we also want them to lean about our rich history and culture.”
About the Mealy Mountain Park Reserve
At 10,700 square kilometres, the recently established Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve will be the largest protected area in eastern Canada. Created to protect a representative example of Canada’s East Coast Boreal Region, it will be the second national park established in Labrador, one of Canada’s most pristine landscapes.
Labrador is a land known for its natural beauty and the park reserve will not disappoint, with an impressive array of natural features. In addition to the Mealy Mountains themselves as well as seemingly boundless stretches of arctic tundra and boreal forest, there is the iconic Wonderstrand – an over 50 kilometre stretch of beach along the Labrador Sea given its name by Viking sea farers because of the length of time it took to sail by them. The Wonderstrand is just 13 kilometres from the NunatuKavut community of Cartwright and is only accessible by boat or snowmobile, depending on the time of year. The park reserve will also provide visitors with ample opportunity to experience Labrador wildlife at its best. The threatened Mealy Mountain Caribou Herd, wolves, black bear, marten, fox, Atlantic salmon, trout, whales, seals and birds are just a sample of what is to be encountered while exploring this vast Labrador wilderness.
Visitors to the Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve can experience three distinct Aboriginal cultures in the Innu community of Sheshatshiu, the Inuit community of Rigolet and the southern Inuit (NunatuKavut) community of Cartwright. While Cartwright will be an official gateway community, each of the communities within NunatuKavut will offer visitors a unique and rewarding combination of adventure and cultural experiences. The communities of Lodge Bay, Mary’s Harbour, Port Hope Simpson, St. Lewis, Pinsent’s Arm, Charlottetown and Cartwright can be accessed along Trans Labrador Highway route 510 and arrangements can be made to visit the isolated communities of Black Tickle, William’s Harbour and Norman’s Bay.
For more information, please contact:
Richard Lewis – Business Advisor (Tourism)
Nunacor, Cartwright Office