Thaidene Nene is the heart of the homeland and sacred place of the Lutsel K’e Denesoline. It is where our ancestors laid down the sacred, ethical and practical foundations of the Denesoline way of life.
Lutsel K’e is looking to a future that not only secures our land and water, but will secure our Dene way of life for generations to come. By protecting Thaidene Nene, we hope to diversify our local economy and create sustainable livelihoods and new tourism opportunities. We are taking a holistic approach to building a healthy and self-sustaining community.
We are developing special partnerships to protect part of our traditional homeland. Our vision is that Thaidene Nene will always be a place where we can hunt caribou and other animals that provide our sustenance, where we can fish in the deep, clear waters that surround us, and where practising and strengthening our culture will create sustainable livelihoods and opportunities to share with other Canadians.
Read our complete Vision, adopted in 2008.
The Place and the People
The Thaidene Nene study area begins just outside of the community of Lutsel K’e, NWT. Perched on the shore of the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, Lutsel K’e is the gateway to Thaidene Nene, and the home of the Lutsel K’e Denesoline. A warm and nurturing community of 350, Lutsel K’e has a small airport and a summer marina, making it accessible year-round. In fact, Thaidene Nene already hosts more visitors each year than all other NWT and Nunavut national parks combined!
Thaidene Nene spans the transition zone from boreal forest to tundra, and includes smaller lakes connected by rivers with rapids and waterfalls, as well as the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, which contains spectacular cliffs and islands, and some of the deepest freshwater in North America. This still-intact ecosystem features prime habitat for healthy wildlife populations, including moose, muskoxen, wolves, bear, wolverine, many species of birds and fish, and some of the last free-ranging herds of migratory barrenground caribou, which are particularly important to us.
The intimate link between ecological and cultural integrity make Thaidene Nene especially important to protect. Thaidene Nene is a globally-significant carbon sink, a critical source of subsistence and cultural value, and is home to many beautiful places with special cultural significance to the Lutsel K’e Dene.
Thaidene Nene presents an incredible opportunity to conserve a globally-significant landscape while creating a sustainable local economy in our community based in tourism, and fostering our self-determination. Thaidene Nene has been protected to date by interim land withdrawals, and the LKDFN’s strong leadership and vision for our traditional territory. Permanent protection will give us the opportunity to keep our culture strong and secure our future for many generations to come, and help diversify our NWT economy.
Download a pdf of the Thaidene Nene brochure here.