Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation

After 40 years of advocacy, the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation achieved the vision of protecting their land and waters for future generations in 2019 by signing agreements with national and territorial governments to officially create Thaidene Nëné, a 26,000 square kilometer protected area between the Canadian boreal forest and the arctic tundra. This intact landscape features some of the cleanest freshwater in the world and provides habitat for grizzly bears, wolves, moose, wolverine and some of the last herds of barren-ground caribou. It is also a globally significant carbon sink. This indigenous-led conservation model is made possible through the use of an innovative conservation finance mechanism called the Thaidene Nëné Trust, which is critical to the long-term conservation and lasting stewardship of this protected area. The Trust and indigenous local leadership lay the groundwork for this model of effective co-management.

Key facts 

Equator Prize Winner: 2020

Year of establishment: 2019 (after 40 years of advocacy)

Location: Łutsël K'é, Canada

Ecosystem: Forests, wetlands and rivers


Case study

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Related resources 

Equator Prize 2020


Global North


Sustainable Forestry


Biodiversity Conservation


Freshwater Management


Contact Information

Tracey Williams

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