A new report details the “worrying” and “violent” history of Wood Buffalo National Park, including the evacuation of hundreds of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation members. Now, the indigenous people demand a formal apology and compensation.
The park is the largest national park in Canada. It is located in northeastern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories. It was founded in 1922 and expanded in 1926. The “Band Transfer Incident” occurred in 1944, That report Said that this led to the separation of the Dene family.
The report was commissioned by Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and written by Alberta-based consulting firm Willow Springs Strategic Solutions. It tells the history of the park and its impact based on interviews with residents, seniors and archival materials.
“Community members and elders interviewed for this study stated that the park’s current co-management strategy is not sufficient to meaningfully address the park’s violence, worrying history, and its direct and cumulative intergenerational impact on the people of Denésuliné,” posted 182 The page reported earlier this week.
Athabasca Chiviyan Aboriginal Chief Alan Adam said that his grandmother Helen Bruno was forced to leave the Birch River in Alta Province and her home was razed to the ground.
“This story makes me very angry,” Adam said. “Since then, our people have suffered.”
He said that the aborigines are not allowed to hunt on this land, even in times of hunger.
“If we hunt there, we will be charged,” Adam said.
The indigenous people are seeking apologies, compensation and land.
“We want to recognize the real people in that land.”
“We were taken away from Wood Buffalo National Park in 1922. We were never told sorry…we were never told we could go back to the park to hunt.”
Adam said that he has been discussing this issue in Parliament since 2007, but it has not been resolved.
“This is our land,” Adam said. “Danny paid a heavy price during this whole process.”
Canadian parks “recognize the alienation and hardships of the past”
The report was originally scheduled to be released before the 100th anniversary of the park in 2022.
A spokesperson for the Canadian Parks Bureau said that the federal government “recognizes the alienation and hardships associated with the creation of parks in the past.”
The spokesperson said that Federal Parks Secretary Jonathon Wilkinson has written to Aboriginal leaders and the park’s cooperative management committee to apologize to communities that have been negatively affected.
“We hope that the next 100 years of Wood Buffalo National Park will be marked by joint governance and sound management, recognizing and celebrating this beautiful landscape and the unique indigenous culture that has shaped it and was shaped by it,” the spokesperson said.
The report’s lead author Sabina Trimble (Sabina Trimble) said that when Parks Canada divided the land, some families were separated.
“The creation and expansion of Wood Buffalo National Park… violates Treaty No. 8, which promises to protect the rights of the Danny,” Trimble said.
“Wood Buffalo National Park is…a key player in the larger context of colonial violence, deprivation, and genocide.”
At that time, in the 1900s, the Canadian government’s goal was to protect the park’s animals and wilderness.
Peter Fortna, director of Willow Springs Strategic Solutions, said: “People think that the participation of indigenous people is impossible to achieve protection, so they do their best to try to remove as many indigenous people as possible from the area.”
“The Deepest Root of Colonization”
Elder Dene Alice Rigney said that when she was forced to leave, her grandmother lived in House River.
“They more or less left everything behind,” said Rigney, a resident of Fort Civiyan, Alta.
She said her father was accused of shooting ducks in the park in the 1930s. Rigney said it was “a slap in the face” because he was hunting to support his family.
In an ideal world, Rigney said that the land would be returned to the indigenous people.
“I think it’s time to admit this,” she said.
Leslie Wiltzen said his family was also taken away from the park.
Over the years, he said that his family felt uncomfortable setting foot on this land.
“It’s great to see history emerge, and I hope the federal government can correct the mistakes they made,” Wilson said.
“This is the deepest level of colonization.”