Maximizing Łutsël K'e community benefit from the proposed national park through capacity building and the social economy




Bennett, Nathan
Lemelin, Harvey

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Łutsël K’e Dene Band; Lakehead University


The primarily Dene First Nation community of of !utsël K’e, Northwest Territories, located 200km east of Yellowknife on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, is questioning the implications of the creation of a national park in their traditional territory and on the local community and how to maximize local benefit. This document explores the results of a collaboratively developed research project that focused on: 1) perceived and desired community development outcomes related to the creation of a national park; 2) capacity building for the maximization of local benefit; and 3) the role of the social economy in facilitating social and economic development related to park creation. Prior to exploring these three areas of focus, the first section explores the context of this study and provides a brief history of the national park proposal for the East Arm of Great Slave Lake. The research process, methodology and methods are also outlined in this section. The second section of this document explores community perceptions of the reasons that the community initially opposed the formation of a national park and the factors that may have caused the community’s position to change and provides an overview of the perceived and desired community benefits of the park’s creation. A discussion of emergent themes related to capacity building for tourism development, for capitalizing on potential employment and contract opportunities, and for non-economic development is provided in the third section. The fourth section examines the role of the social economy in facilitating community development related to the creation of the park. Recommendations for applying the results of this research are highlighted throughout the document. The goal of this document has been to provide information for the Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation and the Parks Canada agency and to support the maximization of local community development as the formation of the national park proceeds.


This report was prepared for the Thaidene Nene Parks Working Group of the Łutsël K’e DeneFirst Nation. The information in this report resulted from Nathan Bennett’s thesis research,which was conducted during the spring and summer of 2008 in Łutsël K’e, NWT. All stages of this research project were supervised by Dr. Harvey Lemelin (School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, Lakehead University) and guided by Stephen Ellis and Gloria Enzoe (Thaidene Nene Parks Working Group, Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation). The analysis presented in this report was based on the available data and represents the views of the authors and not necessarily those of Lakehead University or the Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation.