Tuktut-Nogait National Park is located in the Northwest Territories. The name Tuktut-Nogait comes from the Inuvialuktun language and simply means young caribou.
The total area of the park is 16,340 square kilometers, it is located about 170 km north of the Arctic Circle. The founding year of the Tuktut-Nogait National Park is 1996. The Inuit is particularly indebted to the park protection, because they have been working intensively for the preservation of the area for a long time.
The park is a bit off the main routes and that is the main reason why there are fewer tourists and visitors here. But the few who come are absolutely delighted and impressed.
The area protects a natural landscape of arctic tundra. The name “young caribou” is no coincidence. One of the most important caribou habitats in North America is located here.
Leisure activities in Tuktut Nogait National Park
Tuktut Nogait National Park offers its visitors plenty of peace and quiet. Just the right mood and atmosphere to enjoy wildlife viewing. In addition to grizzly bears, caribou and bison, the musk oxen that live here can also be observed. Wolves and Arctic char also have their habitats here.
The Inuvialuit still live in the region today. So different villages can also be visited. You can get to know the handicrafts of the indigenous people here and buy one or two souvenirs.
Importance of the indigenous people for the park
It should not be left unmentioned that the indigenous people have been fighting for the preservation and protection of the area for a long time. The park owes its status as a national park to them in the end. The advancement of the protection of the region was prevented for a long time by the influential mine operators. It is also believed that some sums of money should have flowed in the process. But this has never been confirmed. In the end, the indigenous people managed to put the area under protection. The lengthy and sometimes difficult negotiations have paid off and an agreement was reached in December 1998.
History from the Tuktut Nogait National Park
Many questions about the life and work of the first indigenous peoples in the park are raised by various archaeological excavations raised. Many of the pieces found puzzled scientists. But one thing is certain. The prehistoric Thule Inuit Indians once hunted in the center of the park area. They had their hunting and fishing territory here and gathered food for their families. Archaeological sites can still be found here today. These show, among other things, the caribou fences and the natives’ feeding equipment. In total there are 230 archaeologically significant excavation sites counted in the entire park area. The research has almost certainly shown that the first humans lived here around 3,400 years ago. Some of the tools found come from a long time ago. It is estimated that these are already 4,000 years old.
The first Europeans entered the area in 1771. Samuel Hearne was one of them. He was looking for copper in the region. English Arctic explorers came to the area from 1821 to 1852 to explore the region. Unfortunately, word quickly got around that many whales lived here and so around 1900 numerous whalers came to today’s sanctuary to slaughter the animals. Animal hunting reached its peak when the whalers were joined by fur hunters and traders.