Extensive archival and oral history research conducted for the report reveals that WBNP’s 1922 creation, 1926 expansion, and management throughout the 20th century, eroded Dené rights and sovereignty over a significant portion of their territory and damaged all aspects of the community’s health and well-being, governance, kinship networks, and relations to the land and water. The history of the Park has been widely interpreted by the community as a history of broken Treaty promises and of violations of Dené Treaty and hereditary rights. This story took place within the wider context of violent displacements of Indigenous peoples from their territories across Turtle Island throughout the 20th century. Indeed, protected parks have played a critical role in histories of colonial dispossession, violence and genocide.
For this research, we engaged closely with community members and the project steering committee to gather and expose this history. The research report is built on critical engagement with archival documents from Ottawa, Edmonton and Fort Chipewyan, as well as close readings of dozens of historical interviews conducted with community members from 1970s onward and 29 new interviews with 30 community members. These interviews were recorded from November 2020-May 2021.
Willow Springs is honoured to have worked alongside ACFN on this important project. We are deeply grateful for the countless individuals who generously shared their time, memories, knowledge and expertise to help reconstruct this complex story and understand its ongoing impacts in the community. We hope the report will be a source of ample information for ACFN’s campaign to garner public attention to this history, as well as a national apology and appropriate compensation from the federal government.
Below you will find links to the Executive Summary and the Final Report. As media coverage develops, we will also be posting that below.
ST & PF
Other Media Coverage
Kristy Kirkup, "Report details harms to Alberta First Nation for creation of Wood Buffalo National Park," Globe and Mail, July 19, 2021.
Vincent McDermott, "ACFN calls for harvesting rights in Wood Buffalo National Park, apology for mistreatment in park's creation," Fort McMurray Today, July 20, 2021.
Jaryn Vecchio, "Report: Apology, Compensation Needed After ACFN Members Evicted, Separated from Families in Creation of WB National Park," Mix103.7, July 20, 2021.
Jamie Malbeuf, "Report outlines 'violent, fraught' history of Wood Buffalo National Park and impact on First Nation," CBC News, July 22, 2021.
Mike Lapointe, "First Nation seeks apology from feds for displacement, hardships stemming from creation of Wood Buffalo National Park," The Hill Times, August 4, 2021 (Subscription Required, contact WSSS for a copy if you do not subscribe).
Jake Cardinal, "ACFN Calls For Reparations And Hunting Rights In Wood Buffalo National Park," Alberta Native News, August 19, 2021