Peel pro­tec­tors

Canadian Geographic - - ENGAGING WITH US -

In “Re­turn to the Peel,” (May/june), the head of the Klondike Placer Min­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion is quoted as say­ing that the sit­u­a­tion in the Peel Wa­ter­shed was “blown out of pro­por­tion ... by in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal groups who leapt into the de­bate with lit­tle un­der­stand­ing about the re­gion.” This is not true. State­ments like this are part of a trend wherein pro­po­nents of re­source ex­trac­tion claim peo­ple op­pos­ing their plans are not lo­cal, or are tak­ing di­rec­tion from out­side of Canada. It is a tac­tic de­signed to dis­miss the le­git­i­macy of or­ga­ni­za­tions work­ing to pro­tect Canada’s en­vi­ron­ment. It also de­nies the agency of First Na­tions who have spent decades ad­vo­cat­ing for pro­tec­tion of their land. The cam­paign was led by the Yukon chap­ter of the Cana­dian Parks and Wilder­ness So­ci­ety and the Yukon Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety, in part­ner­ship with First Na­tions who have tra­di­tional ter­ri­tory in the re­gion: Na-cho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Vun­tut Gwitchin and Teetl’it Gwich’in. The fact that the Peel wa­ter­shed is now an in­ter­na­tional is­sue is due to the ef­forts of many ded­i­cated peo­ple with more than a “lit­tle un­der­stand­ing” of the re­gion. We are proud of our part­ner­ships, and the re­sult­ing pro­tec­tion for the Peel. Chris Rider (ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, CPAWS Yukon) and Mike Wal­ton (ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Yukon Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety) White­horse

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