With the establishment of the Department of Environment in 2004, the Government of Nunavut created a department with the lead responsibility for ensuring the protection, promotion and sustainable use of natural resources in Nunavut by supporting the management of the environment, wildlife, and parks.

Nunavut’s Territorial Parks and Special Places are places that express and represent the environmental, cultural, social, and economic values that define the spirit of Nunavut. These values shape the way we respond to the land. The Nunavut Parks & Special Places division’s role is to protect important places that reflect these values for generations to come. We do not ‘own’ the land; we are simply stewards of those places for Nunavummiut.

Our principles describe how the program will be delivered in order to fulfill the program’s mandate for ours and future generations.

Joint Planning and Management

Nunavut’s Territorial Parks and Special Places are planned and managed jointly with full support of residents and communities. We recognize Inuit rights, as well as landscape and resource values in keeping with the NLCA and IIBA.


To continue to meet the needs of Nunavummiut and visitors, and recognizing ecological, social, cultural and economic factors must be considered; we will ensure and encourage meaningful and continuing involvement in all aspects of parks.


Nunavut’s Territorial Parks and Special Places are founded on sound and comprehensive resource information and the integration of Inuit Qaujimajangit, local, and scientific knowledge. We improve our knowledge by supporting research, and staying current with technological and geospatial innovation. We will use the best information available to guide decision-making and encourage innovation and best practice.


We undertake all our responsibilities openly and make all information available to ensure informed decisions are made in a fair and transparent manner.


Our Parks and Special Places contribute to Nunavut’s economy through tourism and related economic development without compromising the protection of our cultural and natural heritage.


We will cooperate with our partners in managing our lands and its cultural and natural resources, which is essential if our parks and special places are to continue to contribute to Nunavut’s objectives for sustainability, education, tourism and health; and especially if conservation and development objectives are to be balanced.

Through the Nunavut Parks and Special Places Program, our natural and cultural heritage is protected; we enjoy it, we benefit from it and we are involved in its management and development.

Protect Nunavut’s Natural and Cultural Heritage

Nunavut’s Territorial Parks and Special Places system identifies, protects and promotes Nunavut’s natural and cultural heritage; its biodiversity and integrity; and its significant, unique and valued natural and cultural landscapes and resources.

Promote Recreation and Healthy Living

Nunavut’s Territorial Parks and Special Places promote opportunities for appropriate, safe and accessible recreation and increased public enjoyment consistent with the protection of the natural and cultural values.

Build a sustainable Parks-Based Economy in Nunavut

Our parks and special places are important destinations and attractions for Nunavummiut and visitors and provide direct and indirect economic benefit to communities.

Actively Engage the Community in Conservation and Heritage Appreciation

Nunavut’s Territorial Parks and Special Places engage residents and visitors; and foster, pride, understanding and appreciation of the territory’s diverse and unique natural and cultural heritage.

Nunavut Parks & Special Places is the lead Territorial agency responsible for the protection and promotion of natural and cultural heritage landscapes and recreation opportunities in Nunavut. Its legislative mandate is the Territorial Parks Act and it participates in other key statutes such as the Nunavut Wildlife Act, and the Travel and Tourism Act. The Division is also obligated under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (primarily Article 8 and Article 9) and the Umbrella Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement for Territorial Parks; and is directed by GN policies such as Iqqanijaqatigiit and Pinasuaqtavut.

Currently, the division is headquartered in Iqaluit with staff in each of the three regions (Baffin – Iqaluit, Kivalliq – Rankin Inlet, and Kitikmeot – Kugluktuk) and Kimmirut. The Division is overseen by the Director, Parks and Special Places who, as Superintendent of Nunavut Parks, is responsible for overall establishment, planning and management of Parks and Special Places, operations and promotion of Park and related Visitor Services Facilities, and the Division’s Land Claim responsibilities.

Though overlaps and interactions exist, there are currently three main program areas in the Parks and Special Places division: program development; park operations and planning; and land claims and geospatial information. The Department has also supported Parks and Special Places having a greater, future, role in a fourth program area: coordinating conservation initiatives. This will become more important as Nunavut gets increasingly involved in meeting its national and international commitments related to the development of conservation areas strategies, marine protected areas, and biodiversity.

Program Development

Developing the Nunavut Parks and Special Places program, System Plan, legislation and regulations; communications and promotions/marketing; advising on park feasibility, design, planning and management; coordinating divisional research needs;

Park Operations and Planning

Operating park and park visitor services facilities and equipment; developing park registration systems and emergency response; and coordinating capital planning and park planning and development;

Land Claims and Geospatial Information

Facilitating the implementation of the NLCA, managing and administering the implementation of the Territorial Parks IIBA; representing GN on Federal and other IIBA obligations; and coordinating geospatial information and the division’s land use planning responsibilities;


Coordinating conservation initiatives including Conservation Areas Strategy, Biodiversity Strategy, and other national and international obligations.

Parks and Protected Areas Organizations




canadianparkscouncil Canadian Parks Council Canada’s national, provincial and territorial park agencies work together, through the Canadian Parks Council, to ensure that Canadians can continue to be proud of the role parks and protected areas play in preserving our country’s natural capital.
chrs Canadian Heritage Rivers System The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) is Canada’s national river conservation program, giving national recognition to Canada’s outstanding rivers and encouraging their long-term management to conserve their natural, cultural and recreational values for the benefit and enjoyment of Canadians, now and in the future.
transcanadatrail Trans Canada Trail The Trans Canada Trail will promote and assist in the development and use of the cross country Trail – The Great Trail – by supporting success at the local level in the creation of this national network.
treadlightly Tread Lightly! Tread Lightly! and its partners lead a national initiative to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten individuals’ sense of good stewardship.

Inuit Associations and Organizations




NTI Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. NTI coordinates and manages Inuit responsibilities set out in the NLCA and ensures that the federal and territorial governments fulfill their obligations.
Kitikmeot Kitikmeot Inuit Association The Kitikmeot Inuit Association is a birthright development corporation representing and benefiting the Kitikmeot Inuit of Nunavut. Our mandate is “To represent the interests of Kitikmeot Inuit by protecting and promoting our social, cultural, political, environmental and economic well-being”.
Kivalliq Kivalliq Inuit Association KIA is a Designated Inuit Organization, which represents the interests of all Inuit living in the Kivalliq Region, acts as a lobbying group, administers and monitors certain provisions of the Nunavut Final Agreement in the Kivalliq Region.
Qikiqtani Qikiqtani Inuit Association Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) represents over 14,000 Inuit of the Qikiqtani (Baffin) region, including 13 communities from Quttiktuq (High Arctic) down to Sanikiluaq (Belcher Island).
itk-logo Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami ITK serves as a national voice protecting and advancing the rights and interests of Inuit in Canada
inuitheritagetrust Inuit Heritage Trust Inc. The Inuit Heritage Trust is dedicated to the preservation, enrichment and protection of Inuit cultural heritage and identity embodied in Nunavut’s archaeology sites, ethnographic resources and traditional place names.