Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga — Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada Management Plan, 2023

Torngat Mountains National Park

Note to readers

The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians are of the utmost importance. Parks Canada is following the advice and guidance of public health experts to limit the spread of COVID-19 while allowing Canadians to experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.

Parks Canada acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic may have unforeseeable impacts on the Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga–Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada Management Plan. Parks Canada will inform Indigenous peoples, partners, stakeholders and the public of any such impacts through its annual update on the implementation of this plan.



Foreword

Steven Guilbeault

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

From coast to coast to coast, national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas are a source of shared pride for Canadians. They reflect Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and tell stories of who we are, including the historic and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples.

These cherished places are a priority for the Government of Canada. We are committed to protecting natural and cultural heritage, expanding the system of protected places, and contributing to the recovery of species at risk.

At the same time, we continue to offer new and innovative visitor and outreach programs and activities to ensure that more Canadians can experience these iconic destinations and learn about history, culture and the environment.

In collaboration with Indigenous communities and key partners, Parks Canada conserves and protects national historic sites and national parks; enables people to discover and connect with history and nature; and helps sustain the economic value of these places for local and regional communities.

This new management plan for Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga–Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada supports this vision.

Management plans are developed by a dedicated team at Parks Canada through extensive consultation and input from Indigenous partners, other partners and stakeholders, local communities, as well as visitors past and present. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this plan for their commitment and spirit of cooperation.

As the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, I applaud this collaborative effort and I am pleased to approve the Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga–Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada Management Plan.

Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Cooperative Management Board endorsement

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August 31, 2022
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H6


Dear Minister Guilbeault,

As Chair of the Cooperative Management Board for Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga (CMB), I am pleased to inform you that the CMB endorses the new management plan for the Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada

The CMB is a 7 member board, incorporated as a not for profit body. Two members are appointed by each of our Partners as follows: from the Nunatsiavut Government, Joey Angnatok and Sarah Townley; from Makivik Corporation, Willie Etok and Adamie Delisle Alaku; and from Parks Canada, Sammy Unatweenuk and Noah Nochasak. The Chair is an independent position jointly appointed by all three parties. All members of the CMB are Inuit.

The new management plan is a strategic framework to guide Parks Canada and the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and Nunavik in management and operation of the national park for the next ten years and was developed in the spirit of cooperation that has characterized the relationship between the CMB and Parks Canada since the park was established in 2005. The management plan reflects the wishes of Inuit of Nunatsiavut and Nunavik to reconnect them with the Torngat Mountains which is their homeland, to ensure the knowledge of Elders is passed down to future generations of Inuit, to protect this homeland for all time, and to share the Inuit story of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga with Canadians for generations to come.

A relationship of mutual respect and trust allowed the Cooperative Management Board and Parks Canada to develop a shared vision for the park, and identify mutual priorities and direction for the management of the park which are confirmed in this new management plan.

The Cooperative Management Board for Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga looks forward to continuing to work closely with Parks Canada as the plan is implemented.

Ilitagijait,

Martin Lougheed
Chair, Cooperative Management Board
Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga (Torngat Mountains National Park)

Recommendations

Recommended by:

Ron Hallman

President & Chief Executive Officer
Parks Canada

Andrew Campbell

Senior Vice-President, Operations Directorate
Parks Canada

Eric Nielsen

Field Unit Superintendent, Labrador
Parks Canada

Martin Lougheed

Chair, Cooperative Management Board
Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga–Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada


Executive summary

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga was established to protect heritage resources and to provide opportunities for Inuit and all Canadians to connect to the Northern Labrador Mountains natural region – an Inuit homeland. The Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve was created with the consent of Labrador Inuit provided through the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and transitioned to a national park with the consent of Nunavik Inuit provided through the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement.

Parks Canada staff have spent the first ten years working with the Cooperative Management Board to determine the stories we want to share with visitors and to find ways to facilitate opportunities for Inuit – Elders and youth – to spend time in the park to strengthen connections to this land and to keep our relationship with each other strong.

This management plan reflects our shared experience in the first ten years of park management and continues to build on the relationships and commitments established in the Foundation Agreements. This plan sets out the vision and management direction for the national park, replacing the 2010 management plan.

Three key strategies and an area management approach for the ten-year plan include:


Key strategy 1

New gatherings – From sea to sky

Parks Canada can support its partners to help make Base Camp become a sustainable operation financially, culturally, and environmentally so it can continue to support visitors, researchers, the Cooperative Management Board, and Inuit Elders and youth to connect with the land and the stories in the park, and with each other.


Key strategy 2

Honouring our commitments

Parks Canada will work with the Nunatsiavut Government, Makivik Corporation and the Cooperative Management Board to maintain the ecological integrity and cultural heritage values of the park, recognize and honour Inuit knowledge and the connection Inuit have with the land and provide opportunities for Inuit and Inuit businesses.


Key strategy 3

Sharing the Inuit story – Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga through an Inuit cultural lens

Sharing the Inuit story is vital for connecting Inuit, visitors, and Canadians to Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga and fostering an understanding of the cultural and historical significance of this Inuit homeland. Honouring Inuit knowledge will be a living legacy for the park. Expanding the reach of Inuit stories with visitors and Canadians will improve the understanding and appreciation of why Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga is a special place.

Management areas

Eight management areas have been identified in the park, based on their sensitive natural and cultural resources and their importance in telling the Inuit story to visitors and Canadians. Five areas in the southern portion of the park are destinations for visitors and therefore require guidelines for the protection of the natural and cultural resources. Three of the areas in the northern portion of the park are sensitive sites that are difficult for visitors to access but may be part of the visitor experience in the future.

The five areas in the southern portion of the park share similar management challenges and issues related to the provision of visitor access, facilitation of engaging experiences, and the protection of sensitive natural and cultural resources.


Introduction

Parks Canada administers one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and historic places in the world. Parks Canada’s mandate is to protect and present these places for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. Future-oriented, strategic management of each national historic site, national park, national marine conservation area and heritage canal administered by Parks Canada supports its vision:

Canada’s treasured natural and historic places will be a living legacy, connecting hearts and minds to a stronger, deeper understanding of the very essence of Canada.

The Canada National Parks Act and the Parks Canada Agency Act require Parks Canada to prepare a management plan for each national park. The Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga–Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada Management Plan, once approved by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada and tabled in Parliament, ensures Parks Canada’s accountability to Canadians, outlining how park management will achieve measurable results in support of its mandate.

This national park is cooperatively managed with Inuit of Nunavik (Quebec) and the Inuit of Nunatsiavut (Labrador) who have been involved in the preparation of the management plan to shape the future direction of the heritage place. Partners, stakeholders and the Canadian public have also been involved in the preparation of the management plan. The plan sets clear, strategic direction for the management and operation of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga by articulating a vision, key strategies and objectives. Parks Canada will report annually on progress toward achieving the plan objectives and will review the plan every ten years or sooner if required.

This plan is not an end in and of itself. Parks Canada and the Cooperative Management Board will maintain an open dialogue on the implementation of the management plan, to ensure that it remains relevant and meaningful. The plan will serve as the focus for ongoing engagement and, where appropriate, consultation, on the management of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga in years to come.


Significance of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga (Map 1) was established to protect a representative example of the Northern Labrador Mountains natural region, one of 39 natural regions across the country identified by Parks Canada’s National Parks System Plan, so that it could be enjoyed by this and future generations. The park was also established because Inuit recognized the opportunity to protect for all time, through their respective land claims agreements, this important portion of their ancestral homeland. The long story of park establishment highlights the importance of developing respectful and honest relationships with Inuit as equal partners, while recognizing their inherent connection to the land. Today the national park, which was once a foreign and threatening concept to Inuit, is seen as an important tool to allow Inuit to protect, pass down and share their culture. It also provides an opportunity to recognize and honour Inuit knowledge and the special historical and cultural relationship between Inuit and the land as part of the living legacy of this park. Inuit also see the park as an important contributor to the social and economic well-being of the region and wish to see growth in the number of Inuit who connect with the park and spend time on their land. Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga provides opportunities for Inuit, visitors, tour operators and researchers to better understand and share this unique part of Canada. Labrador Inuit, Nunavik Inuit and Parks Canada continue to tell the fascinating story of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga and its people to the world.

Park map

Map 1: Park Map — Text version follows.

Map 1: Park map — Text version

A map of Torngat Mountains National Park in northern Labrador. The map includes the park boundary and adjacent lands in Nunavut, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Labrador Sea is on the east side of the park and Ungava Bay on the west side. Several locations are shown on the map including Ramah Chert Quarries National Historic site, Saglek airfield, and Base Camp which is outside the park boundary to the southeast. The scale of the map is in the bottom left corner.

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga, encompassing 9,700 square kilometres, protects and presents a spectacular Arctic wilderness and a magnificent Inuit cultural landscape. The Torngat Mountains are among the highest, most rugged mountains in eastern North America and provide one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines. Breathtaking fiords with sheer cliff walls up to 900 metres high penetrate inland from the waters of the Labrador Sea. The mountain peaks contain small glaciers, remnants from the last ice age. Gentle river valleys that wind through these mountains provided ancient travel routes between what is today Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec that continue to be used by Inuit into the present day.

The climate of the park is generally harsh and is influenced by altitude, latitude, and the nearby Labrador Sea. The park is located entirely north of the tree line. Although vegetation is sparse, Inuit and their predecessors have known and used the tundra plants and those that grow in the protected valley sites for millennia.

The national park is home to a variety of wildlife. It includes much of the range of the small Torngat Mountains caribou herd, as well as a portion of the range of the George River caribou herd which was, at one time, the world’s largest. Polar bears frequent the area, and a unique population of tundra-dwelling black bears is also present. Wolves and Arctic fox live here. Many species of birds nest in the park’s diverse habitats, and its coastline is an important migration route for Arctic birds. Inuit have long understood the movements and migrations of the wildlife of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga, and continue to hunt and fish in the park throughout the year.

The park is home to five regularly occurring species at risk. The following are designated as “species of special concern”: Barrow’s goldeneye (eastern population), harlequin duck (eastern population), short-eared owl, polar bear and the peregrine falcon subspecies tundrius. The peregrine falcon subspecies anatum is listed as threatened. Other species at risk may occur in the park.


Planning context

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga was established to protect heritage resources and to provide opportunities for Inuit and all Canadians to connect to the Northern Labrador Mountains natural region – an Inuit homeland. The Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve was created with the consent of Labrador Inuit provided through the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and transitioned to a national park with the consent of Nunavik Inuit provided through the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement.

The park extends from Saglek Fiord in the south, including all islands and islets, to the very northern tip of Newfoundland and Labrador; and from the provincial boundary with Quebec in the west, to the low water mark of the Labrador Sea in the east. The Iron Strand, nine kilometres of land found on the Newfoundland and Labrador coast, is Inuit Owned Lands and is excluded from the park. The mountain peaks along the border with Quebec are the highest in mainland Canada east of the Rockies (Map 2).

Evidence of human history spanning thousands of years is found throughout the park. Today Inuit continue to use this area for hunting, fishing, and travelling throughout the year. More than a wilderness, this is an Inuit homeland. It is a place where Inuit say “Alianattuk,” which means “this is a good place to be.”

Regional setting

Map 2: Regional map — Text version follows.

Map 2: Regional map — Text version

A map of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador with a portion of the province of Quebec and Nunavut. Locations of many communities are shown on the map including Inuit communities along the coast of Labrador. The Torngat Mountains National Park appears at the top of the map and Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve is shown at the bottom of the map east of Happy Valley – Goose Bay. An inset map is located in the top right corner, showing a zoomed out version of the map with major cities of Montreal, Halifax, St. John’s, Happy Valley – Goose Bay, and Kuujjuaq.

The first ten years

Parks Canada spent time on the land with Inuit from Nunavik and Nunatsiavut and the Cooperative Management Board to understand more about the land, wildlife, history, culture and Inuit connections to the land. This provided opportunities to hear their stories and, with the participation of Inuit, weave these stories into experiences for visitors to the park.

Parks Canada staff have spent the first ten years working with the Cooperative Management Board to determine the stories we want to share with visitors and to find ways to facilitate opportunities for Inuit – Elders and youth – to spend time in the park to strengthen connections to this land and to keep our relationship with each other strong.

This management plan reflects our shared experience in the first ten years of park management and continues to build on the relationships and commitments established in the Foundation Agreements.

Guiding documents

In addition to Parks Canada legislation and policies, the management and operations of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga are directed by the Nunavik Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement (Nunavik Inuit PIBA) between Parks Canada and Makivik Corporation (representing the Inuit of Nunavik, Quebec), and the Labrador Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement (Labrador Inuit PIBA) between Parks Canada and the Labrador Inuit Association (now the Nunatsiavut Government). The Memorandum of Agreement for a National Park Reserve of Canada and a National Park of Canada in the Torngat Mountains between the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador sets out the conditions for the transfer of the land from provincial jurisdiction to federal jurisdiction. This agreement, along with the two land claims agreements and the two PIBAs are considered the “Foundation Agreements.”

The Foundation Agreements provide clear direction and guidance on delivering on all three of Parks Canada’s mandate elements in addition to direction on how to accommodate Inuit rights and interests in the management of the park. The Foundation Agreements span jurisdictional and provincial boundaries, three levels of government and two different Inuktitut writing systems. Implementing these agreements must be done in consultation with the Cooperative Management Board, so that the spirit and intent of these agreements is respected and remains the inspiration for setting priorities in managing the park.

Cooperative Management Board

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga is cooperatively managed with Labrador Inuit and Nunavik Inuit. The mandate of the Cooperative Management Board is to provide advice to the federal minister responsible for the Parks Canada on matters related to park management. In addition, the role of the Cooperative Management Board is to provide advice to the Torngat Wildlife and Plant Co Management Board, the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, the Makivik Corporation, the Nunatsiavut Government and other agencies on all matters related to management of the national park and other matters related to the national park for which advice is requested. In providing advice, the Cooperative Management Board does not represent Parks Canada. Matters for which the Cooperative Management Board may provide advice include research priorities, visitor access to and use of the park, removal of carving stone, changes to the national park boundary, economic opportunities, and the management plan. A full list of the matters on which the Cooperative Management Board can provide advice to the federal Minister responsible for Parks Canada can be found in section 4.5 of the PIBAs.

Partners

The Foundation Agreements identify the key partners of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga: Makivik Corporation, Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Parks Canada’s relationship with all three partners is vital to achieving the mutual objectives and priorities identified by Parks Canada and Inuit.

These partners have observer status (as per the Foundation Agreements) and attend the Cooperative Management Board meetings.


Development of the management plan

The Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga–Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada Management Plan was developed in close collaboration with the Cooperative Management Board through face-to-face meetings at Base Camp and several conference call meetings. Inuit and public consultation meetings were held in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec, and Nain, Newfoundland and Labrador, to discuss planning priorities for the park.

The park website contained information regarding the management plan review throughout the process. Partners, stakeholders and local communities were notified of the planning process in writing and provided an opportunity to review and comment on a discussion paper that outlined the park vision, issues, and opportunities under consideration for the ten-year planning period. Feedback from the partner meetings and stakeholder correspondence was reviewed and incorporated into the management plan which was presented to, and endorsed by, the Cooperative Management Board.


Vision

The vision is a critical component of the management plan, providing a focus for future management directions for the park. This vision articulates the special character of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga and paints a picture of the park 15 years from now, conveying a sense of place to Canadians who may never be able to visit the site. The following vision was developed with the Cooperative Management Board and reflects the interests and desires of the Cooperative Management Board, Inuit Partners and Parks Canada.

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga is a place of rugged coastline, deep fiords, steep mountain ranges – a place where wildlife abounds – awe-inspiring landscape of great spiritual importance to Inuit. Travelling through the land of Inuit, one is struck by the smell of Labrador tea underfoot, the tapestry of colours and textures of the landscape, the speckling of archaeological sites silently conveying stories of the past and the overwhelming feeling that the mountains are alive. Northern lights blaze in the night sky. This is an Inuit homeland described as “Alianattuk” – a good place to be.

Inuit once again use and occupy their traditional places in the Torngat Mountains, reinforcing their connection to the ecological and spiritual elements of this Inuit homeland. Inuit Elders are reunited with old friends and memories as they return to traditional places they knew as children. These memories and the connections Inuit have with the land form the story that is passed on to the youth of the region and shared with Canadians. This is the true testament to the elemental integrity of this environment.

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga is managed in a spirit of partnership and cooperation with Inuit. It is a model of cooperative management where the spiritual significance and the cultural and ecological integrity of the park are protected. Working with Inuit partners, Canadians enjoy, discover and understand the special relationship that Inuit have with this Inuit homeland. The spirit and intent of the establishment of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga is honoured and celebrated.

Great feelings of serenity and community fill those visiting the park as they share a meal of freshly caught Arctic char in a fiord surrounded by snow-capped cliff faces revealing billions of years of the creation of earth, while listening to the sound of the Inuktitut language as Inuit Elders share their stories of life on the land. As a premiere Indigenous tourism experience in the Canadian north, people of different cultural backgrounds come to the Torngat Mountains to learn about and experience the park through Inuit eyes.

Strong relationships with partners and stakeholders provide the opportunity to facilitate exceptional visitor experiences and for Canadians to create personal connections to the park. It is through these relationships that the park contributes to the economic and social well-being of the region. Canadians, from as far away as Montréal and Vancouver, discover and appreciate the beauty and richness of this Inuit homeland from the comforts of their homes, offices and schools.

Inuit open their homeland to Canadians, and together Parks Canada and Inuit partners bring people to the park and the park to Canadians.


Key strategies

A defining feature of this park is the close relationship that Parks Canada has with Inuit partners – the Nunatsiavut Government, Makivik Corporation, and the Cooperative Management Board for the Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga. Together we have developed a shared vision for the park that has involved joint collaboration on some key initiatives. This is especially true of the Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station and all of the associated visitor, youth and research objectives and targets.

Unless otherwise indicated, the timelines for achieving the objectives and targets identified below are intended to be achieved within the next ten-year planning period.

The objectives and targets referred to in this plan are intended to meet Parks Canada’s commitments in the Park Impacts and Benefits Agreements with the Nunatsiavut Government and Makivik Corporation and reflect and respect the solid relationships built during the first ten years. The objectives and targets are written in a way to emphasize the results that the Cooperative Management Board and Parks Canada are aiming to achieve over the period of this plan. Annual implementation updates will be prepared for the Cooperative Management Board, partners, stakeholders, and the general public to highlight the progress that has been made toward these desired results.


Key strategy 1

New gatherings – From sea to sky

This strategy will look at new ways to connect with Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga by broadening the opportunities to explore the park in the valleys and the mountains, to hear the stories of the Inuit homeland, and to support Inuit businesses and Inuit employment. By attracting more visitors and researchers to the park, Base Camp will, in turn, be more sustainable. The Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station is located just outside the southern park boundary and is operated by Nunatsiavut Group of Companies and partners. Base Camp has become the gateway to the national park, having evolved from a modest pilot project ten years ago to an Inuit-owned and managed business. This strategy focuses on how Parks Canada can support its partners to help make Base Camp become a sustainable operation financially, culturally, and environmentally so it can continue to support visitors, researchers, the Cooperative Management Board, and Inuit Elders and youth to connect with the land and the stories in the park and with each other.


Objective 1.1

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga is a popular research destination both nationally and internationally that solicits researchers willing to conduct research responsive to Inuit priorities.

Target

  • Research opportunities are increased and research programs extend Base Camp operation into the shoulder seasons.

Objective 1.2

Visitor experience opportunities are enriched with new adventures and learning opportunities.

Targets

  • Increased visitor opportunities associated with the research station and research projects.
  • Park visitation shows an increasing trend in the next state of the park assessment.
  • Visitors report that they enjoyed their visit in the park.

Objective 1.3

Market-ready tourism products and promotional campaigns are developed and implemented with partners.

Targets

  • Park visitation shows an increasing trend in the next state of the park assessment.
  • Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga becomes a northern iconic experience of choice and is promoted to national and international markets within five years of plan approval.
  • Tourism partners such as Destination Labrador and Tourism Newfoundland and Labrador collaborate with Parks Canada on travel media and cooperative marketing initiatives.

Objective 1.4

Through a collaborative process, Parks Canada, partners and stakeholders have developed a plan and business model to achieve the sustainability of Base Camp.

Targets

  • Park visitation shows an increasing trend in the next state of the park assessment.
  • A vibrant youth program brings Inuit youth into the park and connects them with Inuit Elders, researchers, and cultural performers within five years of plan approval.
  • The Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga offer increases and enhances the appeal of Base Camp as a regional hub for tourism and research by making it a value-added destination.

Objective 1.5

Cruise ship operators understand and convey Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga messages to clients and park visitors.

Targets

  • Parks Canada, in collaboration with the Cooperative Management Board, finalizes a cruise ship protocol by 2023.
  • Parks Canada collaborates with cruise ship operators to determine effectiveness of the cruise ship protocol within five years of plan approval.

Objective 1.6

Aircraft access in the park is controlled and managed by Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga staff.

Targets

  • In consultation with Parks Canada enforcement staff, monitor non-compliance of aircraft access regulations in Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga within five years of plan approval.
  • There is a reduction in the number of non-compliant incidents reported to or by Parks Canada staff by the end of 2033.

Key strategy 2

Honouring our commitments

Parks Canada will work with the Nunatsiavut Government, Makivik Corporation and the Cooperative Management Board to maintain the ecological integrity and cultural heritage values of the park, recognize and honour Inuit knowledge and the connection Inuit have with the land and provide opportunities for Inuit and Inuit businesses. Managing the park, in a cooperative relationship, is essential to achieve the spirit and intent of the Foundation Agreements, and the Cooperative Management Board is key to ensuring the success of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga. This strategy continues to focus on achieving a shared vision for Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga with partners.


Objective 2.1

A robust sustainable monitoring plan is in place to protect natural and cultural resources in order to contribute to the ecological integrity and heritage values of the area.

Targets

  • The Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga ecological integrity monitoring has expanded to include five measures each for the Tundra and Freshwater ecosystem indicators.
  • The ecological integrity monitoring program is evaluated by 2028 to determine if targeted research is required to understand effects of climate change on park ecosystems.
  • A cultural resource management strategy that includes guidelines for monitoring is developed within five years of plan approval.

Objective 2.2

Parks Canada supports and encourages the development of a multi-jurisdictional management strategy for the Torngat Mountains caribou population that respects the cultural importance of a sustainable harvest, in Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga and on adjacent lands, to Inuit from Nunatsiavut and Nunavik and ensures the long-term viability of the population.

Targets

  • A multi-jurisdictional caribou technical committee guides research and monitoring of the Torngat Mountains caribou population and a collaborative monitoring and research plan or approach is in place that supports an assessment of the caribou population at regular intervals as agreed upon by the technical committee.
  • Parks Canada helps to facilitate the process of developing an Inuit-led multi-jurisdictional management strategy for Torngat Mountains caribou.

Objective 2.3

Through a collaborative approach, the heritage values of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga are identified and principles are developed that guide decisions on the management of cultural resources and how these places and stories will be shared.

Targets

  • A cultural resource values statement and management strategy that includes guidelines for monitoring are developed within five years of plan approval.
  • Priority areas for cultural resource protection and presentation have been identified by the Cooperative Management Board.

Objective 2.4

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga provides economic and employment opportunities to Inuit and Inuit businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec.

Targets

  • Priority actions identified for Parks Canada during the 2019 Economic Summit (attended by all partners with the purpose to explore future economic partnership opportunities) are underway or completed by 2025.
  • A strategy for reaching markets in Quebec is developed and implemented by 2024.
  • Tourism partners in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador are identified to collaborate on travel media and marketing initiatives.
  • Seventy percent of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga contracts are awarded to Nunavik/Nunatsiavut Inuit, or Nunavik/Nunatsiavut Inuit businesses.

Objective 2.5

Inuit are engaged in research projects and results are shared with Inuit and others.

Targets

  • Inuit participation in research projects will be monitored and reported five years after plan approval and then again at the end of the planning cycle.
  • Researchers make the findings of their work available to Inuit in a plain language format, explaining its relevance in both English and Inuktitut consistent with timelines in their research permits.

Key strategy 3

Sharing the Inuit story – Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga through an Inuit cultural lens

Sharing the Inuit story is vital for connecting Inuit, visitors, and Canadians to Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga and fostering an understanding of the cultural and historical significance of this Inuit homeland. This strategy will document the stories from Elders to promote awareness among youth and visitors. Honouring Inuit knowledge will be a living legacy for the park. Expanding the reach of Inuit stories with visitors and Canadians will improve the understanding and appreciation of why Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga is a special place.


Objective 3.1

Stories from Elders are documented and are used to tell the story of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga, promoting awareness among youth and visitors.

Targets

  • An oral history project involving Elders is initiated within three years of plan approval.
  • Place names continue to be gathered and a plan is developed for sharing them with Inuit, visitors, and Canadians.
  • Where appropriate, research documents Inuit knowledge of the human history, land, and resources of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga.

Objective 3.2

Elders and youth connect to preserve the Inuit culture of the park.

Target

  • A storytelling program focusing on Elders and youth spending time on the land together in the park is developed by Parks Canada as part of the visitor experience opportunities and shared on websites and with news media to amplify reach within five years of plan approval.

Objective 3.3

The Inuit connection and reconnection to the land has expanded, and the Inuit story has broadened.

Targets

  • The number of opportunities for Inuit to spend time in the park has increased within five years of plan approval.
  • Interactive media is developed and implemented by 2033.

Objective 3.4

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga is showcased with urban audiences in target cities that will be recommended by the Cooperative Management Board.

Target

  • The number of urban outreach contacts has increased within five years of plan approval.

Management areas

Park staff and the Cooperative Management Board have identified eight management areas in the park based on their sensitive natural and cultural resources and their importance in telling the Inuit story to visitors and Canadians. Five areas in the southern portion of the park are destinations for visitors and therefore require guidelines for the protection of the natural and cultural resources. Three of the areas in the northern portion of the park are sensitive sites that are difficult for visitors to access but may be part of the visitor experience in the future.

The five areas in the southern portion of the park share similar management challenges and issues related to the provision of visitor access, facilitation of engaging experiences, and the protection of sensitive natural and cultural resources. Aggigiak is the only area located in Zone III, whereas the other seven areas are located in Zone II. Management objectives and targets have been developed for all eight areas, which are described below.

Aggigiak (Saglek Bay), a small cove inside of Branagin Island, has been used by Inuit and their predecessors for centuries. It is rich with cultural resources including sod house formations, food caches, hunting blinds, and other cultural features that remain to this day. Aggigiak is strategically located to allow visitors access into the park, possibly through a Parks Canada satellite camp. Once in the park, visitors can access a network of high-elevation hiking routes that are in the planning stage and can experience and learn about the significance of the cultural resources and important heritage values of this area.

Sallikuluk (Rose Island) is where, in the recent past, Inuit lived and hunted whales and seals in the cold and ice-packed waters of the Labrador Sea. The island is dwarfed by the spectacular cliff faces that rise from Saglek Fiord, and is home to numerous individual graves, a mass reburial, and two villages of sod houses. Deeply layered archaeological sites span more than 5,000 years of occupation and are an important part of the baseline for understanding the human history of Torngat Mountains. Sallikuluk is a focal point of the Inuit cultural landscape in Saglek Fiord. Parks Canada has developed and is successfully implementing visitor and cultural resource protection guidelines for Sallikuluk.

Ramah is an area rich in both natural and cultural resources, linking the Inuit of today to their predecessors. The area, which includes both the kitjigattalik–Ramah Chert Quarries National Historic Site and the Ramah Mission, has been identified by Inuit as needing special management direction to protect resources while sharing the importance of the area with Canadians. Special access guidelines will be required for kitjigattalik–Ramah Chert Quarries National Historic Site.

Silluak (North Arm) is also recommended for area management as it has become a popular gathering place and destination for tourists. Silluak has been used by Inuit and their predecessors for thousands of years. There is a wealth of natural and cultural resources including traditional graves, sod houses, and food caches. Following an archaeological survey and inventory, visitor access is facilitated to the area in the company of Parks Canada interpretive staff. Parks Canada has developed and is successfully implementing visitor and cultural resource protection guidelines for Silluak. There is a desire to improve the understanding of the story of North Arm.

Pitukkik (Nakvak Brook) is a traditional travel route that has linked Inuit from Nunavik (northern Quebec) and Nunatsiavut (northern Newfoundland and Labrador) for generations. First on foot or by dog team and now, in modern times, by snowmobile. In 2006, an Inukshuk was erected by the park Cooperative Management Board to honour this ancient travel route and to showcase its importance today. Numerous archaeological features have been identified and visitors can experience the site in the company of Parks Canada staff along predetermined routes.


Objectives for Management Areas in the Southern Portion of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga

  • Visitors enjoy, discover, and learn about the Inuit story on Aggigiak, Sallikuluk, Ramah, Silluak and Pitukkik while cultural and natural resources are protected for the enjoyment of future generations.
  • The importance of Inuit stories and the protection of resources is conveyed directly by Inuit through interpretive material and online media.
  • Canadians understand and appreciate the significance of the Inuit stories told at Aggigiak, Sallikuluk, Ramah, Silluak, and Pitukkik.
  • Access routes and guidelines for kitjigattalik–Ramah Chert Quarries National Historic Site are developed.

Targets

  • Guidelines for visitor use are developed and implemented within two years of plan approval.
  • The visitor safety plan is implemented with partners within the first year of plan approval.
  • Visitors report that they enjoyed their visit.
  • Visitors indicate that they learned something about the natural and cultural heritage of the park.
  • Visitors report that they have experienced a connection to the land through an Inuit cultural perspective.

The three management areas in the northern portion of the park are Upingivik, Kangalaksiorvik Lake, and Nachvak Lake.

Upingivik is in the most northerly reaches of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga and is a traditional whale hunting area still used by Inuit. This management area represents a small, low-lying area with a spectacular rock face as a backdrop, supported by a rich and extensive marine environment in which Parks Canada has no jurisdiction. The area offers possibilities for Nunavik and Nunatsiavut Inuit to collaborate on contemporary practices of traditional hunts for species such as beluga whales. The area has large quantities of ruby red garnets. Inuit have expressed the need to explore opportunities to bring people to Upingivik and the types of experiences that they could facilitate.

Kangalaksiorvik Lake supports a population of Kassigiak (harbour seals). There is keen interest on the part of the Nunatsiavut Government and the Cooperative Management Board to initiate a collaborative research program to investigate the seal population and the freshwater habitat. In order to protect the integrity of the seals and their habitat, this area has been identified as a special management area and has been removed from the list of designated landing areas. However, aircraft access for purposes of research can be permitted on a case-by-case basis.

Nachvak Lake, situated west of Nachvak Fiord, is a traditional place where Inuit fish for Arctic char. It has also been a place where, in the past, unregulated sports fishing occurred so it is important to ensure this lake remains ecologically intact by ensuring that visitors understand there is no fishing in freshwater in the park and float planes are not permitted to land in the lake.


Objectives for Management Areas in the Northern Portion of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga

  • Visitors have the opportunity to experience the importance of Upingivik, and Kangalaksiorvik Lake through off-site interpretation.
  • Opportunities for visitor access are explored in cooperation with the Cooperative Management Board, Makivik Corporation and Nunatsiavut Government.
  • The sensitivity of Nachvak Lake to visitors is evaluated and the need for zoning considered.

Targets

  • Off-site interpretation products are developed for Upingivik.
  • The feasibility of identified visitor opportunities at Upingivik is determined.
  • A satellite research camp is established at Kangalaksiorvik Lake within two years of plan approval.
  • A plan for protection of Nachvak Lake is established by 2033.
  • Research on the cultural and natural resources of Kangalaksiorvik Lake are supported and encouraged within five years of plan approval.

Zoning

Parks Canada’s national park zoning system is an integrated approach to the classification of land and water areas in a national park and designates where particular activities can occur on land or water based on the ability to support those uses. The zoning system has five categories:

  • Zone I - Special preservation;
  • Zone II - Wilderness;
  • Zone III - Natural environment;
  • Zone IV - Outdoor recreation; and
  • Zone V - Park services.

The Cooperative Management Board continues to focus on facilitating experiences that help visitors enjoy, discover, and learn about the park and the defining relationship Inuit have with the land. The park zoning reflects this approach and the direction in the Foundation Agreements, namely, to manage visitor activities and to protect the cultural resources and ecosystems in order to maintain the ecological integrity, cultural heritage values and Inuit cultural practices (e.g., harvesting and hunting) in the national park. Park zoning does not affect the rights and interests of the Labrador Inuit and Nunavik Inuit that are outlined in the land claim agreements and PIBAs.

Zone II – wilderness

Zone II has been identified as the predominant zone for the park. This zone reflects the vast majority of the park and the opportunity for visitors to experience firsthand the natural and cultural features of Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga with few, if any, rudimentary services and facilities.

Zone III – Natural environment

A relatively small area of Zone III has been identified at Aggigiak, which will possibly be a satellite camp for visitors that serves as an interpretive site for cultural resources and a launching point for multi-day hiking routes.

As more is learned about the park’s natural and cultural resources, more detailed zoning may be considered by the Cooperative Management Board. The management areas that have been identified will continue to be the focus during the implementation of this plan in the locations identified on the zoning map.

Park access

Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga is a remote northern park which is difficult to access. Access in the summer is by aircraft or boat charter usually from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador or Kuujjuaq, Nunavik. Inuit access the park in winter on snowmobiles. Parks Canada administers a strict aircraft landing policy in the park to protect the safety of visitors and to protect the ecological and cultural resources in the park. Visitor access to management areas will be determined through strict guidelines developed by Parks Canada in collaboration with the Cooperative Management Board to ensure visitor safety and the protection of natural and cultural resources in the park.

Zoning map

Map 3: Zoning map — Text version follows.

Map 3: Zoning map — Text version

A map of the park zoning showing the two different park zones which are described in the plan:

  • Zone II – Wilderness
  • Zone III – Natural Environment.

The map also shows eight management area locations including: Upingivik, Kangalaksiorvik Lake, Nachvak Lake, kitjigattalik-Ramah Chert Quarries National Historic Site, Siluak (North Arm), Pitukkik (Nakvak Brook), Sallikuluk (Rose Island), and Aggigiak which is shown on an inset map adjacent to Jens Haven Island.


Summary of strategic environmental assessment

All national park management plans are assessed through a strategic environmental assessment to understand the potential for cumulative effects. This understanding contributes to evidence-based decision-making that supports ecological integrity being maintained or restored over the life of the plan. The strategic environmental assessment for the Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga–Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada Management Plan considered the potential impacts of climate change, local and regional activities around the park, expected increase in visitation and proposals within the management plan. The strategic environmental assessment assessed the potential impacts on different aspects of the ecosystem, including the Torngat Mountain caribou herd, tundra (vegetation and abiotic components), terrestrial and marine wildlife (including conflict and habitat), cultural resources (archaeological sites, archaeological objects, landscapes and landscape features), freshwater resources (Arctic char, harlequin duck, invertebrates, and habitat), Inuit on the land, and components of the environment important for visitor experience.

The management plan will result in many positive impacts on the environment, including better management of natural and cultural resources through improved understanding of factors influencing ecological integrity and heritage values of cultural resources and landscapes in the park; improved quality of research and monitoring efforts through collaboration with Inuit communities and integration of traditional knowledge; and benefits to Inuit with connections to the site from increased access to the park, and outreach and youth engagement initiatives resulting in increased stewardship of the land.

Increases in visitor/researcher presence on the landscape identified in the management plan could potentially result in negative environmental effects. However, these effects can be minimized through strategies integrated into the management plan and mitigations identified in the strategic environmental assessment, including methods to manage human-wildlife conflict; working cooperatively with cruise ship operators and considering environmental effects in cruise ship protocol reviews; and strategies to reduce impacts to key cultural resources from climate change. Project-specific impact assessment will be undertaken as required and should incorporate recommendations of the strategic environmental assessment where appropriate, particularly where it may pertain to potential contributions to cumulative effects.

Inuit partners, stakeholders and the public were provided with opportunities to provide comments on the draft plan, and a summary of the draft strategic environmental assessment. Comments from the public, Inuit groups and stakeholders were incorporated into the strategic environmental assessment and management plan as appropriate.

The strategic environmental assessment was conducted in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (2010) and facilitated an evaluation of how the management plan contributed to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. Individual projects undertaken to implement management plan objectives at the site will be evaluated to determine if an impact assessment is required under the Impact Assessment Act, or successor legislation. The management plan supports the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals of Connecting Canadians with Nature.

Many positive environmental effects are expected and there are no important negative environmental effects anticipated from implementation of the Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijapvinga–Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada Management Plan.


Contact us

For more information about the management plan or about Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijâpvinga — Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada:

Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada
PO Box 471
Nain NL A0P 1L0
Canada

Email:  infopntorngats-torngatsnpinfo@pc.gc.ca

Phone: 1-888-922-1290

 Tongait KakKasuangita SilakKijâpvinga — Torngat Mountains National Park

Publication information

© His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, represented by the President & Chief Executive Officer of Parks Canada, 2023.

Front cover image credit:
top from left to right: Pat Morrow, Pat Morrow, Julie Tompa/Parks Canada
bottom: Pat Morrow

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  • Paper: R64-105/81-2023E
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