Parks Canada and the United States National Park Service sign a renewed Memorandum of Understanding and commit to a continued collaborative relationship
This collaboration is built upon shared goals related to the protection and presentation of cultural and natural heritage.
WATERTON LAKES, AB, Aug. 9, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, following a welcoming address from the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) Nations’ leadership, Ron Hallman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Parks Canada, and Chuck Sams, Director of the United States National Park Service, signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to reinforce the longstanding relationship between the two organizations. This MOU signals continued collaboration on the protection, presentation, and management of cultural and natural heritage, including shared transboundary places, and co-stewardship with Indigenous peoples.
The MOU reaffirms various shared priorities for cooperation between the National Park Service and Parks Canada including:
- Indigenous-led conservation and increased collaboration with Indigenous peoples;
- advancing nature-based climate solutions and climate change adaptation;
- connecting people to history and nature;
- park management and operations, visitor experience and safety, natural and cultural resource conservation, and wildfire management.
Collaboration between Parks Canada and the United States National Park Service dates back over a hundred years to when the two organizations were established, in 1911 and 1916 respectively. This relationship was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding first signed in 1998, to support cooperation in the management, research, protection, conservation, and presentation of cultural and natural heritage.
Today’s signing renews the cooperative relationship between Canada and the United States as leaders in the conservation and presentation of cultural and natural heritage.
“For over a century, Parks Canada and the United States National Park Service have worked closely together on protecting and presenting some of the most beautiful natural spaces and interesting historical places in North America. Through partnership and collaboration that transcends borders, we are committed to modern approaches to conserving our natural and cultural heritage in ways that advance Indigenous stewardship and more fully include diverse perspectives in commemorating our respective histories. By signing this agreement, Parks Canada and the National Park Service are renewing our shared commitment to working together towards common goals.”
President & Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada
“Parks Canada is the National Park Service’s oldest international partner. I’m honored to renew our commitment to collaboration and enrich and enhance our shared missions of stewardship.”
Charles F. Sams III
Director, U.S. National Park Service
- About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 425 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.
- The vast network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada is a gateway to nature, history, and 450 000 km² of stories from coast to coast to coast. Parks Canada, in collaboration with partners, protects and restores 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.
- Designated in 1932, the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is the world’s first International Peace Park. In 1995, it was also included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Situated on the Canada–U.S.A. border, it offers outstanding scenery and diverse flora and fauna. The International Peace Park commemorates the peace and goodwill that Canada and the United States continue to share.
- This location holds significance to the Blackfoot people on both sides of the border. The Blackfoot name for present day Waterton Lakes National Park is Paahtomahksikimi (the Sacred Lake within the Mountains). This special place is in the traditional territories of the Siksikaitsitapi, the Blackfoot Confederacy which consists of the following Nations: Kainai, Piikani, Siksika and Amsskapi Pikuni.
- Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park exemplifies continued Indigenous-stewardship practices and partnerships spanning both sides of the border and is emblematic of work being undertaken by Parks Canada and the National Park Service.
- The National Park Service manages the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom (NTF), a commemorative program that recognizes a network of historic sites, interpretive and educational programs and research facilities that have a verifiable connection to the story of the Underground Railroad. The first Canadian national historic site has recently submitted a nomination to be part of the NTF. This follows two public information sessions that the agencies co-hosted in March to make Canadian sites aware of this initiative and invite nominations.
Waterton Lakes National Park
United States National Park Service
Glacier National Park
SOURCE Parks Canada
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