Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation Honoured at 2020 Equator Prize Award Ceremony for its Work on Thaidene Nëné
The Prestigious Event Coincides with the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit and the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly
Łutsël K’é, NWT — On September 29, Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation in the Northwest Territories will be honoured at the 2020 Equator Prize Award Ceremony, coinciding with the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit and the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly. The virtual ceremony will feature remarks by decision-makers, celebrities, and the 10 prize winners—whose work represents community-led conservation projects from around the world.
The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Equator Initiative is a partnership that recognizes global stories embodying the future we need: local, nature-based solutions that help achieve multiple sustainable development goals
In June, the Equator Initiative that Łutsël K’é would be recognized as one of 10 winners for its decades-long work to establish Thaidene Nëné—an Indigenous Protected Area that spans 6.5 million acres (26,376 km2) at the transition between boreal forest and tundra. It will permanently protect the forest, tundra, and freshwater systems of Tu Nedhé (Great Slave Lake).
This year’s virtual award ceremony, which will occur in conjunction with the 75th UN General Assembly and the UN Biodiversity Summit, will be hosted on Nature Hub and will take place at 7 a.m. MDT. In this four-day virtual event space, global leaders will share stories on the importance of nature for sustainable development and engage in thought-provoking exchanges. All events, including the Equator Prize ceremony, will showcase nature-based solutions in policy in communities.
“We are honoured to be a part of this prestigious ceremony, and we’re excited for the opportunity to engage with a global audience,” says Steven Nitah, Lead Negotiator. “Thaidene Nëné is the realization of a decades-long vision for the Łutsël K’é Dene people. This summer marked the first year of implementation of the Thaidene Nëné Establishment Agreements—an important milestone for our community. We will accept the Equator Prize next week knowing that this hard work to preserve our Denesuline Way of Life will continue for generations.”
The Equator Prize is awarded roughly every two years to recognize and advance local, sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. This year, Łutsël K’é was selected from among nearly 600 nominations in more than 120 countries. The award winners represent global leaders who are pioneering Indigenous-led strategies for sustainably protecting, restoring and managing ecosystems to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, help communities adapt to climate change, and create a green new economy.
We are the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation. Our vision for Thaidene Nëné is:
Nuwe néné, nuwe ch'anıé yunedhé xa (Our land, our culture for the future).
We’re working with our partners to permanently protect Thaidene Nëné—part of our
huge and bountiful homeland around and beyond the East Arm of Tu Nedhé.