People of the Boreal

See one of the last great forest regions on Earth—and meet the people who call it home.

Indigenous peoples have lived in harmony with the forest for millenniums. Today more than 600 First Nations are continuing their traditions as its stewards. The boreal is also home to hundreds of northern towns and communities that depend on both a healthy environment and a sustainable resource-based economy for their survival.

These are all people who feel a deep connection to the land, are invested in its communities, and are determined to safeguard a successful, sustainable future for the place they call home.

The boreal region of Canada stretches across more than 1 billion acres, covering the northern half of the nation from Yukon to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Protecting the long-term integrity of the boreal forest is critical to the well-being of its communities, as well as the economic and ecological goods and services it provides. The challenge—and opportunity—lies in finding a balance between development and conservation that promotes prosperity alongside environmental protection.

Stephen Kakfwi, former premier of the Northwest Territories.
Stephen Kakfwi, former premier of the Northwest Territories.

Indigenous Leader Bridges Environmental Divides in ‘Spectacular’ Canadian Wilderness

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Indigenous Leader Bridges Environmental Divides in ‘Spectacular’ Canadian Wilderness

In the Northwest Territories, Stephen Kakfwi pursues solutions that respect the Earth and its original stewards.

People of the Boreal is a multimedia project that tells the stories of those who have the most to gain or lose from decisions about how the region is managed.

The boreal is a remote and mostly pristine landscape that includes vast intact forests and the largest expanses of wetlands, lakes, and rivers on the planet. Its abundant natural resources support thousands of jobs and help power the Canadian economy. Yet the boreal also remains one of the few large-scale wildernesses on Earth that is still largely undisturbed.

While rich in solitude, it is far from empty.

People of the Boreal Profiles

Al McLanchlan

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How a Healthy Boreal Forest Helps Birch Syrup Business Thrive