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Protecting the Peel Watershed: Voice’s from Canada’s North

by ahnationtalk on March 20, 201780 Views

Mar 17 2017

MARCH 20 – 31, SAW Gallery

Free admission to the exhibition and related events

Opening reception: Wednesday, March 22nd 5-9pm

6pm: Public Presentation and Q&A from exhibition curators and featured individuals
7pm: Special Reception to mark the day’s Supreme Court hearing (Invite-only)

The exhibition Protecting the Peel Watershed: Voices from Canada’s North presents the faces and voices of people most deeply connected to one of our country’s last unspoiled and globally celebrated wilderness areas, the Peel Watershed in northern Yukon.

Larger than Nova Scotia, the Peel Watershed is the homeland of four First Nations who have been stewards of the land for thousands of years. This remote region has gained national attention after the Government of Yukon shelved the results of a public planning process that recommended wilderness protection, choosing instead to open up the majority of the Peel Watershed to roads and resource extraction. Ensuing legal action from three First Nations and two environmental groups has now brought this issue to the attention of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On March 22nd, 2017, Canada’s highest court will be asked to make a landmark ruling on Yukon’s modern-day treaties.

To recognize the significance of this event and the highly engaged citizens who have shaped the discourse around the Peel’s protection, CPAWS Yukon and the Yukon Conservation Society have collaborated with the First Nation of Na Cho Nyäk Dän, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, and the Tetlit Gwich’in Council to create a photo exhibition. This exhibition explores the diversity of reasons why so many people value the Peel Watershed and have continued to fight for its protection. Interviews and photoshoots were conducted in the four communities surrounding the Peel Watershed: Mayo, Dawson City, Old Crow, and Fort McPherson, as well as in Yukon’s capital city of Whitehorse.

Short excerpts from individual interviews are presented alongside stunning photographs from Yukon photographers Cathie Archbould and Peter Mather, in addition to a short introductory film about the case. Flown in from Northwestern Canada just in time for the Supreme Court hearing, this one-of-a-kind exhibition shares the voices from some of the many whose lives are entwined with this incredible wilderness. Come and be part of the conversation.

For more information and past media coverage on the Peel watershed, visit
and see

“The Peel River Watershed: The Endangered Wilderness of Canada’s Yukon”. International League of Conservation Photographers. National Geographic. November 13, 2014.

“Who’s the Boss in the Peel Watershed? Parts I and II”. Eva Holland. Pacific Standard. August 13 and September 4, 2015.
Part I
Part II

“Protect the Peel: one of North America’s last wildernesses under threat – in pictures” Photographs by Peter Mather and Tyler Kuhn, words by Jason LaChappelle and Julia Duchesne September 30, 2016

For media requests, please contact Joanna Jack by telephone at 1-867-332-0310 or by e-mail,


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