The Peel Project
In a world where wilderness is becoming endangered, the Peel Watershed stands out. From its dramatic mountain peaks and high plateaus to its sprawling river valleys and wetland networks, the Peel is one of Canada’s natural wonders. Carving up this unspoiled land with roads, mining and fossil fuel development would mean surrendering one of the last remaining large and undisturbed watersheds on the planet. The reasons for protecting the Peel are many: environmental, social, historical, economic and moral.
At over 68,000 km2, the Peel is a northern wilderness rich in biodiversity, where caribou, grizzlies and wolves roam free. It is a rare place where nature seems limitless, and where plants and animals do not just survive – they thrive. For the First Nations who call it home, the Peel Watershed has provided cultural and physical nourishment for thousands of years. Protecting the Peel means preserving their history, their identity and their future.
While mining and industry have their place in the world, the irreplaceable environmental and cultural values of the Peel offer an opportunity for a different economic path based on respecting the land, rather than taking from it. As the climate warms and our planet changes, we also owe it to future generations to conserve precious natural areas such as the Peel that provide the clean air, water and wildlife that sustain us all.
The Peel Watershed is at the cross-section of environmental and Indigenous movements in Canada. The Yukon is one of the few places on earth with vast areas of wilderness unspoiled by modern industry. In the Canadian context, the Yukon is also a leader in terms of modern-day land claims agreements that First Nations and non-First Nations people can be proud of. By protecting the Peel, we can show that the Yukon and Canada are truly committed to both conservation and reconciliation.
Honour the People
"The Peel Watershed is the traditional territory of three Yukon First Nations (Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Vuntut Gwitchin) and the Tetlit Gwich’in of the neighbouring Northwest Territories. It is a major part of the cultural identity of these nations, and for some, it continues to be crucial to their way of life."
Protect Wildlife Biodiversity
"Much of Canada’s iconic wildlife thrive in the Peel, from predators like the grizzly, wolf, wolverine and lynx, to ungulates such as moose, dall sheep and caribou. The Peel Watershed has been recognized as a global benchmark for predator-prey relationships, and opening up the watershed to roads and mineral exploration would threaten this delicate ecological balance."
‘The caribou and the rivers of the Peel watershed are the lifeblood of this land and of the Gwich’in nation.”
Bruce Charlie, Chief of the Vuntut Gwich’in
Respect The Land
"Resource industries such as oil and gas and mining can bring wealth and employment, but often the benefits are overstated and accrue primarily to outside interests rather than local communities. Mining can also leave behind environmental scars – something as simple as a road can alter habitat and wildlife habits forever. To give nature the room it needs to breathe, we must leave some spaces off limits to industry, especially those with high ecological and cultural value. The Peel Watershed is one of those spaces."
Raise Your Voice
" The Peel is not yet fully protected - we still need to go through final consultations on a Peel Watershed Land Use Plan. This is what should have happened years ago, before the previous Yukon government derailed the land use planning process by introducing its own plan at the last minute. The Yukon government and First Nations have already met to discuss next steps for final consultations, which will be starting soon."
"We will need your voice for one last push to see this campaign to the end!"