Conservation Network Planning

Dınàgà Wek’èhodì

What is Dınàgà Wek'èhodì?

Dınàgà Wek’èhodì (dee-na-ga wek-a-ho-dee) is a Candidate Area under the Protected Areas Act. It is 790 km2 in the northern portion of the north arm of Great Slave Lake and includes the mainland shoreline, numerous islands and the water of the lake itself.

The candidate area has interim protection through a land withdrawal order under the Northwest Territories Lands Act, which expires on October 9, 2022. A description of the boundary can be found in the Schedule of the land withdrawal order.

Dınàgà Wek’èhodì protects the biodiversity of the Taiga Shield and Taiga Plains, and north arm of Great Slave Lake, while contributing to the cultural continuity of an area that has powerful historical, spiritual and cultural significance. It is a place of legends, sharing, teaching and learning.

The area is important for migratory birds and provides habitat for other birds, fish and wildlife, including species at risk. The rich flora and fauna are the foundation of this natural environment with many harvesting and recreational opportunities.

Cooperative management of the protected area will ensure all people have the opportunity to respect and enjoy this unique area for generations.

Dinaga Wekehodi

Why is it important?

  • Dınàgà Wek'èhodì (formerly Kwets'ootł'àà) was identified for protection by the Tłįchǫ Government.
  • The area is culturally important to the Dene and Métis who have used the area for centuries for many activities, including hunting and fishing.
  • The area hosts several species at risk, including boreal woodland caribou, wood bison, wolverine, rusty blackbird, common nighthawk, barn swallow and short-eared owl.
  • Dınàgà Wek'èhodì is classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) in Canada and is a key migratory bird site in the Northwest Territories, with large numbers of tundra swans, Canada geese and other waterfowl using it as a staging area.
  • Dınàgà Wek'èhodì contains Canada's northernmost recorded breeding range of Caspian and black terns.
  • Dınàgà Wek'èhodì is a popular area for fishing and hunting, outfitting, ecotourism and recreation.
  • More information can be found in the ecological and cultural assessments linked below in the Resources section.


  • 2008 – The North Arm is identified as a key migratory bird terrestrial site in the NWT.
  • 2010 - Dınàgà Wek'èhodì is sponsored as a candidate area under the NWT Protected Areas Strategy and the Working Group was established.
  • 2016 - Assessments of the area's ecological, cultural and economic values are completed and a work group report finalized.

Next steps

  • Collaborative discussions on the establishment of Dınàgà Wek'èhodì using territorial legislation are ongoing.
  • The GNWT is committed to working directly with Indigenous governments and organizations, key stakeholders and the public throughout the establishment process.

Map of the consultation boundary

Dinaga Wekehodi Candidate Area

Fact sheet