Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation are an Athabascan-speaking people who call themselves K'ai Taile Dene, a reference to the delta of the Peace and Athabasca Rivers. They have used and occupied their Traditional Lands in the Athabasca region for thousands of years, hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering to sustain themselves, to carry out their livelihoods, and to practice and pass down their culture.
Established in 1922 and expanded in 1926, Wood Buffalo National Park is located on the Traditional Lands of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. Central to the creation, expansion and management of Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest National Park in Canada, were a series of evictions of Denésuliné families from their homes and land-use areas, separations of Dené families, and restrictions on their Treaty-protected rights.
Remembering our Relations centres Denésuliné oral histories, testimony, and experiences shared in interviews conducted between 1974-2001 to recenter the history of Wood Buffalo National Park within Indigenous perspectives and place it within the context of Treaty 8. Supported by archival research and literature on Parks and Treaty history, this book clearly demonstrates how the creation, expansion, and management of Wood Buffalo National Park fits into a wider historical pattern of Treaty promises broken by settler colonial governments managing land-use throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
Prepared in collaboration with the community, Remembering our Relations is a necessary and important interpretation of the history of Wood Buffalo National Park. By centring Denésuliné and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation voices and engaging deeply with Denésuliné oral histories, it lifts up perspectives which have been ignored, buried, or intentionally forgotten. The first book-length study of Wood Buffalo National Park, Remembering our Relations is a call for acknowledgment and reconciliation.