- May 2017
Great Bear Lake
Great Bear Lake is located near the Arctic Circle in the Norwest Territories (Kujawinski). Great Bear Lake is the eighth largest lake in the world and spans more than 12,000 square miles. The only residents near the Great Bear Lake are the Sahtuto’ine, which means the “Bear Lake people.” They reside in the town of Deline and the population is about 500. In March of 2016, Great Bear Lake was declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, which acts to conserve the lake. Great Bear Lake is the first Biosphere Reserve to be controlled by an indigenous group. The Sahtuto’ine were granted self-government by the government of Canada and are now the sole people responsible for the happenings at Great Bear Lake. Great Bear Lake is a significant part of Sahtuto’ine culture. The Lake is viewed as essential for human life, based on a prophecy from the 1930s. The prophecy holds that the Great Bear Lake has the purest water in the world and that people will migrate from all over the world to drink its water and catch its fish. Climate change effects have already been witnessed at the Lake and locals believe that the prophecy will come true sooner than expected. These fears pushed the locals to have the lake preserved. Some locals believe that the Great Bear Lake gave life to every other lake and for that, it must be protected. Images of Great Bear Lake and its people can be found below: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/travel/great-bear-lake-arctic-unesco-biosphere-canada.html?_r=0
References: Kujawinski, Peter. "Guardians of a Vast Lake, and a Refuge for Humanity." The New York Times. February 07, 2017. Accessed May 03, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/travel/great-bear-lake-arctic-unesco-biosphere-canada.html?_r=0.