National Parks Service, Parks Canada Renew Relationship Agreement
Waterton Lakes, Alberta— National Park Service Director Chuck Sams and Parks Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Hallman signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to reinforce the longstanding relationship between the two organizations during an event on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, hosted in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Parks Canada President and CEO Hallman was joined by NPS Intermountain Regional Director Kate Hammond and Glacier National Park Superintendent Dave Romer in Waterton while Director Sams participated virtually. The parks leaders were joined by leaders from the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) who opened the event with a welcome address.
“Parks Canada is the National Park Service’s oldest international partner,” National Park Service Director Chuck Sams said. “I’m honored to renew our commitment to collaboration and enrich and enhance our shared missions of stewardship.”
“For over a century, Parks Canada and the National Park Service have worked closely together on protecting and presenting some of the most beautiful natural spaces and interesting historical places in North America,” said Parks Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Hallman. “Through partnership and collaboration that transcends borders, we are committed to modern approaches to conserving our natural and cultural heritage in ways that advance Indigenous stewardship and more fully include diverse perspectives in commemorating our respective histories. By signing this agreement, Parks Canada and the National Park Service are renewing our shared commitment to working together towards common goals.”
This MOU outlines continued collaboration on the protection, presentation, and management of cultural and natural heritage along shared transboundary places and co-stewardship with Indigenous peoples and was born out of recent discussions between the two park leaders at recent North American Wilderness and Protected Areas Committee meetings. The North American Wilderness and Protected Areas Committee provides opportunities for collaboration and information sharing among protected area managers in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
The MOU signed today reaffirms various shared priorities for cooperation between the National Park Service and Parks Canada:
- Indigenous-led conservation and increased collaboration with Indigenous peoples;
- advancing nature-based climate solutions and climate change adaptation;
- connecting people to history and nature;
- park management and operations, visitor experience and safety, natural and cultural resource conservation, and wildfire management.
Collaboration between Parks Canada and the United States National Park Service dates back over a hundred years when the two organizations were established (1911 and 1916 respectively). This relationship was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding first signed in 1998, on cooperation in the management, research, protection, conservation, and presentation of cultural and natural heritage.
Today’s signing renews the cooperative relationship between Canada and the United States as leaders in the conservation and presentation of cultural and natural heritage.