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Resolute’s Angela Piercey on a path to become manager of Qausuittuq National Park

When Angela Piercey gazes over the landscape at Qausuittuq National Park, she's enchanted by the scenery and the wildlife.

Aleeasuk Idlout, left, shares a laugh with Angela Piercey, manager trainee for Qausuittuq National Park in Resolute.
Parks Canada/Jovan Simic photo

"The Peary caribou, they're very important, and they have quite a few muskox over there as well. They're amazing animals," Piercey said of the 11,000 sq. km. park, which, if all goes according to plan, she will manage in the next few years.

Piercey, 33, is currently the manager trainee for Qausuittuq, which officially became Canada's 45th national park in September 2015.

She was born and raised in Resolute, where she completed high school. She took the first year of the Environment and Technology Program and has picked up additional courses "here and there," she said. Prior to taking on the manager trainee role, she was senior administrative officer for the Hamlet of Resolute for three years and was in charge of the hamlet's finance department for a couple of years before that.

She remembers when the announcement came that the park was formally created.

"I was really happy about it. It's very good for the caribou and the caribou mean a lot to the community, especially with all the past oil and gas exploration over there. There's a lot of potential for (petroleum) over there and for the land to be protected from that is really good."

When the opportunity arose to work with Parks Canada, she jumped at it.

"When I was younger, I always told myself I wanted to be a park warden, but park manager is fine as well," she chuckled.

Last summer, she participated in a program to remove empty fuel barrels from within park boundaries. Close to 200 of them were shipped out.

"It was a really big eye-opener... to see exactly how much there is, quite a lot," she said of the industrial supplies that had been left behind over many years.

Preserving the environment and its wildlife is what Piercey's motivated to do in the coming decades.

"My hope is to keep the animals healthy and the land restored to the way it's supposed to be for future generations," she said. "The land is very important to us and we depend on it a lot."

About 25 per cent of her time is spent in the park, she estimated. Her duties outside of the park consist of extensive paperwork and hiring. A new resource conservation officer was recently chosen, Piercey said, noting that the Inuit Impact Benefits Agreement stipulates that nine positions will be created for the park, some full-time, some part-time.

Jovan Simic, Qausuittuq National Park's interim manager, stated that Piercey has played an "instrumental role" in community engagement and with the Qausuittuq Park Management Committee, which comprises three appointees through the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and three through Parks Canada. Her liaison function also includes communications with the Hunters and Trappers Association and the hamlet.

"She approaches her work with integrity and strives for excellence, which has earned her respect from the Qausuittuq Park Management Committee as well as her colleagues in Parks Canada," Simic stated. "It has been a pleasure working with Angela for Qausuittuq National Park. Our work has not been without challenges, but we have been able to learn from each other and help each other become more successful in our roles."