OTTAWA, Ontario — The U.N.'s cultural agency is giving international recognition to a remote stretch of boreal forest in eastern Canada, praising its pristine environment and connection with Indigenous culture.
UNESCO's new World Heritage site is known as Pimachiowin Aki — an Ojibwa phrase that means "the land that gives life."
The relatively untouched forest is home to four First Nations that continue to practice traditional land uses and covers 29,000 square kilometers (11,200 square miles) — nearly three and a half times the size of Yellowstone National Park.
Canada has 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites, but Pimachiowin Aki is the first to be chosen for both cultural and natural reasons.
The UNESCO designation is intended to ensure areas are protected from future development and to help boost tourism.