GWAII HAANAS, BC, July 7, 2016 /CNW/ – Canada’s national parks, marine conservation areas and historic sites represent the very best that Canada has to offer, and support Canada’s tourism industry and local economies. Protecting the land and ocean for present and future generations to visit, and for the Haida National to continue age-old cultural practices. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site is a shining example of a national heritage place that recognizes the role of Indigenous People in Canada and the traditional use of these special places while the Haida Nation can continue age-old cultural practices.
Today, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna and Council of the Haida Nation, President Peter Lantin, announced infrastructure investments in Gwaii Haanas of over $650,000.
These investments will support projects that directly benefit Haida use of the area, along with new visitor experiences. For example, two pools will be built to capture new locations of thermal water flow and offer visitors the opportunity to experience the popular hotsprings that were lost when the 2012 earthquake struck Haida Gwaii.
Additionally, upgrades to the boardwalk at SGang Gwaay Llnagaay will allow the Haida Gwaii Watchmen and visitors to safely access the site while protecting these culturally and ecologically sensitive areas. These upgrades will also make the site more accessible to those with mobility needs.
Investments in visitor infrastructure – such as trails, visitor centres and campgrounds – at Parks Canada places across the country will ensure the quality and reliability of visitor facilities, and allow more Canadians to experience the outdoors and learn about our environment and history.
“SGang Gwaay holds long memories for the Haida Nation, and the village still tells stories today. The site is world renowned; protected by two governments and recognized as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. Investing in SGang Gwaii is critical to maintain the integrity of the village site and area and will benefit those who are able visit and experience, in situ, the past and present culture of the Haida Nation.” – Kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation
“Parks Canada places belong to all Canadians and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. The Government of Canada is proud of its relationship with the Haida Nation at Gwaii Haanas and our shared commitment to conserving, restoring, and presenting this natural and cultural treasure. These investments will ensure high-quality visitor experiences for years to come, while also supporting tourism, local jobs and the regional economy.”
–The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
• Gwaii Haanas is a premier example of cooperative management of a Canadian protected area. The Archipelago Management Board – comprised of Haida Nation and Government of Canada representatives – manages Gwaii Haanas from mountain top to sea floor using consensus-based decision making.
• Located in the southern part of Haida Gwaii, approximately 130 km off the British Columbia coast and 640 km north of Vancouver, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site encompasses more than 5,000 km2 from mountaintop to seafloor. Gwaii Haanas is renowned for its spectacular wilderness and its vibrant cultural resources as well as for the intimate connections between land, sea and people.
• As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, SGang Gwaay is a stunning example of west coast art and architecture because it contains the largest number of standing memorial and mortuary poles of any village found on the west coast of North America.
• Parks Canada is investing an unprecedented $3 billion dollars over five years to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. These investments represent the largest federal infrastructure plan in the history of Parks Canada.
Backgrounder: 2016 Infrastructure Investments
SOURCE Haida Nation
Image with caption: “Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada and Kil tlaats gaa Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation (CNW Group/Haida Nation)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160707_C1871_PHOTO_EN_729350.jpg
For further information: Caitlin Workman, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-9436; Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 855-862-1812, firstname.lastname@example.org