Government of Canada, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ gather to welcome visitors to ʔapsčiik t̓ašii

June 28, 2022 at 1:36 pm  Federal, Politics

New 25-km pathway symbolizes true collaboration between Parks Canada, Indigenous partners and the community

June 28, 2022               Ucluelet, British Columbia                Parks Canada Agency

Developing new and innovative programs and services enables more Canadians, including youth and newcomers, to experience the outdoors and learn about the environment and history. A new 25-kilometre pathway winds through lush forests, over salmon-bearing streams, and past stunning ocean vistas in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island. ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) connects local communities and spans the length of the national park reserve’s Long Beach Unit, providing pedestrians and cyclists an alternative to motorized transportation and a new visitor experience. 

Today, John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale—Langley City, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, walked together with Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ on ʔapsčiik t̓ašii, participating in a special ceremony to thank those who contributed their expertise to building the pathway, and to welcome and invite visitors to connect to the cultural and environmental wonders of the region. This project is the result of close to $51 million in funding through the Federal Infrastructure Investment Program.  

Parks Canada worked together with an Elders’ Working Group, made up of Elders from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ; two First Nations who have ḥaḥuułi (traditional territories and homelands) along the path. The elders provided guidance throughout the project and officially named the pathway ʔapsčiik t̓ašii, meaning “going the right direction on the path.”

Both Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and YuułuɁiłɁatḥ worked together with Parks Canada to carefully choose the course of ʔapsčiik t̓ašii’s footprint. Elders from both First Nations provided the Agency with a set of guiding principles to ensure building the pathway was completed appropriately: hishukish ts’awalk (everything is one), uu-a-thluk (taking care of), and iisaak (respect). With guidance from the Elders’ Working Group, a number of environmental, engineering, archaeological, and traditional-use studies were also conducted to ensure the trail design protected sensitive ecological and cultural features. Through this collaborative approach, each partners shared valuable knowledge about the ecology, cultural heritage, and topography of this area.

National parks represent the very best that Canada has to offer, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. Parks Canada is committed to working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to recognize, commemorate, and share Indigenous histories.

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