Canada and Epekwitk Mi’kmaq sign agreement toward establishing new national park reserve in P.E.I

Parks Canada

Memorandum of Understanding provides a framework for collaboration to move forward in establishing the national park reserve.

January 19, 2022 Lennox Island, Prince Edward sland Parks Canada

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, along with Chief Darlene Bernard and Chief Junior Gould, co-chairs of the Epekwitk Assembly of Councils, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formally work towards the establishment of a new national park reserve in the Pituamkek area (Hog Island Sandhills) in Prince Edward Island.

The sand dunes of Pituamkek (pronounced Bee-doo-um-gek) form one of the most ecologically significant coastal dune ecosystems in Eastern Canada. The Epekwitk Mi’kmaq have been stewards of these lands and waters since time immemorial, and the signing of this agreement affirms the Government of Canada’s conservation goals in the cultural and historic significance of these islands.

This MOU agreement helps fulfill Government of Canada’s commitment to true and lasting Reconciliation with indigenous peoples and a renewed government-to-government relationship with the Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq (the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island).

The signing of the MOU follows a public engagement process that took place between June 4, 2021, and July 23, 2021, to seek input from individuals and organizations on the proposed national park reserve. A data analysis and summary of results of the public engagement process demonstrate strong public support for the creation of a national park reserve in the Pituamkek area (“What we Heard” report).

The MOU outlines next steps and provides a framework for collaboration as negotiations begin for an establishment agreement for the creation of the new national park reserve. Working together, the Government of Canada and the Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq are taking action to protect this iconic natural and cultural landscape for future generations.

A copy of the Memorandum of Understanding can be found on the Pituamkek website. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/cnpn-cnnp/pituamkek

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