JASPER, AB, Jan. 27, 2022 /CNW/ - Parks Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that recognizes and honours the historical and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, as well as the special relationships Indigenous peoples have with ancestral lands and waters.
The Advisory Group of the Jasper Indigenous Forum, composed of over 25 First Nations and Métis groups with historical ties to Jasper National Park, has been working with Parks Canada to find an appropriate name for the former Pocahontas Campground, located in the eastern end of the park. Today, the Advisory Group and Parks Canada announced the selection of "Miette" as an interim step in the process. The name "Miette" is consistent with existing names in this region of Jasper National Park. The campground sits on Miette Road, which leads visitors along the Miette River to the Miette Hot Springs.
All partners have agreed to continue discussions to find an acceptable, permanent campground name that properly honours Indigenous cultures and connections to Jasper National Park. In the meantime, the name "Miette Campground" will appear on all signage, correspondence and reservations, and will also be reflected in the names of the area's warden cabin and hiking trail. Visitors seeking reservations will find "Miette Campground" under its new temporary name for booking purposes.
Honouring connection to place is an important element for actions and outcomes related to reconciliation. Acknowledging that the cultures and identities of Indigenous peoples are rooted in the land, Parks Canada is committed to ensuring Indigenous connections are honoured, and Indigenous rights respected.
"Representatives from the Jasper Indigenous Forum have come together to collectively rename three sites that carry Pocahontas' name. We honour Pocahontas as one of many Indigenous women who have gone missing or have been murdered across North America.
It is important for all visitors to Jasper National Park to understand that many of the place and site names within the park were not chosen by the Indigenous people who have called these places home for millennia. Taking the time to properly rename these sites is one small step towards truth and reconciliation in Canada. As a group, we encourage Canadians and international visitors to educate themselves on Canada's brutal history towards Indigenous people."
Consensus statement from Jasper Indigenous Forum members:
As'in'î'wa'chî Ni'yaw Nation (Kelly Lake Cree Nation)
âpihtawikosisânak ohci mânitow sâkahikanihk (Métis People of Lac Ste. Anne)
Métis Nation British Columbia
Big Horn Stoney – Noble Bloodline of Eastern Slopes of the Rockies
Ermineskin Cree Nation
Samson Cree Nation
Stoney Nakoda Nations
"Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places. The interim renaming of Miette will allow the time needed to continue discussions to ensure community members of all ages see their culture and language reflected back on these lands of enduring significance."
Field Unit Superintendent, Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park works with representatives from over 25 Indigenous Partner communities and groups through the interest-based Jasper Indigenous Forum. This forum respects the input and direction from Status, Non-Status and Métis groups with historical connections to the lands that became Jasper National Park.
In 1908, coal claims were struck in Alberta, one of which became a mine named "Pocahontas." The name was derived from Pocahontas, Virginia, a highly successful coal-mining community. The Alberta mine operated until 1921; the town's final resident departed by 1937.
Parks Canada and the Advisory Group of the Jasper Indigenous Forum have been actively discussing a new name since 2020.
Miette will continue to serve as a seasonal Parks Canada campground (June to September) offering 140 sites with basic services, including running water, fire rings and flush toilets. It will continue to be best suited for tents and motorhomes or trailers under 8 m (27 feet).
SOURCE Parks Canada
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