Bonshaw trail naming honours Mi’kmaq heritage
The traditions and history of Prince Edward Island’s First Nations will be recognized with the naming of the main trail at the newly-expanded Bonshaw Provincial Park.
Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar joined Chief Brian Francis of Abegweit First Nation and Chief Matilda Ramjattan of Lennox Island First Nation to officially designate the park’s main trail as Ji'ka'we'katik Trail – after the traditional Mi’kmaq name for the West River. Ji’ka’we’katik (Pronounced - Jih Ga Way Ga Dig) means “the place where bass are plentiful” in Mi’kmaq.
“The expanded park and trail system at Bonshaw will allow Islanders to spend time experiencing and enjoying our province’s natural heritage. It is fitting to acknowledge the Mi’kmaq people – the first Islanders – as a part of this park,” Minister Biggar said.
“Ji'ka'we'katik Trail will be the main connection to a four-season trail system covering 25 kilometres within this expanded park.”
“We are delighted to have this main trail named to honour the Mi’kmaq heritage of the island,” said Chief Brian Francis. “All of Prince Edward Island is traditional Mi’kmaq territory and the Indigenous Mi’kmaq have been here for over 10,000 years. It is an appropriate gesture that this trail system incorporates a name from our language”.
“The name given to this trail is an important reflection of the culture of our people,” said Chief Matilda Ramjattan. “It is vital that all Islanders be exposed to our traditions and language, and this trail represents a step in that direction”.
Bonshaw Hills Provincial Park has grown to 693 acres in recent years, including the addition of more than 480 acres of land incorporated into the park through the efforts of the Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Committee.
“This new park and trail system is a tremendous addition to our provincial parks, and a great way to promote an active and healthy lifestyle,” Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Heath MacDonald said. “I’m very proud of the work done by the Committee to develop the trails and the new natural playground, and I’m especially pleased to see how many Islanders are already enjoying what the park has to offer. But what makes this new park truly special is to have a new name that reflects the Island’s indigenous heritage.”
The Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Committee has been instrumental in the development of the park and construction of many kilometres of new trails. An accessible, natural play playground is being developed at the park, with official opening of the playground and expanded park trail system anticipated in 2017.
Le présent communiqué sera disponible en français d’ici un jour ouvrable au Nouvelles.
Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy