Parks Canada

Parks Canada

September 23, 2009 17:39 ET

Launch of a Community Uniting Project for Innu Culture

Government of Canada invests in the creation of the Maison de la culture innue in Ekuanitshit

MINGAN, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 23, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Canada Economic Development Minister of State, the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbiniere-Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere, today announced the financing for the creation of the Maison de la culture innue in Ekuanitshit.

"For the first time since the creation of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, the conditions for proceeding with the project are all favourable. The creation of the Maison de la culture innue is the culmination of a long-term commitment," said Mr. Gourde. "I am delighted that the members of the Ekuanitshit First Nations people will have a venue for the transfer of their culture and where the Innu language and the close ties that unite the Mingan islands will be promoted."

Drawing its inspiration from the longhouse and the Innu lifestyle, the Maison de la culture will be a place of knowledge transfer where both residents of the First Nations and visitors to Minganie will profit from the combined reception/interaction component and community component.

The project has solicited much interest from various regional stakeholders. To move the project forward, Parks Canada, Canada Economic Development and the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will invest a total of 2.5 million dollars in funding. The Ekuanitshit community will assume the administrative responsibilities, with the help of Parks Canada and the Ministry of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

"Development of the tourism industry, and the international cruise industry in particular, has a prominent place in Canada Economic Development's interventions on the North Shore. The funding we are awarding for the establishment of the Maison de la culture innue is a key component of a broader approach to develop, among other things, the international cruise industry on the St. Lawrence, a rapidly growing sector. We can be proud, because the completion of the Maison de la culture innue is the result of partnerships and sustained efforts on the part of the Ekuanitshit community. This gathering place and place of contact with the First Nations will be an enriching experience for all visitors. This project further enhances the Minganie's tourism offer, including for visitors stopping over while on cruise who will now be able to benefit from this vastly enriching experience. This is a concrete example of the Agency's dedication to diversifying the economy of the Cote-Nord," noted Minister Lebel.

"The Maison de la culture innue will offer an authentic and inspiring experience within a community that is willing to share its everyday culture," said Minister Prentice. "As a place to exchange and share knowledge, the project will bring people together and offer a product that complements the tourism opportunities currently awaiting visitors to the region and to Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada. It will offer a new and unique way to discover, appreciate and enjoy the Innu culture."

"I am very pleased with how Indian and Northern Affairs Canada has contributed to this important recreational tourism project. La Maison de la culture innue will offer residents of the Ekuanitshit community and its visitors an opportunity to come face to face with, explore and discover the Innu world, both past and present. Not only will this be a centre that honours Innu culture, it will also generate permanent economic benefits for the entire community," added Minister Strahl.

Parks Canada is responsible for a network of national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas that is recognized as one of the largest, most beautiful networks of protected areas in the world. Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    Parks Canada - Quebec
    Melissa Larose
    Communications Advisor