Pituamkek (Hog Island Sandhills)

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed for Pituamkek (Hog Island and the Sandhills)

On January 19, 2022 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.

Memorandum of Understanding for proposed National Park Reserve in Pituamkek (Hog Island and the Sandhills)

The signing of the MOU confirms a commitment to true and lasting reconciliation and a renewed government to government to government relationship between the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Prince Edward Island and the Government of Canada. The MOU outlines next steps and provides a framework of collaboration as negotiations begin for an establishment agreement for the creation of a new national park reserve in Pituamkek.

From the onset of this process, initiated by the Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq, the conservation and ongoing protection of these important places and landscapes has been at the forefront of discussions.

The establishment of a protected area will support and conserve the ecological integrity of the area and the wildlife that calls it home, as well as Mi’kmaw cultural sites, and important archaeological sites for future generations.

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, as Pituamkek National Park Reserve, the 48th national park in Canada.

About Pituamkek (Hog Island and the Sandhills)

Located in northwestern Prince Edward Island (Epekwitk), the area known in the Mi’kmaq language as Pituamkek (Bee-doo-um-gek), which means ‘At the Long Sand Dune’, and in English as Hog Island and the Sandhills, is rich in ancient Mi’kmaq history. Working with linguists and Elders, the Mi’kmaq of PEI have discovered this word and uncovered its meaning. It is also home to an ongoing tradition of Mi’kmaq land and resource use.

Anko’tmu’kw aq mui’watmu’kw maqmikeminu tujiw ta’n aq wjit me’j teli-tko’tmu’kw kiskuk
To preserve and celebrate the ancestral and present connection to the land.

For thousands of years the Mi’kmaq People of eastern North America have frequented the shores and forests of Prince Edward Island, including Pituamkek (Hog Island Sandhills). Epekwitk (Prince Edward Island) has played an important role in the culture and history of the Mi’kmaq People.

In addition to the rich Mi’kmaq heritage, Pituamkek (Hog Island Sandhills) offers a series of stunning landscapes ranging from coastal dune systems to old-growth forests and Prince Edward Island’s only occurrence of igneous rock formations.

In August 2019, the Government of Canada, the Government of Prince Edward Island, and the Mi’kmaq Governments of Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations announced the launch of a feasibility assessment on the establishment of a national park reserve in Pituamkek (Hog Island Sandhills).

A new national park reserve presents an opportunity to strengthen a nation-to-nation relationship with the Mi’kmaq of PEI, and will contribute to Canada and Prince Edward Island’s growing network of protected and conserved areas. These protected areas help safeguard Canada’s biodiversity and provide opportunities for Canadians to experience the outdoors, learn about our environment, and significantly contribute to the protection and preservation of Canada’s most vulnerable ecosystems.

What We Heard

From June 4, 2021 to July 23, 2021, Parks Canada and L’nuey, representing the Mi’kmaq of PEI, invited partners, stakeholders and the public to provide their input on key aspects for consideration in establishing a new national park reserve. A summary of the results of the public consultation through a “What We Heard” report, which was developed by a third-party consultant, is below.

Find out where we are in the journey of creating a national park reserve in Pituamkek.

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