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National Historic Sites of the Mountain Parks


Number 1
April 2005

Issues and Opportunities

People from the Ktunaxa Nation setting up a teepee at Heritage Corridors Event in 2000.
Ktunaxa Nation members setting up a Tipi at Heritage Corridors event in 2000.
© Parks Canada / Ross MacDonald, 2000

Aboriginal Peoples

  • The theme of trading and working together is presented at national historic sites such as Kootenae House. Most national historic sites rely on plaques to tell their story. The planning process will examine ways to expand presentation of these sites, possibly through the use of the Internet and on-site exhibits. Parks Canada will continue to work with Aboriginal peoples to ensure national historic sites reflect their history and culture.

Protecting an Endangered Species

  • The Cave and Basin National Historic Site protects endangered Banff Springs snail habitat. The challenge here is to plan an integrated approach that protects snail habitat and cultural resources, and at the same time presents national historic site messages. opportunities to work with our partners to enrich the commemoration of these important sites.

Improving the Visitor Experience

  • Parks Canada's goal is to offer visitors the opportunity for a meaningful and memorable experience, whether they are visiting a remote site, stopping briefly at a roadside pull-off, or planning a long vacation. To achieve this goal requires some basic information -- What makes for a positive and memorable experience? What kind of facilities and services do people expect or need? How can we help people feel a “connection” with a place? Parks Canada will work with the tourism industry to ensure their products, services, facilities, and messages reflect national historic site values.

Determining Site Boundaries

  • The national historic site boundaries of Yellowhead Pass, Athabasca Pass, Howse Pass, Kicking Horse Pass and Kootenae House have not been determined. Determining these boundaries is a priority of the planning program. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board has requested that Parks Canada consult with the Province of British Columbia regarding the possible inclusion of the British Columbia side of Yellowhead Pass, Athabasca Pass and Howse Pass. Consultations are ongoing with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and the Canadian National Railway (CNR) regarding designation of historically significant sections of the railway corridors through Kicking Horse Pass and Yellowhead Pass respectively. There are opportunities to work with our partners to enrich the commemoration of these important sites.

Financial Concerns

  • Securing adequate funding to protect and present the national historic sites is an ongoing challenge for all national historic sites in Canada. Recent announcements in the 2005 Federal Budget will help address the protection and conservation of Canada's national historic sites operated by Parks Canada.