The Heart of a Community: Fort St. James National Historic Site
When Parks Canada took over the care and stewardship of Fort St. James National Historic Site in central interior BC, the beginnings of a wonderful and prosperous relationship were in the makings.
Heritage Christmas features a spectacular Christmas train set every year
© Parks Canada
Community members were instrumental in lobbying and facilitating the involvement of Parks Canada in the very beginning of site operations in the 1970’s. Today, Fort St. James fosters community involvement in many ways. Skill demonstration workshops and special events which attract international visitors are always planned with local community residents in mind. FSJNHS works with tourism committees, chamber of commerce and committees of Nak’azdli and Metis elders on advising on programming developments. Students from the local community college cook up bison burgers in the cafe. Park interpreters are in many cases members of families with generations of connection to the land and the stories of the surrounding area. The site’s Friends society hosts ever popular Heritage Christmas events annually and contributes to learning and education projects year round. Even Fort St. James’ present day mayor of Fort St. James has worked for the site in the past!
A hay ride is one of those must-do activities at Fort St. James National Historic Site
© Parks Canada
Parks Canada assists with community events, projects and heritage presentation and depends on the community’s involvement with the site to make it the fun and authentic experience that it is for visitors young and old. When it comes to a Parks Canada site being built on the strength of its community foundations, Fort St. James is amongst the strongest examples in Canada.
For more information about Fort St. James NHS:
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