By Joshua LeClair

At Pukaskwa National Park, the Anishinaabe story begins long before the park’s inception and creation. To help tell this story, Parks Canada is investing in Pukaskwa’s First Nation cultural program by revitalizing its on-site Anishinaabe Camp and building an eye-catching Fire Circle. We’re so excited, we couldn’t wait until summer 2016 to share the news!

Collette Goodchild with Frances Nabigon
Collette Goodchild with Frances Nabigon of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation) © Parks Canada

“Bii san go biishan endaaing – Welcome to our home. We the Anishinaabe, are the people of the north shore of Chigaam. We have known this land and water, which is now called Pukaskwa National Park and Lake Superior, for generations.”- Collette Goodchild, elder of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation)

Fire Circle at Pukaskwa National Park
Fire Circle at Pukaskwa National Park © Parks Canada

- Experience Anishinaabe Culture at Pukaskwa National Park

The first part of this project included collaborating with the former ‘Friends of Pukaskwa’ organization to create a new visitor experience space. During the fall of 2015 the busy beavers at Pukaskwa National Park welcomed the Fire Circle; a grand stone fire pit area in the park’s front-country. It was an exciting opportunity to honour years of volunteer efforts from the ‘Friends of Pukaskwa’. The Fire Circle provides a new location to host interpretive programming where visitors will be able to relax by a warm fire, under the starry night sky. It will offer a unique venue to learn and experience how fire influences a culture and a landscape.

The second part of the project, commencing this summer, includes the relocation of the Anishinaabe Camp closer to the waters of Hattie Cove, also in the park’s front-country. The new Anishinaabe Camp will be home to two new birch bark structures and a tiipii for hosting cultural interpretive programming and events. During the upcoming summer season, we are planning for the birch bark structures to be constructed, presenting an opportunity for visitors to observe traditional First Nation construction methods. The new Anishinaabe Camp will encourage visitors to experience and connect not only with Anishinaabe culture, but also with the land and water of Pukaskwa National Park.

Parks Canada interpreter explaining the birch bark dome wigwam
Parks Canada interpreter explaining the birch bark dome wigwam © Parks Canada

Pukaskwa National Park’s new interpretive venues provide a unique learning opportunity to showcase the inspiring connection Anishinaabe have with the natural world. Parks Canada invites you to discover the vibrant culture, rich history, and spiritual teachings of the Anishinaabe people by connecting with fire, water, and land at Pukaskwa National Park.

Anishinaabe Kwe (Ojibway women) at the fire circle.
Anishinaabe Kwe (Ojibway women) traditionally wear skirts to ceremonies © Parks Canada

- Pukaskwa. Naturally cultural.

<< back to shoreLINES