May 09, 2022 – Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, Treaty 6

The Government of Canada is contributing more than $483,000 through PrairiesCan under the Tourism Relief Fund, and Trans Canada Trail is contributing $103,000, for the rerouting, construction and enhancement of the Trans Canada Trail network through the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation this summer.

Funding from the Tourism Relief Fund and Trans Canada Trail will be used to construct more than 20 kilometres of trail, to be named ᐯᒥᐢᑲ Pêmiska Trails, through the community.

The Tourism Relief Fund empowers tourism businesses to create new or to enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract local and domestic visitors. Tourism Relief Funding focuses on projects that position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities, as well as supporting destination development prospects in line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

Construction on the trail network is expected to begin in June with an announcement and sod turning ceremony on Saturday, June 4 at the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation to coincide with International Trails Day.

The Government of Canada’s investment through the Tourism Relief Fund ensures we can realize a significant portion of our Regional Tourism Strategy. We will be able to promote our history and our culture, provide opportunities for wellness and recreation, and create jobs for our people,” says Edwin Ananas, Chief of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation. “We are pleased with the contribution and look forward to the adventure-based, recreational, and economic opportunities the trails will provide for our community”.

Canada’s trails are a great way for tourists and residents to experience Canadian landscapes from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Our government is proud to invest in the ᐯᒥᐢᑲ Pêmiska Trails on Beardy’s and Okemasis’ Cree Nation, through the Tourism Relief Fund. Enhancing the Trans Canada Trail network will draw visitors to experience the history and natural beauty of the traditional Indigenous territories,” said the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan.

As the steward of the world’s longest recreational trail and largest investor in trail infrastructure in the country, Trans Canada Trail is very pleased to support this project led by the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation,” says Eleanor McMahon, President & CEO, Trans Canada Trail. “We are privileged to work with Indigenous leaders and communities on projects that help ensure the sustainability and viability of the Trans Canada Trail, now and for generations to come. With trail use up 50% since the onset of COVID-19, it’s clear how much people value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental and physical health, and socially connect with others.

She adds, “in addition to health and wellness benefits of the Trail, this project contributes to connecting visitors to rich Indigenous history, and supports economic development as well as important conservation opportunities.

Our trails will activate the incredibly rich history in our community, showcase the vibrant culture of our people, and provide a tangible link to our Kichiota partners and the vastness of Canada,” explains Kevin Seesequasis, project lead and Community & Tourism Development Officer for the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation. “As part of the national Trans Canada Trail network, ᐯᒥᐢᑲ Pêmiska Trails will provide an exceptional trail experience for the members of our community, and for all our visitors.

After more than two years living with COVID-19 and a global pandemic, we need to get outside! So whether you’re looking to discover our history, looking to experience authentic Indigenous culture, or whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure and recreation, we invite you to ‘come find it’ at ᐯᒥᐢᑲ Pêmiska Trails,” concluded Seesequasis.

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For more information, please contact:

Kevin Seesequasis, Community & Tourism Development Officer
Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation | | 306-467-4523

Craig Henry, Manager, Communications and External Relations
Prairies Economic Development Canada | | 306-515-2192

Angela Garde, PR & Communications Manager
Trans Canada Trail | | 514.485.4358

About Trans Canada Trail

The Trans Canada Trail (the Trail) is the longest recreational trail in the world, spanning over 28,000 kilometres on land and water. Linking three oceans – the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic – the Trail connects 15,000 rural, urban and Indigenous communities across every province and territory. It is a ribbon that connects Canada’s diverse landscapes, seasons, people and experiences, and fosters unity, collaboration and connectedness. Trans Canada Trail is a registered charity and stewards this national trail in collaboration with local Trail partners. With funding from the Government of Canada through Parks Canada, and investments from all levels of government and generous donors, Trans Canada Trail is the largest investor in trail infrastructure projects in Canada, supporting improvements, growth and enhancements for generations to come.

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