A new 25-kilometre (15-mile) multi-use pathway that winds through forests, over salmon-bearing streams and past ocean vistas in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island has officially opened.
ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) means “going the right direction on the path.” Located on the British Columbia island’s west coast, it connects local communities and spans the length of the national park reserve’s Long Beach Unit, providing a new visitor experience for pedestrians and cyclists.
John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale—Langley City, walked with Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ on ʔapsčiik t̓ašii for a June 28 ceremony to thank those who contributed their expertise to building the pathway.
This project is the result of nearly $51 million ($40 million USD) in funding through the Federal Infrastructure Investment Program.
Parks Canada worked with an Elders’ Working Group made up of elders from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ. The pathway is in the ḥaḥuułi — the traditional territories and homelands — of these two First Nations. The elders provided guidance and officially named the pathway.
Elders also provided a set of guiding principles to ensure building the pathway was completed appropriately. These principles included hishukish ts’awalk (everything is one), uu-a-thluk (taking care of) and iisaak (respect). Numerous environmental, engineering, archaeological and traditional-use studies were conducted to ensure the trail design protected sensitive ecological and cultural features. The partners shared valuable knowledge about the ecology, cultural heritage and topography of the area.
“We are hopeful that this collaborative project will provide economic, educational, and recreational opportunities for all the parties involved,” Chief Elmer Frank of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation said in a news release. “It is our hope that this beautiful trail will symbolize the benefits and achievements that were made by working collaboratively together to achieve common goals.”