The Eskasoni First Nation in Cape Breton is inviting people to come and learn about Mi'kmaq culture as the community takes its first step towards creating a local tourism industry.
Guides are prepared to show off the 2.5 kilometre walking trail around Goat Island where animators will tell stories, cook bread over fires and illustrate early aboriginal life. The Eskasoni Cultural Journeys program also includes a boat tour on the Bras d'Or Lake and a traditional meal.
"It’s about telling people their story of course, and the past life and the future life and the current life but it's about expelling those myths that they're not welcome in the aboriginal communities because that's so untrue," said tour co-ordinator Sandra MacDonald,
Economic development manager Tracy Menge said the project is adding jobs and growing businesses on the reserve.
"Through the different crafters, the restaurants that are around, the businesses, the fishery restaurant that we're developing that will be a partner with Goat Island.So yeah, it's looking great," she said.
Menge said people can customize their visit to include the parts they're interested in.
"It's the largest Mi'kmaq community in Atlantic Canada. We're in a central location on the beautiful Bras d'Or Lakes. We have great culture. Our language is very strong. We can connect the culture and the youth and the elders and the Mi’kmaq culture to everything."
Eskasoni members said they are marketing to conference organizers, hotels, cruise ship lines and schools.