Government funding helps create Indigenous cultural tourism space

Learning about Mi’kmaq culture first-hand will become part of the P.E.I. tourism experience with the creation of an Indigenous cultural tourism space in Cavendish.

First Nation chiefs hope new tourism venue encourages visits to communities

The Heartbeat of Abegweit drums the welcome song at the funding announcement for the creation of a Indigenous cultural tourism space in the Cavendish visitor information centre. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

Learning about Mi'kmaq culture first-hand will become part of the P.E.I. tourism experience with the creation of an Indigenous cultural tourism space in Cavendish.

The Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. developed the space on behalf of the Lennox Island First Nation and Abegweit First Nation.

Our culture is not only our past, it is our future.- Chief Matilda Ramjattan

The space, located in the visitor information in Cavendish, will allow visitors to experience the Indigenous culture first-hand by engaging with Mi'kmaq artisans through product displays, demonstrations, and performances.

Both the federal and provincial governments are investing in the tourism project, announced Thursday by MP Wayne Easter and Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald. 

Whetting the appetite of visitors

MCPEI will receive a $49,834 grant through ACOA's Business Development Program and an in-kind contribution of $17,000 for the space within the Cavendish VIC.

The centre opened in July.

"Our culture is not only our past, it is our future. We are delighted that this venue will help us to share this with all visitors," said Chief MatildaRamjattan, Lennox Island First Nation, in a news release.

Abegweit First Nation Chief Brian Francis said he welcomed all visitors to the Cavendish site to view just a small sampling of Mi'kmaq culture.

"This venue will serve as a gateway and whet the appetite of visitors. Hopefully, it will encourage them to come to our communities and get a much larger taste of what our talented Mi'kmaq artisans have to offer."