October 16, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(PORT DOUGLAS) For millennia, it was a First Nations route around the Fraser Canyon. For a brief but unforgettable period, it was the highway to the Cariboo goldfields. Now the Douglas Trail is taking a big step towards adding a new chapter to one of B.C.’s most storied heritage trails.
Work is set to begin on rebuilding a 15-plus kilometer section of the trail between Port Douglas and Sachteen. The $150,000 project is a partnership between the Indigenous Work Force, the Xa’xtsa (Douglas) and In-SHUCK-ch Nations and the New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS).
“Douglas will play a meaningful role in the revitalization of the gold rush trail and include the attraction with Douglas’ long term tourism plan,” said Chief Don Harris of the Xa'xtsa (Douglas) First Nation, who is also a Director of the NPTGS.
“Douglas Council are in full support of the historic Gold Rush trail that originates in the heart of Douglas Territory.”
This project will see half of the ancient First Nation-Gold Rush Trail between Port Douglas and Pemberton in the Lillooet River Valley cleared and upgraded in 2014.Work will include clearing vegetation and improving the trail tread on more than 15 km of this historic First Nation/Gold Rush Trail in 2014. Interpretive signage will also be installed. Plans to complete the remaining half of the trail in 2015-16 are in the works.
“The present forest service road will eventually become a paved highway,” said Eppa (Gerard Peters) of In-SHUCK-ch Nation.
“As we prepare for the future we must protect traditional and historical values. The In-SHUCK-ch believe that a sustainable economy will be built around the tourism industry and the Douglas Trail will be central to this.”
NPTGS is contributing $62,460 towards this project within the traditional territory of the Douglas Xa’xtsa and In-SHUCK-ch Nations. Sections will be cleared next to four Indigenous Communities along the trail route: Douglas, Skatin-Skookumchuck, Samahquam-Baptiste and Sachteen.
“This will be a significant and exciting addition to the heritage trail systems in British Columbia,” said NPTGS Co-chair Terry Raymond..
The entire route between Port Douglas and Pemberton winds through a beautiful, rugged and sacred landscape. Governor James Douglas commissioned a road to be built along the route during the Fraser River Gold Rush in 1858. It was largely abandoned by gold seekers after the Cariboo Wagon Road opened in 1864.
For more information, please contact:
Don Hauka, Communications/Creative Director