To date, the BC Marine Trails has established both the Sea to Sky Marine Trail and Salish Sea Marine Trail as parts of the Trans Canada Trail, and Gulf Islands Marine Trail off southeast Vancouver Island. Work is underway on the Cape Scott Marine Trail in northern Vancouver Island and now we propose to build the Inside Passage Marine Trail from Washington State to Alaska along the BC coastline. Paddlers, worldwide, are already traversing this 1200-km trip through the most beautiful scenery and experiencing the amazing wildlife of the coast - bears, wolves, seals, otters and sea lions and a wild spectrum of bird life.
Engagement with First Nations is the first critical aspect of the trail-building. The BC Marine Trails is one of the first non-government groups to recognize and understand the importance of recreational use within traditional territories. We understand prior and informed consent. Protocols have not been established for visitors using these traditional lands nor consideration for cultural, historical or archaeological values.
This fundraiser will assist the BC Marine Trails' volunteers to engage First Nations with traditional land in the Central Coast area. The intended outcome is to ensure First Nations interests are reflected in how and where recreational use takes place within their territories. This is a huge undertaking even working with government agencies such as BC Parks.
One of our deliverables will be the development of protocols (or Memorandums of Understanding) for recreational use of traditional territories for each First Nation in the project area.