Art installation featured on Skyline trail
June 20, 2019 Chéticamp, NS Parks Canada Agency
To recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, Parks Canada is pleased to introduce a temporary art installation on the steps of the Skyline trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. “Steps Forward” is presented by artist and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Master of Fine Arts graduate Lorraine Albert.
This project features plates of brass metal that have been laser-etched with original text from the Peace and Friendship Treaty signed in 1752 between the Mi’kmaq and the British Crown. The work is now installed on 35 steps at the end of the Skyline trail.
The Skyline trail is the most popular trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, with over 50,000 visitors hiking the trail each year. The trail’s system of boardwalk and steps protects sensitive vegetation on a dramatic headland overlooking the rugged Gulf coast. This art installation provides visitors with an opportunity to learn more about our country’s history as they take in its majestic beauty.
Working together with more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving, restoring, and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places.
“We are committed to reconciliation and renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples, based on a recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. This project demonstrates how our national parks can become spaces for enjoying nature, art and history while inspiring discussion and change. I encourage Canadians to view the Skyline Trail installation on National Indigenous Peoples Day and throughout the year.”
Honourable Mark Eyking,
Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria
“‘Steps Forward’ is an important project for me. The installation of these brass plates aims to spark reflection and thought for visitors to the Skyline trail. By familiarizing ourselves with our shared history, we can begin to understand our relationship to the land and take action in true reconciliation.”
Interdisciplinary Artist and Designer
“The Mi’kmaq have been working closely with Parks Canada on various projects and initiatives, especially those aimed at sharing Mi’kmaq history and culture with visitors to our national parks. This project is an opportunity for visitors to learn more about our shared history, learn more about our country’s past and reflect on its future. This art installation is a wonderful example of an initiative that the Unama’ki-Parks Canada Advisory sub-committee is pleased to support.”
Executive Director, Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office
- Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Lorraine Albert is an interdisciplinary artist and designer with a focus on sculpture, architecture, site-specific installation and body in space.
- The “Steps Forward” project was installed on the Skyline trail in 2018 and was developed through LandMarks2017, a project which provided an opportunity for Canadians to examine collective histories and dialogue about shared futures through art.
- The Unama’ki-Parks Canada Advisory sub-committee is comprised of representatives of Unama’ki (Cape Breton) Mi’kmaw communities and Parks Canada’s Cape Breton Field Unit. It is a collaboration between Parks Canada and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs in various on-the-ground conservation, interpretation and awareness building activities.
- In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.
Parks Canada Agency
Cape Breton Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency