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Lil’wat Nation Announces Seasonal Closures at Joffre Lakes to Preserve Cultural and Natural Heritage

The Lil’wat Nation, in partnership with N’Quatqua and BC Parks, has announced scheduled closures of Joffre Lakes Provincial Park throughout the summer to help conserve the area’s cultural and natural resources. 

The announcement was made in a joint statement with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation on April 25.

Joffre Lakes, also recognized by its Indigenous name ‘Pipi7íyekew,’ has become increasingly popular, with visitor numbers reaching 196,300 in 2019, a significant rise of 222% since 2010. This surge has prompted a collaborative management approach to ensure the sustainability of the park’s unique environment and cultural values.

The closures are planned to coincide with key cultural activities and environmental conservation periods. The park will be closed from April 30 to May 15 to facilitate Indigenous-led cultural celebrations, including the Stl’atl’imx Days which celebrate the 1911 Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe. 

The park will close from June 14 to 23 during the summer solstice and Indigenous Peoples Day, and from September 3 to October 6 to support Indigenous fall harvesting practices and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Outside of these periods, the park will remain open to the public from May 16. To manage the influx of visitors and minimize environmental impact, BC Parks will continue its free day-use pass program, initiated in 2020. This system not only regulates visitor numbers but also enhances the visitor experience by reducing trail congestion.

Each day, 500 free day-use passes will be available, and 26 tent pads will be offered for overnight stays. Visitors can reserve day passes starting at 7 a.m., two days before their planned visit, while camping reservations can be made up to four months in advance.

Chief Dean Nelson of Lil’wat Nation highlighted the significance of these closures in reconnecting the community with their ancestral land. He stated that the closures would allow Lil’wat citizens to practice their inherent rights and reconnect with the land, crucial steps towards cultural revitalization and sustainability.

“By implementing these closures, we are striving to reintroduce our community to an area where they have been marginalized. The time and space created by these closures will allow our youth, elders and all Lil’wat citizens to practise their  inherent rights while reconnecting with the land,” Nelson added.

Minister George Heyman of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy acknowledged the challenges posed by increased tourism and expressed appreciation for the cooperative efforts in managing the park’s environmental pressures. He emphasized the importance of balancing visitor access with the preservation of the land’s cultural and ecological integrity.

As per a Pique News Magazine report, Chief Micah of N’Quatqua underscored the importance of stewardship, inherited from ancestors, in maintaining the land’s pristine condition for future generations. The planned closures, according to Chief Micah, are vital for giving the land time to rejuvenate and ensuring its continued beauty for visitors worldwide.

The strategic closures reflect a broader commitment by the provincial government and the First Nations to uphold the principles of the Visitor Use Management Strategy. This approach aims not only to manage the park’s ecological footprint but also to honor and integrate the cultural heritage of the First Nations into the contemporary management and use of these lands.

Through these measures, the Lil’wat Nation, N’Quatqua, and BC Parks aim to safeguard the enduring legacy of Joffre Lakes, ensuring that it remains a source of natural beauty and cultural significance for generations to come.

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Paige Dawn
Paige Dawn
April 26, 2024 6:51 pm

I find Lil’wat Nation’s decision to close Joffre Lakes seasonally very inspiring. It shows how important it is to protect their cultural and natural heritage while preserving their ancestral connection.

Linda Harris
Linda Harris
April 26, 2024 8:02 pm

Join in and explore the vibrant heritage of the Lil’wat Nation through educational programs at Joffre Lakes. Dive into their culture to help sustain and revitalize their traditions.

Joseph Wright
Joseph Wright
April 26, 2024 10:27 pm

It’s crucial to respect the closures at Joffre Lakes set by Lil’wat Nation, N’Quatqua, and BC Parks. Let’s all pitch in to preserve the culture and beauty there. Following the guidelines helps ensure Joffre Lakes remains amazing for generations to come. Let’s do our part!

HinnyJack94
HinnyJack94
April 28, 2024 9:52 am
Reply to  Joseph Wright

Let’s all work together to keep Joffre Lakes awesome for future peeps. Remember, respect the closures and help preserve this beautiful spot!

IslaDream
IslaDream
April 26, 2024 11:02 pm

Have you heard about the seasonal closures at Joffre Lakes by the Lil’wat Nation? It’s awesome! They’re really stepping up to preserve their cultural and natural heritage. BC Parks is also on board with a day-use pass program to manage visitors sustainably. What do you think about this community effort?

dimlight92
dimlight92
April 27, 2024 12:31 am

Fellow nature enthusiasts! Get ready for some exciting news – Lil’wat Nation is not just closing Joffre Lakes for the season but also lining up guided hikes and educational programs to spice things up. It’s like going on a super cool field trip! Lace up those boots and let’s explore while honoring the land!

puzzlePiper
puzzlePiper
April 27, 2024 6:22 am
Reply to  dimlight92

Ready to hit the trails? Let’s join the Lil’wat Nation for hikes and learning adventures at Joffre Lakes! Maybe we can pack a picnic too for an extra fun day out in nature. Let’s make memories on the trails!

neutronic727
neutronic727
April 27, 2024 1:26 am

Isn’t it intriguing how the Lil’wat Nation is adding educational programs and tours alongside the Joffre Lakes closures? It’s fantastic to see efforts to share cultural heritage and care for the environment. How do you think these initiatives will impact the community and visitors?

YodelSong817
YodelSong817
April 28, 2024 10:50 am
Reply to  neutronic727

It’s pretty cool how the Lil’wat Nation is offering educational programs and tours as part of the Joffre Lakes closures. It’s a neat way to share their cultural heritage and protect the natural beauty of the area. By the way, I once joined a similar cultural tour and learned so much!

Amy Foster
Amy Foster
April 27, 2024 5:18 am
Reply to  neutronic727

It sure is cool to see how the Lil’wat Nation is spicing things up with educational programs and tours during the Joffre Lakes closures. It’s like getting a bonus cultural and natural heritage experience while still supporting conservation efforts. Can you spot a hidden gem in our next adventure?

zestfulZoe
zestfulZoe
April 27, 2024 7:33 am

The Lil’wat Nation sure knows how to work their magic with those Joffre Lakes closures! It’s like they’re painting a beautiful picture of tradition and nature conservation. I can’t wait to experience the blend of Indigenous culture and the stunning landscape during the park’s special closures!

Devon River
Devon River
April 27, 2024 1:42 pm

I’m curious about how the seasonal closures at Joffre Lakes will affect the visitor experience and cultural learning there. Do you have any thoughts on this or upcoming conservation initiatives?

David Wilson
David Wilson
April 27, 2024 7:17 pm

Have you heard? Lil’wat Nation is not only closing Joffre Lakes seasonally but also planning guided tours and programs to share their rich culture. It’s a fantastic way to connect with their traditions and enhance our respect for Indigenous heritage. So excited for these initiatives!

AmberRidge
AmberRidge
April 27, 2024 10:33 pm

Did you know that during the seasonal closures at Joffre Lakes, you can delve into the rich history and traditions of the Lil’wat Nation? Join in guided tours, storytelling sessions, and hands-on workshops to truly immerse yourself in their culture. It’s a unique experience worth exploring!

KyleDusk
KyleDusk
April 28, 2024 1:59 pm

Have you checked out the seasonal closures at Joffre Lakes? They’re a fantastic chance to delve into Lil’wat culture and nature. Let’s get involved and protect these beautiful surroundings!

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Lil’wat Nation Announces Seasonal Closures at Joffre Lakes to Preserve Cultural and Natural Heritage! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/canada/british-columbia/lilwat-nation-announces-seasonal-closures-at-joffre-lakes-to-preserve-cultural-and-natural-heritage/