Charlottetown, PE – In partnership with L’nuey, Prince Edward Island’s Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative, the Charlottetown Airport Authority unveiled a new Indigenous welcome piece in the arrivals area of YYG Charlottetown Airport.
Strategically located for all to see, the welcome piece is showcased by a photographic mural of beaded artwork commissioned by the airport authority from PEI Mi’kmaq artist Koady Sock and the Made in Mi’kma’ki team. The project also includes new land acknowledgement signage, the framed original artwork, and a graphic highlighting P.E.I.’s two First Nations.
“As we know, the airport is located on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Mi’kmaq people, and we are very pleased to showcase local Mi’kmaq art and culture to the many thousands of people who visit our airport every year”, said Doug Newson, CEO of YYG Charlottetown Airport. “This new sense of arrival combined with the promotion of Indigenous tourism opportunities is a positive step in our efforts to work closer with Indigenous communities on our journey to reconciliation.”
“Our people have been here for over 12,000 years, so it is both important and meaningful for us to see Mi’kmaq representation displayed in such a high traffic area with a land acknowledgement,” remarked Chief Darlene Bernard of Lennox Island First Nation. “We have first-rate cultural and tourism offerings in our First Nation communities that we want to share, and through this installation we can honour our heritage while inviting people to learn more by visiting us for unique experiences.”
“The Mi’kmaq are the original inhabitants of this Island, and for us to welcome people in this way and have our culture displayed prominently to so many is truly a great initiative”, added Chief Junior Gould of Abegweit First Nation. “This welcome piece will spark conversations, new connections, and increase opportunities for our First Nations to continue thriving here in Epekwitk (PEI). Reconciliation is about working together for the benefit of all, and this project moves us in that direction to create a better, more inclusive Epekwitk.”
“It’s special that Made on Mi’kma’ki was able to represent Epekwitk in such a capacity. We as Indigenous artists make up only a small portion of Indigenous crafters that take strides every day to revitalize Indigenous art in a modern era,” said Koady Sock, Mi’kmaq Artist of the Made in Mi’kma’ki team. “It was my vision to capture the cradle in between the seas that Epekwitk represents. I hope this piece inspires everyone to value the knowledge of our ancestors whether that be through art, or some other way. ”
“We are so pleased to see another meaningful advancement in the journey toward reconciliation – the incredible art installation at the Charlottetown Airport is not only visually stunning but is also so important,” said Chairperson of Indigenous PEI Jamie Thomas. “To know that visitors and Islanders alike will be greeted by Indigenous representation is so significant. We hope it brings pride to all Islanders and inspires visitors to learn and experience more about the territory in which they land on – of the beautiful story of the Mi’kmaq who have called Epekwitk their home since time immemorial.”
For more information, visit flyyyg.com/epekwitk/.
About Charlottetown Airport Authority
Charlottetown Airport Authority Inc. is a not-for-profit community-based organization that assumed operational and financial responsibility for YYG Charlottetown Airport on March 1, 1999. The Board of Directors oversee the affairs of the airport with a mission to provide a convenient, modern, and sustainable airport that connects people and drives economic growth in Prince Edward Island. In 2022, more than 340,000 passengers travelled through the airport, generating more than $100 million in total economic activity in Prince Edward Island.
Established in 2019, L’nuey is an initiative that focuses on the advancement, implementation, and protection of the constitutionally entrenched rights of the Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq (Mi’kmaq of PEI). L’nuey is guided by the direction of the Epekwitk Assembly of Councils, the PEI Mi’kmaq governing body comprised of the full councils of Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations.
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Doug Newson, CEO
Charlottetown Airport Authority Inc.
Sean Doke, Media Relations Officer