Officials expand interactive and interpretative tourism opportunities in Wikwemikong
SUDBURY -- There will be some new tourism opportunities on Manitoulin Island next summer, when we'll hopefully be living in a post-pandemic world.
Wikwemikong Tourism plans to offer authentic Indigenous experiences and recently completed construction of an outdoor kitchen and made enhancements to the popular Bebamikawe Memorial Trail.
"We will be adding a culinary experience where visitors can come in and get to enjoy some Indigenous traditional foods, a lot of fish and wild game, so that will add to the cultural tourism experience," said Luke Wassegijig, manager of Wikwemikong Tourism.
Doodem poles carved by local artist William Bondy were recently added at the entrance to the trail.
"In our culture, our governance structure is that we have always been governed by the teachings of the doodems or animals, animal spirits and they each have a role in identifying the specific roles and responsibilities of those that fall under those spirit guides," said Chief Duke Peltier of the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory.
The 12-kilometre trail gives visitors the opportunity to explore the lands and waters of Wikwemikong. Next summer, there will also be interactive learning opportunities.
"Part of it is developing a mobile app that users can use with different stops along the way," said Wassegijig. "It will be part of an audio tour where learners will be able to hear some of the language and some of the translation to some of the plants and animals that are on the trail."
The trail enhancements and building of the outdoor kitchen gave four young people the opportunity to train in masonry, trail building, construction and people skills.
"With teamwork, there is a lot of challenges and complications as you are going through a job process and it takes a lot of teamwork just to figure out what's wrong and just different ways you can fix the problem," said Evan Peltier a carpentry Trainee. "Just persevere through it and complete the job at hand."
Wikwemikong Tourism said it's excited to offer new interpretative opportunities and to share its rich culture. It hopes the pandemic will have subsided and these plans can go forward.