Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik March 28, 2017 - 4:00 pm

Nunavik Parks hopes to draw more Inuit visitors

Parks offer discounted airfares, free entrance to JBNQA beneficiaries

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Tursujuq park director Charlie Tooktoo is pictured with Tursujuq’s scenic Hudson cuestas in the background. (PHOTO COURTESY OF NUNAVIK PARKS)
Tursujuq park director Charlie Tooktoo is pictured with Tursujuq’s scenic Hudson cuestas in the background. (PHOTO COURTESY OF NUNAVIK PARKS)

Nunavik Parks wants to draw more Inuit visitors to the region’s parks this year.

So the organization has expanded its beneficiary access program this year to help pay for more transportation, lodging and other services offered in the region’s four operating parks: Pingualuit, Kuururjuaq, Tursujuq and Ulittaniujalik.

Under the Kativik Regional Government-funded program, beneficiaries of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement get free access to parks and pay just half of the cost for activities and services offered by Nunavik Parks.

The Nunavik Parks Beneficiary Access program will also reimburse between 30 and 40 per cent of air travel costs to get to the parks’ gateway communities or to take a charter right into the park, Nunavik Parks and the KRG said in a March 27 release.

“This is a tangible response to Nunavimmiut of all ages who want to experience more of what our great parks have to offer while contributing to preserve their land for future generations,” said Patrick Graillon, assistant director for parks with the KRG Renewable Resources, Environment, Lands and Parks Department.

The remote location of Nunavik’s parks makes them harder for southern travellers to access. The region’s four parks saw about 500 visitors in 2016.

Of registered visitors, 80 per cent were residents of Nunavik, although only 46 per cent of that group were Inuit.

In 2017, Nunavik Parks has a budget of $84,000 to deliver its beneficiary access program, which aims to target more school groups, youth and elders.

More and more school groups have organized trips to parks in recent years. High school students from Puvirnituq visited Tursujuq last fall with the help of the beneficiary access program.

“I realized that it is way more fun when there’s no wifi,” said one of the students.

Nunavik Parks has also offered a limited number of weekend packages for beneficiaries and non-Inuit Nunavimmiut who would pay between $200 and $500 for a weekend park visits through the summer months.

You can read more about the Nunavik Parks Beneficiary Access Initiative or download an application form here.

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