Photo courtesy of Shannon Bond, Parks Canada

The Prince Albert National Park will officially re-open the park’s nature centre this weekend after three years of extensive renovations.

The centre will include new and interactive exhibits that explore the park’s unique natural and cultural heritage.

An advisory group representing 14 First Nations and Métis communities, and agencies with strong connections to Prince Albert National Park, helped provide insight and feedback on the Nature Centre exhibits.

Robyn Huffnagle works with Parks Canada at the Prince Albert National Park as a product development officer, and says having input from Indigenous groups was key in the renovations.

“Inclusion of Indigenous groups in the nature centre really reflects what has existed here long before this became a national park,” she said. “It incorporates the perspective of the ancestors of the people who were here eight thousand years ago.”

Indigenous people have lived in and cared for the land now called Prince Albert National Park, and Huffnagle says it remains committed to the involvement of local Indigenous communities in all aspects of the park.

Some of the interactive displays will include displays of bison and moose that were abundant in the 1800’s. Visitors will have a chance to see how the different parts of the animals were used by Aboriginal and Metis people in their everyday lives.

Huffnagle says that since 2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday and national parks across the country have free admission, the Prince Albert National Park is seeing an increase in visitors this year.

She says with the centre now open, she hopes that it will become a jumping-off point for visitors to see what the park has to offer when it comes to nature walks, backcountry hiking and the history behind the park.

The celebrations take place this Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at the Nature Centre in Waskesiu.