In 1982, when carpenter Todd Labrador began working at Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia, Parks Canada employed few Indigenous people. “I kept thinking, that’s our history, that’s our story. If this is where our ancestors lived, we should be telling our own story.” Now he helps to do that through a birchbark canoe building program he has developed, and many of Canada’s 48 national parks and 171 national historic sites are working with Indigenous interpreters and community members to provide a fuller historical picture. With roughly 600 Indigenous nations, there isn’t a single Indigenous story, says Brenda Baptiste, chair of Indigenous Tourism BC which works with more than 400 Indigenous tourism operators across the province. While indigenous tourism was booming in 2019, contributing about $1.9 billion to Canada's gross domestic product, it was hit hard by COVID. But as visitors return, opportunities for Indigenous communities to partner with Parks Canada offer an avenue towards recovery and reconciliation.

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