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Indigenous heritage project takes flight at Prince George Airport

The first phase of the project included a flag raising and a four-panel history display

A  new Indigenous heritage project has launched at the Prince George Airport. It is a partnership between The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, the Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA), and Tourism Prince George.

The launch included raising an Lheildi T’enneh flag to fly permanently outside the main terminal and acknowledgement of a new four-panel Lheidli T’enneh history display inside the terminal.

These projects are part of phase one of a longer-term commitment for YXS, with support from Tourism Prince George, and built on the Collaboration Agreement between Lheildi T’enneh and PGAA signed in Feb 2023.

“The airport is so important for visitors, it's such an important part of what we do,” said Colin Carson, Tourism Prince George CEO.  “Having this at a location that is welcoming, and able to tell some of that story of Lheidli T’enneh is really important for tourism Prince George.”

Carson said international tourists are often interested to learn about the history of Prince George and the region.

“And in Prince George that is the Lhedili T'enneh First Nation so we're trying to find the best ways to share those stories,” he said.  “This is another great way that people were able to learn about the Lheidli T'enneh as soon as they arrived in Prince George so we are really excited.”

PGAA President and CEO Gordon Duke said he is looking forward to see where the project can go.

“There's certainly a lot of opportunity here at the airport, to educate travelers and make sure that everybody going in and out of this airport understands that they're in the welcoming territory of the Lheidli T’enneh,” said Duke.

“We believe that movements like this and collaborative relationship that we're building is a model for other airports to use. YVR certainly sort of leads the way for the larger airports, but I think what we're looking for here is that, as a regional airport, we can still have meaningful reconciliation and reflect that in our facility.”

Chief Dolleen Logan said Lheidli T’enneh First Nation has welcomed travellers for thousands of years and now thanks to Tourism PG and PGAA the over one million people who frequent YXS each year will have an opportunity to learn more about their history.

“I've always said from the very beginning, take five minutes to learn about your local First Nations,” said Logan.

“How many years did Prince George not even know Lheidli  was here? So for like a million people from around the world coming to Prince George and first thing they see is Lheidli T’enneh — It's pretty exciting.”

The next phases of the project will take shape with discussions between Lheidli T’enneh, PGAA, and Tourism PG but chief Logan said she hopes to see more panels in the departures area.