Government of Canada and PEI Mi’kmaq First Nations working together to protect the Hog Island Sandhills

News release

Feasibility assessment for proposed national park reserve to be conducted

August 14, 2019               Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island               Parks Canada

Canada is home to some of the world’s last remaining wilderness. That’s why the government is working with Canadians across the country to double the amount of nature we protect in our land and oceans. The Hog Island Sandhills, is a chain of barrier islands which stretches 50 kilometres along the northwest coast of Prince Edward Island. The islands are the province’s last coastal wilderness. This Prince Edward Island landmark is one of the most significant coastal dune ecosystems in eastern Canada.

Today, the, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna along with Chief Darlene Bernard, Lennox Island First Nation and Chief Junior Gould, Abegweit First Nation, announced a feasibility assessment to establish a national park reserve in the Hog Island Sandhills chain in northwestern Prince Edward Island.

The island chain is home to many species at risk like the Piping Plover, the Little Brown Bat, the Northern Long-eared Bat, and the Gypsy coo-coo bumblebee. Threatened bird species including the Bank Swallow, Canada Warbler and Common nighthawk are also found in The Hog Island Sandhills.

The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island have a deep connection with the Hog Island Sandhills. They are home to an ancient and continuing Mi’kmaq land use tradition, important Mi’kmaq cultural and archaeological sites, as well as rare geological formations. The Mi’kmaq word for Hog Island is Pitaweikek (bee-Dah-wey-gek), which means tea broth place.

From coast to coast to coast, protecting the nature we love will not only protect our health and build resilient communities, it will also help mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change. A national park reserve in Prince Edward Island will preserve the Hog Island Sandhills, their cultural heritage and the wildlife that call them home.



“Canada is doubling the amount of nature protected in our country’s lands and oceans to help recover species at risk, fight climate change, and provide Canadians with the opportunity to discover the immense richness of our nature. We are working in partnership with the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island to protect nature in the province and work toward establishing a national park reserve in the Hog Island Sandhills.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“The Hog Island Sandhills are very special to the Mi’kmaq people. We propose to protect and preserve this special place, including its nature and its cultural sites. We hope to work together with our many partners toward our shared conservation goals. This proposal will create a positive legacy for the Mi’kmaq, all Islanders and future generations of Canadians.”    

Chief Darlene Bernard,
Lennox Island First Nation, Co-Chair, Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward

“The people of Prince Edward Island place great value on nature and wildlife areas. It is through partnerships like these that we can conserve and enhance areas of special importance. The Province looks forward to strengthening a respectful and co-operative relationship with the Mi’kmaq and Parks Canada through this process.”

The Honourable Brad Trivers,
Minister Environment, Water and Climate Change, Government of Prince Edward Island

Quick facts

  • The feasibility of creating a national park reserve will be assessed through extensive local consultations and will consider, among other things, the social, environmental and economic benefits and impacts of establishing a protected area in northwestern Prince Edward Island.

  • The Government of Canada and the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island, together with the Government of Prince Edward Island, along with the Island Nature Trust and Nature Conservancy Canada will participate in the feasibility assessment.

Associated links


Sabrina Kim
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

Jesse Francis
Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island

Page details

Date modified: