Interactive path in B.C.’s Interior blends traditional storytelling and technology

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Hikers in B.C.’s Shuswap region are now being encouraged to take their smartphones on a trek through Tsútswecw Provincial Park  — formerly Roderick-Haig Brown Provincial Park — to help them learn about the history of the area, and the cultural significance that land holds for local First Nations.

The park is also known for its impressive sockeye salmon runs each fall which is one of the largest in North America.

Story Trail, located along the Adams River about 70 kilometres east of Kamloops, requires visitors to use their smartphones or a QR reader to scan QR codes on 15 signs along the trail. Each code provides a unique audio recording with stories and information about the natural landscapes, plants and other important aspects of local Indigenous communities, including the Adams Lake, Little Shuswap and the Neskonlith Indian Bands.

Signs like this one are placed throughout Story Trail with QR codes that give visitors access to stories and information told to them by students at Chase Secondary School. (BC Parks Foundation)

“This is a really neat project that’s trying to bring some technology into the parks,” B.C. Parks Foundation coordinator Jennie McCaffrey told Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce.

“We’re hoping to attract a new demographic that’s not necessarily getting out there, maybe some youth who want to have their phones with them and want to engage at that level.”

The students of Chase Secondary School’s Secwepemctsin language class researched information and recorded it as part of the Story Trail. (BC Parks Foundation)

Story Trail came about when the B.C. Parks Foundation learned that a group of students in an Indigenous language class from Chase Secondary School was trying to figure out how to get more of their local history and language into the public park. The parks foundation had been working independently on a network of interactive trails, so the two groups were able to combine their work to create this project. 

This the first interactive trail in a series called the Discover Trails network throughout the province. 

Story Trail at Tsútswecw Provincial Park requires visitors to use their smartphones to scan QR codes to access audio recordings of information about local Indigenous culture and history. 4:34

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