Culture & Heritage
The land now designated as the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area has tremendous cultural and heritage significance.
First Nations have inhabited the region for thousands of years using the land traditionally, throughout what is presently known as the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, for living, hunting and gathering. In addition to these activities, First Nations in the area developed distinct cultural and spiritual beliefs and customs.
History & Settlement
Prior to 1942 and the building of the Alaska Highway, the area was relatively inaccessible other than to those who lived in the area or who were willing to travel into the area by foot, plane, boat or by horse. The rivers provided excellent transportation routes, particularly large routes such as the Liard, Muskwa and Kechika rivers. Subsequently, following the completion of the Alaska Highway, a few small settlements developed in the M-KMA, including Toad River and Muncho Lake.
Early activities in the area included hunting, guiding, outfitting, trapping, geological survey, natural history expeditions and exploring potential route development through the north.
Locally, regionally and provincially efforts are being undertaken to gather and assemble historical information about north-eastern British Columbia.
One initiative through the Royal British Columbia Museum, while inclusive of the entire region also features projects specific to the M-KMA, is the 'Living Landscapes', a province-wide regionally-based project intended to: "encourage and facilitate the exploration and appreciation of the human and natural history of British Columbia from regional perspectives."
The M-KMA includes Parks and Protected Areas where resource extraction is prohibited, and management zones where resource extraction may occur, according to higher standards than elsewhere in the province (e.g. best management practices for oil and gas development).