The memorandum was signed in October of 2014 with the hopes of having the highway recognized in time for its 75th Anniversary in addition to the 150th Anniversary of Confederation.
”Yukon and B.C. see great value in working together,” President of the AHHS, Sally Robinson said in a written statement. “We know that businesses, local governments and First Nations in the corridor share an interest in protecting and interpreting heritage resources along the route.”
Robinson adds, “Cultural tourism is good for business and good for strengthening connections between our communities.”
The purpose of the highway being recognized as a historical site, according to the Alaska Highway Heritage Project, is to “commemorate and understand the shared history of the Alaska Highway’s cultural landscape, and to protect and interpret key historic resources of cultural value.”
A significant portion of funding is coming from the Peace River Regional District, which is said to be going towards research, the B.C. engagement program, communications, and developing Yukon partners.
The project is broken into two parts; the first being the nomination of the highway as a historic site, and the second is the development of a regional heritage strategy to promote this highway’s history and heritage. The second part is not dependent on the success of the nomination, according to the Heritage Project.
The project coordinators have also laid out key principals which go to the following:
- The project must meet the needs of communities first. The nomination should be driven by community interests and priorities.
- The operation, maintenance and development of the present route will not be affected by commemoration or by any of the conservation projects associated with it.
- Approval of the nomination is required by all affected landowners, by First Nations having traditional territories within the boundaries of the area proposed for nomination, and by First Nations who want their stories to be shared as part of the nomination.
- To tell the story of the Alaska Highway from the perspective of various people and communities that have been impacted by the highway, whether in a positive or negative way.
Formally known as the Northern Rockies Alaska Highway Tourism Association, the AHCS has been raising awareness about the importance of the Alaska Highway for over 30 years.
The AHHS was established in August of 2013 by individuals interested in the conservation and promotion of the highway’s history and heritage in Yukon.