Officials are asking hikers to stop building inukshuks in eastern Canada’s Gros Morne National Park. People all over Canada have taken to piling up stones to resemble the stone figures made by indigenous people in polar regions around the world.
For centuries, indigenous people in Canada have placed inukshuks as navigational aids, to mark migration routes, or sometimes as memorials for loved ones.
Park home to species at risk
Gros Morne National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site and a manager with the park told CBC that stone figures are popping up ecologically sensitive areas where people should not tread. The park is home to sensitive plants and other species at risk.
“We don’t have a policy about inukshuks, per se, but we do encourage people to leave the landscape much as we found it,” said manager Carla Wheaton to CBC. “We don’t encourage people to pick the flowers or create rock formations in unlikely places.”
If people can’t resist the temptation to build inukshuks, Wheaton suggests they do so on the park’s stony beaches, where the tide will restore the beach to its natural state.