Already a national park and historical site, the Mi’kmaq’s sacred ancestral land Kejimkujik is now immortalized in space.
The International Astronomical Union recently named the asteroid located between Jupiter and Mars after the province’s historic jewel. It made the call earlier this month. The news was reported by EarthSky on Tuesday, National Indigenous People Day.
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada declared Kejimkujik to be a Dark Sky Preserve in 2010.
Discovered by Canadian astronomer Paul Wiegert in 2006, the asteroid is a small, irregular, rocky object in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Dartmouth amateur astronomer David Chapman was among a six-person nomination team that pitched the Mi’kmaq historical site.
Chapman was more than pleased to see that EarthSky also saw the occasion as big news.
“I’m thrilled that EarthSky made the Kejumkujik asteroid-naming the lead story for their quarter-million global followers,” Chapman said in a Facebook post Tuesday. “Extra kudos for posting it on National Indigenous Peoples Day!”
Kejimkujik derives from a Mi’kmaq word referring to the exertion required in paddling across Kejimkujik Lake, which forms the center of the park. The glacier-scarred park is located about 160 kilometers southwest of Halifax in southwestern Nova Scotia.
The national park and national historic site is considered a rare refuge for old growth forests and serves as the core of Canada’s second largest biosphere reserve.