Calling all Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation supporters! Join the #GivingTuesday movement on December 3rd and supports vegetation management at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.
It may have not been the size of event they originally planned for June, but the Indigenous Day at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park proved popular for almost 300 people, Aug. 23.
Held on the Yodel Loop, just below the visitor’s centre, the day was an opportunity for people to connect and learn about the rich Indigenous history in the park, located just east of Cochrane. The Stoney Nakoda people offered many performances on the main stage and hands-on fun learning activities and displays were available to enjoy the grounds.
Sarah Parker, executive director of the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation, says something special was witnessed that day.
“I thought the day was wonderful. I thought the performances were so great. I loved how intimate the event was in terms of the closeness of the crowd to the dancers. I thought that Gloria Snow did a wonderful job of explaining the traditions and the culture and the meaning behind the dances and also her words on reconciliation and the struggle that Indigenous people have gone through throughout Canada’s history were really important.”
One of the defining moments of the afternoon saw many people join together for a giant round dance
“The friendship circle dance was just awesome,” says Parker. “It was super fun and it was great to see everybody having a good time, not just the dancers but everyone else, too.”
Popular, too, were the interpretative signs dotted along the park pathways. Each featured artwork by Glenbow Elementary School school students with a description and the name in Stoney.
“We got incredible feedback about those and people wanted to have them up all the time.”
Mark Poucette performed the buckskin dance and has done so at many other celebrations across Alberta and British Columbia in the past. He enjoyed performing at the celebration. There were several other dancers performed a cross-section of traditional dances.
Audrey Stevens gave the opening prayer in the Stoney language and is also a member of the Bow Valley Drum Group that performed. Stevens says the group was formed by his dad in the late 60s, early 70s and its makeup is multigenerational and largely formed by the Stevens family. They perform regularly at cultural events and powwows.
The booths of acclaimed First Nation artist Kalum Teke Dan and jewelry designer Sade Makerra Auger were well attended.
Blackfoot artist Kalum Teke Dan is featured in the current edition of Reader’s Digest Canada and is ranked number five on the list of top Indigenous artists in Canada. He’s been painting for 25 years and his 2006 collection showcased at the 2006 Calgary Stampede sparked the popularity of his imagery.
“I try to focus on spirituality, using modern symbols. Most of my work focuses on emotion, so it doesn’t matter if a guy has his back turned in the image, you’re still going to feel a bit of emotion in the body language and the spirituality.”
Sade Makerra Auger is working on her 10th-anniversary collection of First Nations jewelry with support from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and is excited to soon be launching a new website. Hers is a family of healers and shaman from the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Treaty 8 territory.
Auger’s jewelry designs are inspired by her grandmother, a healer, accomplished jewelry designer and world traveller.
“I use to watch her making jewelry when I was growing up and it was something I always talked to her about. I started making it three years after she died. She has a lot of influence on my design work. I feel connected to her when I make it. I feel like she’s with me and helping me.”
For Mark Olson, a longtime member of the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation who was recently appointed to the chair, it was important to hold a separate Indigenous celebration.
“We have great relationships with our friends and neighbours that we’ve built up over the years. We use to do it with Parks Day but we just felt it was more meaningful to put the whole focus on Indigenous Day. It’s all part of the education program for the visitors to the park to get back to the roots of the land and experience what it was like many years ago.”
Rocky View County councillor Kim McKylor is a regular user of the park and was thrilled to be representing the county at the celebration.
“It really is a jewel in the county. I think this type of exposure will continue to make this park a more valuable asset to the area and the City of Calgary and the region.”
Article and picture courtesy of Cochrane Now
After much planning and coordinating the new date for our Indigenous Day event will be AUGUST 23rd! Mark your calendars and come out and enjoy a celebration of the traditions and culture of the Stoney Nakoda people.
If you have inquiries, questions or are interested in being a vendor please contact Sarah Parker at 403-851-9053.
June 21 is Indigenous Peoples Day, a time to celebrate the history of First Nation, Inuit and Metis people in Canada , and Cochrane has a some big celebrations planed in conjunction with the Stoney Nakoda Nation. Along with Mitford School and Holy Spirit School, Glenbow Ranch Provincial park is planning a major event.
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
On June 21, Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park has a massive event planned complete with everything from traditional music, games and art, to educational walking tours.
Kicking off at Noon the four-hour event will be a celebration of Indigenous culture and heritage.
Sarah Parker, executive director of the park, who is excited about what is planned for the day, said the entire program has been created in partnership with the Stoney Nakoda Nation thanks to the cooperation of Stoney Elder Virgle Stephens.
Highlights of the day’s events include a walking tour that will identify species native to the park and their traditional Stoney names and uses. Glenbow Elementary School students have also contributed to this knowledge through an art research project.
“Glenbow elementary students have done some beautiful artwork and research on fauna and flora,” said Parker, adding each piece displays both the English and Stoney name of the species.
Additional artwork from Glenbow’s Warrior Paint: A Culture of Caring collection will also be on display throughout the day. Starting in 2013, students in Glenbow school’s Roots and Wings program began painting greeting cards depicting their ancestors. The cards are sold in support of the Morley Iyahrhe Nakoda Food Bank Society and to date the work has raised nearly $10,000. It is a special treat to have pieces of the collection at the park, they are usually displayed at the Peter Lougheed Visitors Centre.
“There will be lots of learning opportunities, lots of hands-on learning and lots of great entertainment,” said Parker.
Organizers have also made accommodations to get people from Cochrane and Morley to the event via a free shuttle service. Those wishing to take advantage of the shuttle are asked to register online at https://www.grpf.ca/indigenous-day. Parker said the shuttle will help alleviate parking strains. Those who do want to drive are recommended to carpool as space is extremely limited.
Aside from the learning opportunities, there will also be the opportunity to buy traditional Indigenous arts and crafts at the vendor market. Parker said there is still space available and those interested in attending can contact the park for details.
Parker said everyone at the park is excited for the day and she sees it as a great opportunity to educate more people about Indigenous culture.
“It’s a great way to get to know your Stoney neighbours and celebrate community,” she said.
We all feel it – whether looking outside, in a field, at a beach, or on a mountain – nature gives us perspective about life and death. In her talk “Pilgrimage, sanctuary, and the place of parks and nature at end of life” Dr. Sonya Jakubec will explain the background and lessons learned from a collection of Alberta Parks sponsored studies of park access and experiences for people in palliative care and grief and loss. Through research discoveries, stories and documentary film, Sonya will share accounts of pilgrimage and sanctuary – and the ways parks and nature provide peace and comfort at end of life. Join us for this life affirming journey with your interest, dialogue and discussion – after all, nothing is more natural than death and loss!
Don’t miss out on this unique talk, it is going to be a great evening!!
When:June 18th from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at the Cochrane Public Library
Cost: Free! But please think about donating so we can continue these great talks!
About Dr. Sonya Jakubec: Dr. Sonya Jakubec is a Registered Nurse, and Professor in he School of Nursing and Midwifery at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. Her research alongside community, provincial, national organizations is concerned with the interconnection of supportive environments and well-being across the lifespan.
Ever wondered why the Rockies exist to the west of Glenbow Ranch, and not to the East? What would Senator Cochrane’s crew have encountered digging a humongous water well on Glenbow Ranch? Why are springs critical to the ecosystems in the park? What will the Bow Valley look like in 40,000 years into the future? Join Michael Taylor on a wander through the geological ages of Glenbow Ranch, and see the park through the eyes and imagination of a veteran field geologist.
When: June 1st at 10:00 am to 12:00 pm – meet in the parking lot. Where: Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park Cost: $25 per person Maximum 15 people
Make sure to check the weather and dress accordingly and of course bring your camera!
Register here to reserve your spot!!
Ready to explore the world you can’t see?! Robert Berland’s presentation will include a wide variety of photographs and movies of micro-organisms found living in ponds, rivers, streams, moss and fields including close-ups of arthropods, protozoa, and tardigrades (water bears). This amazing universe of organisms is all around us, and these aliens can be photographed with a microscope and digital camera.
Most people have never seen the alien life that lives in our backyard, our gutters, and bird baths. Some of these tiny complex creatures do not age, they can withstand Ultra-violet light, X-rays, extreme temperatures, desiccation and even survive in the vacuum and cold of outer space.
When: May 21st from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at the Cochrane Public Library
About Robert Berdan: Dr. Robert Berdan is a professional nature photographer living in Calgary, AB specializing in nature, wildlife and science photography. Robert retired from Cell/Neurobiology research to take up photography full time years ago. Robert offers photo guiding and private instruction in all aspects of nature photography, Photoshop training, photomicrography, and macrophotography. His most recent photography focuses on the micro-world around us.