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
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
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.
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