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.