Celebrate the culture and heritage of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples this summer. Some of the unique activities planned across Alberta include guided hikes, powwow dances, and a speaker series. Read on for more information about events at both our partner sites and our hostels.
At HI-Jasper, we are partnering with Friends of Jasper to bring in Ron Pelletier, a descendant of the Moberly family to share his family history and lead two interpretive hikes in the Park. The Moberlys were one of the Metis families settled in the territory that, in 1907, became the Jasper Forest Reserve by an Order in Council (by the federal government) and then later Jasper National Park.
For 2012, the opportunity at HI-Jasper is scheduled to be a two or three day series of activities to meet Ron, get a first-hand view of the Park history from his family's perspective and learn about how these families lived in the Park. Scheduled around Parks Day, July 21, the activities will include:
- Learning centre in the town of Jasper as part of Parks Day (July 21st)
- Visit to the Moberly Family Homestead site
- Visit to John Moberly's homestead
HI-Lake Louise Alpine Centre:
An evening speaker series is to be hosted at the HI-Lake Louise Alpine Centre on four Wednesdays in summer 2012 (July 18, August 8 & 22, and September 19). The overall theme of the presentations will focus on introducing guests & visitors on how to connect with the land and how the Stoney people have traditionally made that connection. The Elders Group is comprised of representatives of the three nations (Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley). The content may vary slightly but will essentially be the same at each session. Hostel guests and the general public are invited to attend.
Calgary Stampede Indian Village:
The Village provides the perfect oppurtunity to learn more about the traditions and cultures of the First Nations. Follow the Indian Village on Facebook for daily updates!
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump:
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best preserved buffalo jumps anywhere in the world. Click here to watch a short video about the site and the interpretive centre.
Hike to the ancient drive lanes with Blackfoot guides on the first Saturday of the month, May through October. Hear stories of how the Plains People hunted the mighty buffalo. The hike runs from 11AM to 3PM. In Alberta, phone 310-0000 toll-free and ask for Head-Smashed-In to book a space on a Drive Lane Hike.
Experience authentic First Nations culture every Wednesday in July and August on the plaza at Head-Smashed-In as some of Western Canada's best First Nations dancers perform to the beat of Blackfoot drumming and singing. Hear stories of how drumming and dance connect with the ancient buffalo hunting culture. Two performances daily at 11AM and 1:30PM.
Come and celebrate National Aboriginal Day on Thursday June 21. In the "Moon of the Longest Day," hear Blackfoot elders tell stories of the buffalo hunting culture as we celebrate First Nations' contributions to Canadian Society. Experience First Nation drumming and dancing, guided facility tours, arts and crafts demonstrations, and traditional food sampling.
August 9 marks Blackfoot Fest and the 5th Annual Chicken Dance Championship held at the spectacular Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park. The signature event, the World Chicken Dance Championship, showcases the famous powwow dance that originated with the Blackfoot people.