On Friday, June 17th Siksika Nation and Parks Canada will come together near Banff to unveil new signage in the Blackfoot language near Castle Mountain.
The ceremony will include a blessing and remarks from Siksika Nation and officials from Parks Canada.
Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Siksika Nation said in a statement, “The Blackfoot have been in this area since time immemorial. This statement is not simply a claim made by the Siksika, but one that is supported by evidence and proven as part of the Castle Mountain Claim. As part of the settlement agreement, Parks Canada agreed to provide interpretive signage telling the story of Miistukskoowa (Castle Mountain). The claim was settled in August of 2016, so these interpretive signs are long overdue. It’s time the people of Alberta learn the true history of our Province. A history that cannot be written without the Blackfoot. We played a critical role in the forming of this region and we will continue to have a vital impact of the future of Alberta and Canada.”
A settlement between the Government of Canada and Siksika Nation was settled in 2016 that included a $123 million-dollar compensation for illegal use of land granted in the late 1880s. The dispute focuses around the Siksika claim to Castle Mountain in Banff National Park dating back to the 1880s, who argued it was wrongfully taken from them in 1908 without their consent and proper compensation. The lands at Castle Mountain were added to the Rocky Mountain Park, now known as Banff National Park, in 1911.
According to a statement released by Siksika Nation, Castle Mountain is part of the Blackfoot (Siksika) territory. Siksika’wa hunted and harvested timber, medicinal, ceremonial, edible plants, and roots, in the foothills and mountains area since time immemorial.
These resources were used for sustenance, such as diet, medicinal and ceremonial uses. Castle Mountain is located near the number one highway and was a significant trade route that was part of Blackfoot territory. This was an important area for the Blackfoot Nation because of its location which includes two routes into the Rocky Mountains. The Blackfoot people harvested animals, medicinal and edible plants, red ochre, and yellow ochre, and is considered a sacred place.
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