Author: lauragolebiowski

National Aboriginal Day 2017

Photo Credit: Travel Alberta/Sean Thonson

Happy National Aboriginal Day!

National Aboriginal Day was announced in 1996 by, then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc on June 21st—the summer solstice. This week, and throughout the month of June, we recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Indigenous Peoples in what is today known as Alberta and Canada. During this year of celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation, it is particularly important to remember the First Peoples who came before, and the thriving, contemporary First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities that continue to shape our country today.

Edmontonians are invited for stew and bannock at the Bissell Centre from 10:00AM – 2:00PM, or enjoy the day-long Aboriginal Day Live festivities at Victoria Park.

Live in Calgary? The University of Calgary is hosting a campfire chat on St. Patrick’s Island, discussing Indigenous perspectives of the cosmos through traditional storytelling, or spend your Saturday at the Family Day Festival and Powwow at the Stampede grounds.

Events are taking place throughout the week and across the province. Join us in taking the time to connect with our community, learn from one another and reflect on what it means to be a Canadian and Treaty person during this summer of celebration.

Event Listings:

Indigenous Relations’ 2017 National Aboriginal Day Events in Alberta: http://indigenous.alberta.ca/documents/NAD-Events-Alberta-June-2017.pdf?0.1319647190237596

City of Edmonton’s National Aboriginal Day Community Events: https://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_events/schedule_festivals_events/national-aboriginal-day.aspx

Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary: http://www.aawc.ca

Written By: Laura Golebiowski (Aboriginal Consultation Adviser)

National Aboriginal Day 2016

Photo Credit: Government of Alberta

Photo Credit: Government of Alberta

The Historic Resources Management Branch is privileged to work with and learn from Indigenous communities in Alberta. On June 21, we join Canadians nation-wide in celebrating National Aboriginal Day. Now in its 20th official year, National Aboriginal Day provides an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike to come together in recognition of the histories, cultures and contributions of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples in our province and across the country. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) has put together a great video to celebrate the 20th Anniversary.

Whether you take in a film at Edmonton’s Amiskwaciy History Series’ Film Festival, check out the festivities at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, visit the Friendship Centre in your community or commemorate the day in your own way, take the time to remember: we are all Treaty people.

A listing of 2016 National Aboriginal Day events in Alberta can be found here.

Written By: Laura Golebiowski, Aboriginal Consultation Advisor

Heritage Energized: HRMB at the National Trust Conference

Last month, the Historic Resources Management Branch had the opportunity to attend the National Trust for Canada’s annual conference, right here in our home province. Held October 22-24 in Calgary, the conference’s theme of “Heritage Energized” explored how heritage energy can turn places around, empower people and create opportunities.

Preceding the conference was Moh-Kins-Tsis: Calgary Indigenous Heritage Roundtable, a day-long session bringing together Elders and knowledge keepers with practitioners in the fields of heritage, archaeology, architecture and planning, to discuss how to protect Indigenous heritage sites in the urban environment.  Moderators Lorna Crowshoe (Aboriginal Issues Strategist, City of Calgary) and Makiinima—Roy Fox (Former Chief of the Kainai Nation) set the tone for the day by establishing the room as an “ethical space”—where groups with contrasting world views can come together in respectful, cooperative and collaborative ways. The audience then had the special opportunity to learn about Blackfoot ways of knowing from Elders Wilton Goodstriker, Herman Yellow Old Woman, Bruce Wolf Child, Andy Blackwater and Dr. Reg Crowshoe. These discussions were expanded upon by a number of professional and academic presenters.

The Crowfoot Young Warriors kick off Moh-Kins-Tsis: Calgary Indigenous Heritage Roundtable with drumming and song. Photo credit: Pinpoint Photography, courtesy of the National Trust for Canada.

The Crowfoot Young Warriors kick off Moh-Kins-Tsis: Calgary Indigenous Heritage Roundtable with drumming and song. Photo credit: Pinpoint Photography, courtesy of the National Trust for Canada.

The latter half of the day focused on the Paskapoo Slopes—an area in the city’s northwest rich in archaeological and cultural heritage and of high significance to the Blackfoot Nations. A panel composed (more…)

National Aboriginal Day 2015

Photo Credit: Travel Alberta/Sean Thonson

Photo Credit: Travel Alberta/Sean Thonson

Sunday, June 21 marks National Aboriginal Day—an opportunity to take time to learn, acknowledge and celebrate the rich contributions Canada’s First Nations, Metis and Inuit have made to our country. Officially proclaimed in 1996, National Aboriginal Day is now recognized nation-wide as part of a series of Celebrate Canada days.

If you live in Edmonton, APTN’s  Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration will be hosted in Louise McKinney Park on Saturday, June 20 and additional community events will be held throughout the week.

Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary’s theme this year is ‘Keeping the Circle Strong,’ with events taking place June 14 – 21. Additional events in Alberta are listed here.

Is your community hosting a National Aboriginal Day event? Share it with us in the comments below!

Written By: Laura Golebiowski, Aboriginal Consultation Advisor

Consulting Alberta’s Aboriginal Communities

My name is Laura Golebiowski and I am pleased to introduce myself as one of the branch’s Aboriginal Consultation Advisors. If you read RETROactive regularly, you know about the work of my colleagues in the Archaeology, Land Use Planning and Historic Places Stewardship sections. I’d like to introduce you to the work of the Aboriginal Heritage Section.

The Aboriginal Heritage Section works with Aboriginal communities to help preserve and protect traditional use sites of a historical nature. Traditional use sites may include historic cabins, campsites, burials, plant or mineral harvesting areas, as well as ceremonial or spiritual sites. Well-known Provincial Historic Resources such as the Viking Ribstones Archaeological Site or Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump also have present-day significance to some Aboriginal communities.

Traditional use sites, along with archaeological, palaeontological and historic structures, are recorded in the Listing of Historic Resources—a regularly-updated database intended as a tool for developers to determine if lands contain or have high potential to contain historic resources.

Due to the sensitive and confidential nature of traditional use sites, the Listing identifies a 360-acre buffer area around each recorded feature, rather than providing the exact site location. This ensures that our team learns of any proposed development which may potentially impact known sites and can therefore provide further direction to the developer. Under the Historical Resources Act, we can order a developer to avoid a known traditional use site, or consult with the affected First Nation on ways to mitigate the damage.

The Historical Resources Management Branch strives to build relationships with the Aboriginal communities in Alberta and that’s the bulk of what I do. The Aboriginal Heritage Section works hard to balance our regulatory responsibilities with outreach efforts and field work (which is the fun parts!). Our role in the branch is really to provide a service and a tool for First Nations in the protection of their cultural sites. We meet with communities to explain how the Listing works and how the inclusion of their traditional use sites could protect them. We field-verify known sites with community representatives to ensure information and locations are accurate. We engage with various communities to ensure that Aboriginal perspectives are incorporated into the interpretation of Alberta’s historic resources. My colleagues and I fight over who gets to take the blue jeep versus who gets to take the red jeep into the field. This is our ‘daily grind’—and we love it.

For me, the joy in this job is recognizing that traditional use sites can be both ancient and contemporary—they can be locations or sites that are actively used today, just as they have been for thousands of years. It is remarkable to visit a medicine wheel that dates back thousands of years and see new blankets and offerings placed at it. Helping to protect these places, so that these practices can continue, is something the Aboriginal Heritage Section is very happy to do.

Written by: Laura Golebiowski, Aboriginal Consultation Advisor.