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First Nations facility settles into new year-round home at ENMAX Park

It all started in 1912 with an invitation from Guy Weadick to the First Nations peoples of Calgary area to camp at the Stampede, share their culture, and demonstrate their heritage in a time when traditional indigenous practices had been largely outlawed across Canada.

Now, more than 100 years later, the Calgary Stampede Foundation and Suncor Energy Foundation have made a historic move in acknowledging the bond that has grown between Treaty 7 First Nations and the Stampede since that day.

That’s the message Stampede, Suncor, and Treaty 7 officials were boasting at a blessing ceremony of the new Indian Village grounds in ENMAX Park on July 6.

Photos by Michaela Ritchie.

Published on July 10, 2016.

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The Sweetgrass Lodge, which was constructed with funds donated by both the Suncor Energy Foundation and the Calgary Stampede Foundation, will serve as a year-round reminder to Calgarians of the unique bond shared between First Nations, the Stampede, and our city's energy sector. The facilities will provide a location for interpreters, elders, and cultural experts to assist the curious in their pursuit to further their knowledge of indigenous affairs and heritage. It will also be home to the new Stampede School, which according to Steve Allan, the chair of the Calgary Stampede Foundation, "will provide students from grade 2 to 12 with engaging opportunities to learn first hand about the Calgary Stampede, indigenous communities in Calgary, and Treaty 7 cultures." This will also be the new home of the Bannock Booth and craft market attractions from the old Indian Village. Photo by Michaela Ritchie