Okâch Tin Um – Come on in, there is lots of room (Stoney Nakoda)
Oki Kitsikiksimasim – Hello, glad to see you (Blackfoot)
kuniya ha – Welcome, come in (Tsuu T’ina Dene)
Ki’su’k kyukyit – Hello, Good Day (Ktunaxa)
Weyt-kp xwexwéytep – Hello (to many) (Secwépemc)
Tatawâw – Welcome (Cree)
Tawshi – Hello (Métis)
Translations generously provided by:
Lloyd Wesley and Sykes Powderface (Stoney Nakoda)
Maxine Weaselfat (Blackfoot)
Former Chief Lee Crowchild (Tsuut’ina, Dene)
Former Chief Sophie Pierre (Ktunaxa)
Chief Rosanne Casimir of Ttes (Secwépemc)
Jo-Ann Saddleback (Cree)
Elder Edmee Comstock (Métis)
The Whyte Museum strives to re-build the cultural trade route and enrich engagement with Indigenous communities by enhancing the Indigenous perspectives within the museum’s programs and exhibitions and by responding to the key actions which museums, archives and educators have to implement through the TRC’s Calls to Action. The focus is to continue genuine relationship building between Indigenous groups that have historic ties to the museum and Banff through active listening, dialogue and inclusion.
provide brave and safe spaces for relationship building that break down barriers to bring Indigenous and settler cultures together through a spirit of cooperation and commitment
continue to work with new and existing partners to increase capacity and reflect the on-going creative dialogue shared by Indigenous and settler cultures
serve as a leader, community resource, and forum that reflects the rich historical presence and ongoing contribution of Indigenous communities in the Bow Valley region
encourage all participants to reflect on our collective history and explore how making and sharing creativity sparks powerful conversations and builds relationships
Indigenous Advisors draw on the experiences, expertise, and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples who traditionally frequented the Banff and Bow Valley areas. They advise Whyte Museum staff on effective and respectful engagement with Indigenous communities on matters relating to the museum's programs, operations, and repatriation. Indigenous Advisors ensure various Indigenous perspectives in ownership of museum content are represented and respected.
The museum consults with Indigenous Advisors from across Turtle Island and with those that have historic ties to the museum and the Bow Valley. The museum is the caretaker of numerous living objects, photographs, moving image (film and video), sound recordings, books, maps, non-published textual documents (eg. letters, notes and reports), which relate to Indigenous cultural heritage in its collections.
WHYTE MUSEUM OF THE CANADIAN ROCKIES LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge that we live, work and play on the traditional Treaty 7 territories of the Iyarhe Nakoda Nations (Bearspaw, Wesley, and Chiniki), the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani) and the Tsuut’ina, also traditionally, spritually and culturally shared with Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, Mountain Cree and Métis. We are dedicated to working in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of (re)concilliation and change.
Banff, and all of Turtle Island, is located on the traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples as referred to in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies actively addresses the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) 94 Calls to Action, specifically. This relationship to the land is further declared by the National Indian Brotherhood (now Assembly of First Nations), in a Declaration of the First Nations (1981) on collective rights. Historically, there is a long-standing connection to the Bow Valley around Banff National Park for many Indigenous nations now known as Treaty 7 First Nations territory which is a treaty signed on behalf of Queen Victoria in 1877.
Land Acknowledgement Presentation
Developed by Troy Patenaude – Fort Calgary, Ken Faverholdt and Dawn Saunders Dahl, with guidance from Sykes Powderface.
The Land We Are On: A Presentation about Land Acknowledgement Statements and What They Mean
Kenneth Favrholdt, Heritage Consultant;
Troy Patenaude, PhD Director of Cultural Development, Fort Calgary;
Dawn Saunders Dahl, BFA, Indigenous Program Manager, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
Sykes Powderface, Stoney/Iyarhe Nakoda; Elder and Indigenous cultural consultant
In recent years, various land acknowledgement statements have been adopted as way to provide historical education about Turtle Island. These statements advance reconciliation initiatives outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action (2015) and are acts of decolonization. We all stand on Indigenous land but not everyone has a relationship with Indigenous peoples or understands the purpose of why these acknowledgments are an important action. This session provides three different viewpoints from those who have developed acknowledgement statements and work with Indigenous communities across Western Canada.
More information about the speakers can be found here.
This presentation was filmed in August 2020.Partner: Fort Calgary.
The Buffalo: A Treaty of Cooperation, Renewal and Restoration
Indigenous community members started discussion and re-ignited friendships to talk about the land and the biggest modern Treaty across First Nations in Canada and Tribes in the USA, the Buffalo Treaty. This treaty recognizes the cultural, material and spiritual on-going relationship with the land. The Buffalo, lead us in nurturing our land, lands and other animals to once again realize the Buffalo Ways for future generations.
Cultural Appropriation: Basics for Diverse Futures
Troy Patenaude, Director of Cultural Development at Fort Calgary;
Dawn Saunders Dahl, Manager of Indigenous Relations and Programs at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies;
Christine Frederick, Executive Director of the DreamSpeakers Festival Society;
Melrene Salroy-Eaglespeaker, owner and operator of Native Diva Creations.
This 40-minute webinar discusses complex dynamics surrounding cultural appropriation. This presentation was created and presented from an Indigenous perspective. It includes definitions, history in Canada, examples of what not to do and recommendations in the Visual Arts, Fashion, Jewelry, Performing Arts, Ancestral Living Skills, Tourism, and Communications.
Partner: Fort Calgary
Indigenous Food Films
Labradour with Rose Hip Berries Tea
This is the main source of tea for the Stoney Nakoda. This found on the leaves from plants that grow year round in mossy/swampy areas, of the Rocky Mountains. It is called CINDA WARHPA in the Stoney Nakoda language.
The Rose Hips are gathered in late summer when they are ripened and dried for about 2 weeks. Rose hips are called OZINGTA THOTHO in the Stoney Nakoda language, translated means thistle berries.
Mint grows in the lake areas around Morley and is harvested in the late summer. Once gathered, the mint takes about a week to dry and is used with other roots can aid when feeling under the weather. Mint is called CHI YA HA HUN in the Stoney Nakoda language, which means the purple tips of plant leaves.
Bannock and Stew
During the pandemic, the Bow Valley Food Alliance reached out to inquire if we could provide Indigenous recipe making. Phillomene and Tracey Stevens made a hearty stew and bannock meal to share with Chiniki College and encourage healthier eating. Please enjoy and make your own version at home!
In partnership with the Bow Valley Food Alliance
September/ October 2020
Filmed by Nakoda AV Club
EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
International Mountain Day Dinner and Conversation
On January 29, 2020 the Town of Banff and the Whyte Museum hosted an evening of Indigenous food, cultural learning and discussion with Stoney Nakoda, Tsuu T’ina, Ktunaxa youth, community members and Elders to learn about the history of Indigenous Culture in Banff.
This event was held in response to the Banff Canmore Community Foundation Vital Signs 2018 Report findings. Feedback on the assessment from Indigenous community members indicated how important it is to include Indigenous voices in any community decision making. “For over 10,000 years Indigenous peoples have lived and travelled through this valley, including the Stoney Nakoda, Ktunaxa, TsuuT’ina, Kainai, Piikani and Siksika... In the face of climate change, habitat loss, economic uncertainty and social challenges, how do we keep this Bow Valley – our home and our community – a special place that is vibrant and resilient, not only for us, but for future generations?”
The event provided discussion around how to include Indigenous wise practices within various decision making levels in Banff. Lead by Daryl Kootenay and Ariel Waskewitch, the discussion focused on how to apply Indigenous culture and knowledge for the future. Topics included:
The history of Indigenous peoples in Banff and the importance of their sense of place.
The relationship of Indigenous peoples with the ecosystem of the mountain park – learning about the interrelationship between people, animals, plants, mother earth, spiritual ceremonies, and the beliefs of ecological balance.
The history of Indigenous relationship to food such as hunting and gathering in the mountains.
PARTNERS: Town of Banff, Bow Valley Food Alliance, Banff Library
Seasonal Walk and Tea
We welcome you to experience Banff and the Whyte Museum from an Indigenous perspective with Stoney Nakoda and Ktunaxa perspectives. The half hour walk will take place along the Bow River and include storytelling about the plants and animals that were traditionally gathered and hunted in the Bow Valley. Starting and ending in the backyard of the Whyte Museum with an Indigenous tea and conversation.
Partner: Bow Valley Food Alliance
Wanigas Woyuha Aki Da Hna Tibi: Whyte and Moore Historic Family Home Tour
Experience the Whyte Museum historic homes with Stoney Nakoda community members, Phillomene and Tracey Stevens who will guide participants through the Moore and Whyte homes. They will share stories about the Indigenous objects in the homes and the special relationships the Stoney Nakoda had with Peter and Catharine Whyte as well as Phillip and Pearl Moore.
Îethka Wohnagabi Seasonal Education: How It Was Told To Us
Experience Banff and the Whyte Museum from an Indigenous perspective – this program will focus discussion about the land and the seasons from within the Stoney Nakoda tipi located outside of the historic homes. They will share their ancestral knowledge and experiences around Stoney Nakoda culture/tradition throughout the 4 seasons as well as Stoney Nakoda language and their memories of growing up in Morley will be shared in this immersive 90 minute program.
This program will be delivered outside on the museum grounds and talks about nature using examples through storytelling about the seasons, games, plant identification, Indigenous objects, animal footprints, fur and feathers.
Partner: Calgary Foundation
Îethka Traditional Name: Makochi Wiya – Mother Earth Woman
Phillomene is the matriarch of her family, an Elder and Knowledge Keeper who likes to spend time with her family. She enjoys cooking traditional meals and sharing her teachings about different plants and their uses when walking in the forest with youth. She attended Mount Royal College (violence prevention course) and trained at Portage College as a Crisis Councilor. She also worked at the Eagles Nest Womens’ shelter for 23 years in Mini Thni.
Îethka Traditional Name: Sukthi Rhne Rhne - Spotted Buckskin Horse
Tracey is a Knowledge Keeper, the youngest in a family of 13. She likes to cook, sew, knit and make crafts and purses, as well as take care of her horses. Tracey attended Portage College and also trained to be a Crisis Councilor. She worked at the Eagles Nest Womens’ shelter for 20 years in Mini Thni.
Tracey and Phillomene are sisters and they both support the local schools through storytelling and craft making. They are descendants of Chief Ta-Otha: Peter Wesley (from their Mothers’ side on the Wesley clan) as well as Red Cloud, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. And on their Father’s side they are known as the People of the Lake. They both live in the area of where their ancestors were from Horse Lake (Chiniki Lake) and the Kananaskis area.
Stoney Nakoda Language / History Class
Buddy Language and History Class
Museum staff were incredibly saddened to hear of Lloyd (Buddy) Wesley’s passing on June 25, 2021. Buddy’s commitment to reconciliation led him to continue to teach locals in Banff and the Bow Valley about Stoney Nakoda history, the importance of Banff and the mountains to the Stoney Nakoda, as well as basic Stoney Nakoda language, such as saying "Hello, my name is…" as well as the names of animals, plants and the seasons, to start new friendships.
Buddy was teaching Nakoda history and language class through the objects and photos from the Whyte Museum collections at the time of his passing. These lessons provided a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture in the Bow Valley for the participants. Buddy expressed a deep interest to mentor younger Stoney Nakoda speakers for future generations to teach Nakoda language and history. We hope to continue his legacy and honor his memory.
In Banff and Morley March and April 2020
ECO DYING / BASKET WEAVING
Lillian Rose, artist from Ktunaxa in Windermere, British Columbia provided cedar basket making and eco dyeing workshops, in Banff and at Chiniki College. Basket makers were introduced to Lillian and had the opportunity to talk to her about the importance of the seasons, harvesting and developing relationships. Lillian provided an eco-dying workshop where students were shown different materials and methods that could be used to create a base for drawings, fabric, books, and postcards. She discussed different times of year to harvest materials, and how the materials can create different results for the eco-dying process.
PARTNERS: Calgary Foundation, Chiniki College
MOCCASSIN MAKING: Ojibway Artist Sarah Howes
In March 2020 the Whyte Museum hosted an artist talk with Benjamin Gessner from the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) and Ojibway artist Sarah Agaton Howes. Benjamin Gessner presented information about the Minnesota Historical Society, his role and the Native American Artist in residence program. Learn more about the program here.
Sarah shared her experiences as the 2018-19 Native American Artist in Residence at the Minnesota Historical Society Museum. She provided information about creating the book Grandmothers Gift Nookomis Obagijigan and presented examples of her art and projects. Sarah is an experienced teacher with a foundation in anti-racism and community-based social change work, a published poet and spoken word performer. Sarah frequently shares her knowledge and experience with bead work, making moccasins and creating regalia in her community and expressed how important it is for her to share her knowledge with local Indigenous communities. Sarah brought her apprentice Chally Topping, and they taught workshops at the Whyte Museum and Chiniki College. Participants learned about different moccasin styles and students were inspired to create their own books, designs and gained confidence. They were invited by the students to attend the Round Dance in Morley to meet the community where they shared wild rice picked in Minnesota. Participant reflections about what they learned:
PARTNERS: Calgary Foundation, Chiniki College
TEMPORARY MURAL BOX PROGRAM
TITLE: dagunenâ ktûtha giya
In February 2020, a mural for the Town of Canmore Art and Events Art Walk in the Woods project was designed, constructed and painted by Stoney Nakoda students from Chiniki College with guest artist AJA Louden. Chiniki knowledge keeper and the late Lloyd (Buddy) Wesley, who helped guide the concept and provided Stoney Nakoda translations. The title of the piece is: dagunenâ ktûtha giya which means “everything happens on the fourth time around!” The Stoney Nakoda language for each season is at the top of each side of the cube and the faces of the cube face in the four cardinal directions. Each face of the cube shows a hand, based on the hands of students at the college, performing an activity related to the season.
Artists and assistants: Kyle Kaquitts, Vera Kaquitts, Katie Rider, Zeke Omesasoo, Amanda Twoyoungman, Jarron Poucette, Blair Simeon, Alison Smalleyes, Tiana Labelle, Martin Kaquitts, Tyren Twoyoungman, Renneta Simeon, Lewis Kootenay, Sally Twoyoungman, Denise Kaquitts, Kristan Rider, Zerlina Omesasoo, Clark Labelle
PARTNERS: Calgary Foundation, Chiniki College, Town of Canmore Arts and Events. Special thanks to Lorna Rye, instructor at Chiniki College and Nicky Pacas from Arts and Events at the Town of Canmore.
TITLE: Sitting Wind and the Trade Routes
Led by Edmonton based mural artist AJA Louden with Sitting Winds grandsons: Stoney Nakoda Artists Kyle Kaquitts, Jarron Poucette and Chris Morin from Maskwacis. The artists researched and found inspiration in the Whyte Museum collection, historic homes and archives. The late Stoney Nakoda historian and knowledge keeper Lloyd (Buddy) Wesley provided background information about the living objects and the trade route theme. The artists chose to paint their grandfathers’ image to honor him and as a gift for their family and community. Their grandfather was essentially also part of the trade route with Peter and Catharine Robb Whyte through the exchanging of ideas, friendship, art and community connections.
The photo of Frank Kaquitts that the artists referred to for inspiration was taken by their cousin, the late Thomas Kaquitts. Tomas took the photo when he was in Grade 7, which was part of the Through the Lens photography program. “Through the Lens was a four-month extracurricular photography program for students from Banff Community High School, Canmore Collegiate High School and Morley Community School. For 20 years, the program immersed students in the creative process of traditional and digital photography, encouraging participants to experiment and learn about themselves, their community and the exciting medium of visual communication.” https://www.gallerieswest.ca/events/through-the-lens-20th-anniversary/
Information about each side of the Mural:
Side one: Frank Kaquitts portrait: Sitting Wind, born Frank Morin on February 28,1925, was given the name Sitting Wind from a Medicine Man when he was a baby. When Sitting Wind’s mother died when he was four, his grandmother and step-grandfather adopted him (and renamed him Frank Kaquitts). He moved from the central Alberta community of Hobbema (now known as Maskwacis) to Morley, a reserve northwest of Calgary, where he later went to residential school. Born a Cree, he was raised a Stoney. Sitting Wind was a soldier, a boxer, a landscape artist who attended the Banff School of Fine Arts, and an actor, known for his role in the 1976 film Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson starring Paul Newman. He was also a politician, first elected to serve on the Bearspaw Band Council in 1957, then elected Chief in 1961. When the Stoney Nakoda people voted in favour of merging the Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley First Nations in 1974, Sitting Wind was the first-ever grand Chief of the briefly united Stoney Tribe. Following the return to the three-band system, Sitting Wind served as Chief of the Chiniki Band. Sitting Wind died in 2002, at age 77 .https://calgarylibrary.ca/library-news/a-photographs-journey-home/
Side two: Names of the 4 cardinal directions in Stoney Nakoda with an image of one important item that was traded in that direction
Side three: Necklace from the Whyte Museum collection: it was used to show which horse was the fastest, we feel our art is important, our fast horse.
Side four: Collage of different items were traded in this area: Connections between the cultures through the trade routes, on a stretched hide you see:
Bow making techniques, bows and arrowheads, tools, knife, wood boats, spear, tomahawk, headdress,
Food and important animals: Fish, Bison, Rabbit, Elk, Buffalo, Moose, beaver, fox, eagle,
Sweetgrass braids, choke cherries
Stoney design / pattern on both sides
Medicine wheel: is in black and white, represents both Stoney Nakoda and Cree cultures.
Imagery from the trade route is connected to the medicine wheel.
PARTNERS: Calgary Foundation, Chiniki College
We have developed a multi-year partnership with the Cave and Basin to create more boxes that offer opportunities from all 7 Indigenous groups to tell their stories. Starting in summer of 2022.
TITLE: Ma Kochi Wastay
Inspiration for this mural is based on conversations the artists Gordon Wesley, Jarron Poucette and AJA Louden had with Museum staff exploring the collections at the Museum, talking about the land, and finding new friendships. The mural expresses a connection to the land, the river, the falls and the animals, and for visitors to learn Stoney language. The project started with the artists looking at paintings in the Museum vault by artists Carl Rungius (a favourite of Gordon Wesley) and Sitting Wind (Jarrons’ grandfather). The artists also explored the Museum Archives, where they found maps, photos of fossils, events and relatives, providing inspiration for the mural and future projects.
Exploring their ideas about the trade routes and the importance of Banff with Elder Phillomene Stevens, she described this place as being a nice spot in every season. The artists wanted to include Stoney language and find a connection to the late Lloyd (Buddy) Wesley. The artists also spoke with the Museum CEO, Donna Livingstone about projects like this, that connect the museum to this special place. The artists considered the site lines of of the two mural boxes, and brought in new colours and energy to the space so that the pair of mural boxes can work in concert.
Artists: Jarron Poucette and Gordon Wesley, led by AJA Louden
PARTNER: Calgary Foundation
Black Diamond Mural
After meeting through the picnic table project in the summer of 2021, Bearspaw and Canadien collaborated on the Source of Life mural in Black Diamond, Alberta, under the mentorship of Whyte Museum Manager of Indigenous Programs and Relations, Dawn Saunders Dahl. Canadien extended an invitation to continue to mentor and pass on information about mural logistics, idea development and creation to Bearspaw. Canadien also worked with local youth and organizations in Black Diamond. He writes:
“…Source of Life celebrates the interconnectedness of the pre-settlement foothills landscape when buffalo fulfilled their role as a keystone species and supported a vast web of life on the North American plains including thriving Indigenous societies.
Local youth contributed their handprints in orange paint, in solidarity with the survivors and victims of Canada’s Residential School system and to signify a future filled with positive relationships.”
Canadien created the mural as part of the STEPS 2021 – 2022 CreateSpace BIPOC Public Art Residency.
Partner: Calgary Foundation
During the summer of 2021 Indigenous artists Bruno Canadien (Dene), Jarron Poucette (Stoney Nakoda) and Cheyanne Bearspaw (Stoney Nakoda), painted seven picnic tables brought to the Whyte Museum grounds. Canadien’s designs focused on floral motifs – a predominant feature in traditional and contemporary Dene and Metis art, which he says symbolizes his love for family and a close connection to the land.
Bruno Canadien: These tables are painted with my own floral designs, adapted from drawings I originally made for my wife Amy on our 27th anniversary. Floral motifs figure predominately in traditional and contemporary Dene & Metis art, and symbolize our love for family and a close connection to the land. “While the Dene don't claim a connection to the Bow Valley, my family has enjoyed this area for many years,” says Canadien. “I'm happy to be able to share my work with the community in this small way.”
Jarron Poucette of the Stoney Nakoda drew inspiration for his artwork from the traditional fancy dance or war dance.
“I painted the fancy dancer because I like the different colours it has, you need speed and agility in order to dance fancy,” he says. “Back then, our people called it the war dance. In battle they carry a stick ‘coup’ and the warrior would have a lot of speed and agility to run up to their enemies and touch them with the coup without getting killed. It’s quite fascinating.”
Cheyenne Bearspaw, member of the Stoney Nakoda Nation and Indigenous Research Assistant at the Whyte Museum, drew from their favourite colours for when they wanted to dance traditional, as powwow regalia reflects the individuality of the dancer.
Partners: Calgary Foundation, Banff Lake Louise Tourism
Bow Valley History and Living with Wildlife. Partners: WildSmart, Bow Valley Immigration partnership, Town of Banff, Town of Canmore
Indigenous Exhibit change / Oral recordings. Partners: Canadian Heritage and Calgary Foundation
Indigenous Seasonal Walks and Teas, Seasonal Education. Partners: Bow Valley Food Alliance
Historic Home Tours from an Indigenous Perspective. Partners: Calgary Foundation