June is Indigenous Peoples’ Month, a time to honour the heritage and culture of First Peoples in Canada. June 21 also marks the annual National Indigenous Peoples Day. Here in Alberta , there are events happening around the province to celebrate the unique histories, cultures and contributions from First Nations, Métis and Inuit heritages.
Indigenous people have for thousands of years relied on the tradition of oral storytelling to pass down their history to future generations.
A few years ago, the Siksika Consultation Office received an Alberta Historical Resources Foundation grant and produced these two beautifully-shot vignettes featuring two significant stories from Blackfoot culture.
The first tells the story of Crowsnest Mountain and the birth of seasons. The second tells the story of the first marriages, based around Women’s Buffalo Jump south of present-day Cayley, Alberta.
Thanks to the Siksika Consultation Office for letting us share these important stories.
Editor’s note: The following blog post is part two of a two-part series looking at the history and influence of Doukhobors in Alberta. Read part 1 here.
Written by: Matthew Wangler, Historic Resources Management Branch
Following the establishment of the community in British Columbia, Verigin sought to diversify and strengthen the Doukhobor economy by purchasing new land in southern Alberta. It was not the first time that the Doukhobors had considered Alberta as a home for their community. In 1898, members of a Doukhobor delegation had initially explored purchasing land near Beaverhills Lake by Edmonton, but the proposal was scuttled, as local Member of Parliament Frank Oliver was opposed to their presence. While some Saskatchewan Doukhobors were working in Alberta as agricultural labourers and construction workers in 1911 and 1912, the first Doukhobor villages in the province were established in 1915 in the Cowley/Lundbreck area. Additional land was purchased in the following years, and Verigin arranged to rent land in the Vulcan area on a crop-share basis. The Alberta Doukhobors dedicated themselves to growing grain and raising horses and cattle. The settlements were successful, and at their peak, they boasted 300 members in 13 small villages. The communities tended to 300 horses and 400 shorthorn cattle, and produced 100,000 bushels of grain annually; they also constructed two-grain elevators and a flour mill. The Doukhobors seemed well-suited to the physical landscape of southern Alberta, and found that the region was also distinctly accommodating to smaller religious communities. Anabaptist groups like the Mennonites and Hutterites had already established themselves in the area, as had Mormons fleeing persecution in the United States. During their time in Alberta, the Doukhobors also developed positive relations with their Blackfoot neighbours.
Held every two years, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation Heritage Awards are presented to recognize groups and individuals’ efforts to research, promote or preserve Alberta’s diverse history and heritage.
Last night, 16 different winners received Heritage Awards at a ceremony held at the famed Government House in Edmonton. Read more →
Who are the heritage heroes in your community? Help us celebrate the outstanding contributions of Albertans to the promotion and preservation of Alberta’s heritage. Nominate an individual, organization or project for an Alberta Historical Resources Foundation heritage award. Complete your nominations now. Deadline for submission is July 15.
Awards will be presented in the Heritage Conservation, Heritage Awareness and Outstanding Achievement categories. In addition, the Foundation is proud to introduce the Indigenous Heritage and Youth Heritage Awards this year. Awards will be presented during an awards ceremony on October 25, 2018 at the Government House in Edmonton.
Nominations for the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation’s Heritage Awards 2018 are now open. Help us honour and celebrate the outstanding contributions of Albertans to the promotion and preservation of Alberta’s heritage. This is the 7th biennial Heritage Awards since its reintroduction in 2005.
Awards will be presented in the Heritage Conservation, Heritage Awareness and Outstanding Achievement categories. In addition, the Foundation is proud to introduce the Indigenous Heritage and Youth Heritage Awards this year. Awards will be presented during an awards ceremony on October 12, 2018.
Who are the heritage heroes in your community? Complete your nominations now. Deadline for submission is July 15.
Do you want to be part of a vibrant heritage board or do you know someone who might be interested? The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF), the primary source of the Government of Alberta funding for heritage projects, is currently accepting applications to fill in four board director positions.
Founded in 1973, AHRF has grown into a complex agency that serves a wide range of stakeholders. Board members are appointed for a term of up to three years. Board meetings are held four times a year for approximately 1.5 days. Board members are also occasionally asked to attend heritage events on behalf of the Foundation.
If you happen to visit a restored heritage property; come across a heritage plaque or marker; or read a community history book, chances are the project was supported by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.
As the Government of Alberta’s primary window for heritage preservation funding, the Foundation’s Heritage Preservation Partnership Program provides matching grants and scholarships to support initiatives that preserve and interpret Alberta’s rich heritage. The next grant intake is just around the corner. Next application deadline is September 1st.