Sacred aboriginal landmark built in Nose Hill Park

Aboriginal elders have built a new landmark in Nose Hill Park, and hope to share the important cultural site with Calgarians.

The elaborate circle of stones sits on top of the hill, in the southeast corner of the park, several metres across and impressive to see.

It was built as part of a conference of the Blackfoot Confederacy in late September, and recognizes the area as traditional Blackfoot territory.

But it’s also a gift to Calgarians said Andy Black Water, a ceremonial elder from the Blood Tribe who helped create the landmark.

“It’s to offer part of our ways to the city and the people in the city, or people that come to visit here,” said Black Water.

“They know that somebody from the other side is looking out for them.”

The new circle was arranged next to a half-buried circle of stones that was left behind hundreds or thousands of years ago. Black Water said that original circle is evidence that aboriginal scouts used the spot to search for new campsites, over thousands of years.

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The new landmark is also meant as an offering to their spirits.

The four quarters in the new circle of stones represent the political units within the Blackfoot Confederacy.

Park users are asked not to disturb the stones, but the circle is open to everyone. You can make an offering of fruit or tobacco at the centre, and take a moment to meditate, pray or reflect.

Black Water says you should always enter from the opening on the east side, and leave to the west.

The City of Calgary parks department is working on an interpretive sign to teach visitors about the cultural and historical significance of the landmark. The closest park entrance to the site is off 14th Street NW, nearest to downtown.

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