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Sacred Land cultural Center becomes a reality in Edmonton’s River Valley


Concept of Sacred Land Image Courtesy: Lewis Cardinal

Sacred Land will be a place for indigenous peoples to gather for ceremonies and programming along with teaching non indigenous peoples about the culture and backgrounds.

‘Scared land’ or kihciy askiy, Cree (pronounced key-chee-ask-ee) is a 6.5-million-dollar project now under construction starting last fall in the Whitemud Park is now planned to open next year in 2023. Project Manager Lewis Cardinal says that “it would be a place for indigenous peoples from the city to gather for ceremonies and cultural activates.”

During the wait for the completion of the project, they will access the area for ceremonies and gatherings to help serve the 60 indigenous organizations and agencies that serve the people in the Edmonton area. Cardinal says that “this project is centered around the families and more importantly the youth to reconnect with there sense of identity, culture and ceremony and mother earth.”

The 60 indigenous organizations that are part of this project each one of them have a cultural programs attached to them. With the plan to make the space accessible to them for their cultural and ceremonial programming. The elders along with Lewis Cardnial have plans to also provide public programming, to have people come in and get into a sweat lodge and to participate in a talking circle that involves topics on history, medicine walks where people are taught about the stories of the plants discovered on the walks on the Whitemud nature preserve.

Right across where the project is located is an oaker where history says that indigenous peoples use that area for ceremonies. Lewis Cardinal also wants to have programs for non-indigenous peoples to participate in to help teach about the history and the culture.

The elders of the project, along with Lewis Cardinal say that they hope this will inspire other cities and communities across the country to also share in similar ideas like the Sacred Land project.

We feel that’s our gift to Canada, that our people need.” -Lewis Cardinal Project Manager

For more on this story, listen to the audio file down below:

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