"Amisk-wa-chi" painting of a stylized crane resting on a plant by an indigenous artist
Photo credit: Dawn Marie Marchand & Gary Sutton©, “Amisk-wa-chi” – Relationship with the Land, 2020, mixed media, Strathcona County Art Collection

Join the activities in Strathcona County all year long to celebrate and learn about the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples across Canada. Working together and learning from Indigenous groups strengthens our relationships with all Indigenous Peoples and supports ongoing Truth and Reconciliation.

Upcoming Indigenous education opportunities

    1. Strathcona County Library has an all-ages book list, with titles written by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis authors. These stories range from impactful memoirs and sociopolitical commentary to beautiful graphic novels and picture books for children. 
       
    2. Strathcona County Museum and Archives has an Indigenous Peoples Gallery with a feature exhibit including art from Métis artist, Connie Kulhavy. 
       
    3. Gallery@501 is currently featuring Indigenous artists in the salon exhibition.
       
    4. Walk the The Beaverhills Biosphere biodiversity trail with your leashed pup or learn more about the history and importance of this UNESCO reserve, right in Strathcona County.
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, 2022 will be hosted at Broadmoor Lake.

    On the mainstage (Broadmoor Lake Plaza) from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., join guest speakers, an Indigenous elder and Indigenous performers and knowledge keepers to learn the history, heritage, resilience and diversity of Indigenous Peoples. Traditional food will be available for sale, and family-friendly activities including a scavenger hunt and canoe rides will be offered. 

    At 2:30 p.m. in County Hall, see the unveiling of the new Heather Shillinglaw art installation “ᒥᔪᑕᒧᐣ  ᓇᓇᓂᐢ miyotamon nananis – it is a good road in all directions”. Visitors are invited to meet Heather Shillinglaw, engage in the blessing and smudge and enjoy refreshments. 

    At Gallery@501, "The Healing Language of Alex Janvier" will be open 1-4 p.m. Visitors will discover paintings, sketchbook drawings, video and audio works that reflect Janvier's experiences within Canada's residential school system. Mini tours to see Janvier's permanent artworks commissioned in 1976 and 2010 will be available on the half hour. 

    Festival Place will be lit in orange to commemorate the day.

Implementing TRC Calls to Action

Strathcona County is working on new initiatives to strengthen our relationship with Indigenous Peoples across the land, including the recent update of our Diversity and Inclusion policy and ongoing commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Actions. It is important we build and support good relations with Indigenous governments and people, and organizations who serve Indigenous people.

About Treaty 6

The office of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations serves as the united political voice for those First Nations of Treaty Six.The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations is dedicated to ensuring that the terms, spirit, and intent of Treaty Six are honoured and respected. The right of First Nations to self-determination must be honoured and respected - this includes the right to choose their own government and political structures, and to determine and direct the social, cultural, spiritual, and economic advancement of their people.

About the Métis Nation of Alberta

Since 1928, the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) has governed the Métis within Alberta. Their mandate is to be a representative voice on behalf of Métis people within Alberta, provide Métis people an opportunity to participate in government policy and, most importantly, promote and facilitate the advancement of Métis people through the pursuit of self-reliance, self-determination, and self-management.

Territorial land acknowledgement

Strathcona County is located on Treaty Six Territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region Two and Four. 

Strathcona County honours the First Peoples of this land. We recognize that we stand upon land that carries the footsteps of Cree, Métis, and Blackfoot amongst many other Nations, who have been here for thousands of years. 

Therefore, Strathcona County has an inherent responsibility to foster healthier relationships with First Peoples and further the Calls to Action.

Explore First Nation and Métis artworks

Eyes on the Prize by William Frymire

Engage with Indigenous connections in the Strathcona County Art Collection and re-explore the virtual exhibit Walking Gently: Spirit Stories and the 13 Moons by Métis artists Leah Dorion and Gary Sutton, presented by Gallery@501.

First Nation and Métis artists in the Strathcona County Art Collection

Credit: Eyes on the Prize, 2020, by William Frymire
This public art installation can be viewed at Ardrossan Spray Park and Playground

 

Past initiatives

  • May 5, 2022 is Red Dress Day, the National Day of Awareness and Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirited Individuals (MMIWG2S). On this day, we remember and honour the lives of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited individuals whose lives have been taken as a result of the ongoing MMIWG2S crisis in Canada. 

    What is Red Dress day? 

    • Red dress day is a day of honouring missing and murdered Indigenous people. It is a day to raise awareness and education about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. 

    • Red dress day started as REDress Project established by Indigenous artist Jamie Black to focus on the issuing of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada and United States in 2010. 

    What is MMIWG? 

    • Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) refers to the human right crisis of the high and disproportionate rates of violence and number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. 

    • In May 2019, a 1,200 page report from Canada was released on the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The report includes over 230 recommendations and concluded that the murder and disappearance of Indigenous women and girls is an ongoing genocide. 

  • On May 12, 2022 Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians from across Canada support reconciliation and help end violence against all women and children.

    The Moose Hide Campaign raises awareness of the high levels of violence women and children experience, particularly among those who are Indigenous. The campaign calls on men, boys and all Canadians to take a stand against such violence.

    Moose Hide Campaign Day is a day for connecting, learning and sharing, where you can hear from inspiring speakers, share experiences and join workshops. Supporters are encouraged to wear and share the moose hide pins on the day (and every day!).

    The inspiration for the campaign came to co-founders Paul Lacerte and his daughter Raven in 2011 during a moose hunt on their traditional Carrier territory along the Highway of Tears in Northern B.C. – where so many women have gone missing or been murdered. Over the years, this idea has grown into a national campaign to engage all Canadians, with over 2,500 participating communities and organizations across the country, including First Nations, high schools, Friendship Centres, Post-Secondary institutions, government departments, private and non-profit sector organizations, and law enforcement agencies.

    Did you know? 

    • According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, nearly half of all women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. 

      • Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or missing than any other women in Canada 

    • There were 1,181 cases of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada between 1980 and 2012, according to the RCMP. However, according to grassroots organizations and the Minister of the Status of Women the number is much higher, closer to 4,000.

    • Since the first moose hide pins were shared, over 2 million have been distributed nationally.  

    Online Workshops

    • A general livestream on May 12 (8:30-9:45 PST) featuring guest speakers, Elders and advocates

    Click here for more information about Moose Hide Day.

  • June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. Strathcona County is proud to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of Indigenous people. Each year, the County hosts a variety of activities in acknowledgement of this date.

    In 2022, the County hosted Indigenous artists, dancers, musicians and knowledge keepers to participate in traditional Indigenous arts, healing and cultural practices, and deepen our understanding of and connection to Indigenous culture, heritage, traditions, resilience and knowledge. 

  • Strathcona County flags were lowered on June 25, 2021 to honour the 751 people, mostly children, who were found in unmarked graves near a former residential school site in Saskatchewan. The flags remained at half-mast for 751 hours.

    We mourn with all families and survivors of Canada’s residential school system. Sadly, this is just the beginning of the search for unmarked graves in Alberta and across Canada.

    Strathcona County is located on Treaty Six First Nations territory and the home of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Regions Two and Four. We offer our condolences and support and are committed to implementing recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.

    Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
    Hope for Wellness: 1-855-242-3310
    Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

  • New initiatives following the July 6, 2021 Council meeting include:

    • funding a dedicated, full-time Indigenous relations position.  
    • working with Indigenous leaders, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Elders to develop an Indigenous Education and Training program for all Strathcona County elected officials and staff. 
    • developing a report, in consultation with Indigenous leaders, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Elders, on the installation of a permanent memorial in Strathcona County to honour those impacted by Canada’s residential schools. 
    • reviewing the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action to identify all actions related to municipalities and develop an implementation plan for Strathcona County. The report was presented Council in September 2021.
    • Read the full release here.
  • Strathcona County observes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday and Orange Shirt Day on September 30.

    On this date in 2021, the Strathcona Wilderness Centre hosted a free day of learning, sharing and building relationships. Events included:

    • an Indigenous Elder welcome and blessing,
    • nature scavenger hunts,
    • Indigenous performances and
    • family-friendly activities

Communications
Phone: 780-410-6595
Email: info@strathcona.ca

Related topics

Last updated: Thursday, September 29, 2022
Page ID: 51037