kihciy askiy – Sacred Land
kihciy askiy-Sacred Land is situated in a natural setting where First Nation Elders, families, schools, organizations, and institutions can host spiritual ceremonies, hold cultural events; engage in traditional arts; and facilitate intergenerational land based learning. This site is a partnership between the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre and the City of Edmonton. It is also expected to become a venue where all Edmontonians can recognize and revitalize their role in reconciliation by building relationships with Indigenous Peoples and their territories. kihciy askiy-Sacred Land is the first urban Indigenous ceremonial and cultural grounds in Canada.
We envision a welcoming space for the general public, while honoring the vision of the Elders to hold a sacred space for diverse Indigenous cultures to practice ceremonies and transfer knowledge. We will preserve a natural space within the city of Edmonton for present and future generations to heal, learn, and connect, one where the positive movement towards reconciliation will be led by Indigenous knowledge and worldviews.
kihciy askiy – Sacred Land
KIHCIHKAW ASKÎ PAVILLION
- Washrooms (Not for public use)
- Change rooms
- Gathering Room
- Utility vehicle/lawn mowers
- Amphitheatre for Elders’ teachings
- Tipi poles
- Tipi canvas
- Firewood & Ceremonial Stones
What is kihciy askiy-Sacred Land?
- kihciy askiy-Sacred Land is a joint initiative between the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre and the City of Edmonton – “In the spirit of Peace, Friendship, and Respect”.
- An urban land area for Indigenous cultural activities within the City of Edmonton and surrounding regions.
- A place where diverse Indigenous cultures can practice essential ceremonies, the transfer of teachings and knowledge, and a place of healing.
- Guided by the kihciy askiy Elders Counsel.
- Promotes studies of Indigenous history, culture, language, and values.
- An accessible place where urban Indigenous youth and families can access cultural resources – near heart of the city.
- A place where Edmontonians can learn about the traditions of Indigenous people.
- A place to re-establish relationship and connection to ceremony and land within the city guided by Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers.
- A location to provide a natural space for landbased education and special gatherings.
- The first urban Indigenous cultural and ceremonial grounds in Canada with a hope it inspires other cities to do the same.
Importance of the project:
kihciy askiy has been in the making for over 15 years. Presently, Indigenous people are the only group who must leave the city to practice their traditional ceremonies. This site is intended to be an important place for ceremony, learning, and healing, for our present generations and the generations to come. Indigenous people thrive when they have a strong and vibrant connection to culture and traditions. Having a strong identity and participating in cultural traditions strengthens not only the individual, but the entire community. This site will build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples and break down barriers often created by lack of knowledge and understanding.
Address: Project Address – 14141 A Fox Drive NW, Edmonton AB
Long before it was a farmland, the kihciy askiy- Sacred Land, was used for many centuries by the Indigenous Peoples to forage medicines for healing purposes. A rare mineral, Ochre, has also been found close to the site. This mineral has been, and remains, an important aspect of spiritual and traditional ceremonies for many Indigenous groups. Due to the significant history of the location, the site was chosen to be the home of kihciy askiy.
kihciy askiy-Sacred Land will open daily from 9:00am-4:30pm and adhere to City of Edmonton Noise Bylaw 14600. There will be a private security company that provides after hour and nighttime monitoring of the site and in direct connection with City Park Rangers and Edmonton City Police. The Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre Ltd. (IKWC) is responsible for management, operations, and direction of the people working, utilizing, and volunteering at the site. Designated staff members will be assigned to the kihciy askiy operations team and will work directly with kihciy askiy Counsel of Elders. The City of Edmonton will provide facility maintenance support for the project.
Ceremonial and Cultural facilities:
The following cultural ceremonies that have been designated by the Counsel of Elders to take place at kihciy askiy are as follows:
Sweat Lodge Ceremonies will be arranged around a central permanent fireplace for heating of stones involved in the ceremony. Required supplies and space for their storage, will include sufficient firewood, field stones, fresh water, canvas tarps, blankets, and tools for preparing ceremonial fires and handling of heated stones. The lodges will be constructed of willow branches, covered with tarps.
Pipe Ceremonies are a foundational aspect to many Indigenous ceremonies, gatherings, and teachings. As such, Pipe Ceremonies would be expected to take place in all spaces within the kihciy askiy site (the Gathering Room and educational space, Sweat Lodges, tipis, amphitheater, and outdoor educational space).
Land based educational programming and traditional teachings will be a central activity on the kihciy askiy site. These activities will take place in the tipis, amphitheater, and outdoor educational space, as well as in the indoor meeting and educational space. Some programming may include accessing the Whitemud Creek, North Saskatchewan River, and/or the trail system within the Whitemud Park.
Smudging is the ceremonial burning of small amounts of traditional medicines and is used as a cleansing and preparatory step in many gatherings and is a part of all ceremonies.
Tipis and Outdoor Educational Space
The site includes a dedicated area for tipis, which will be used for prayer ceremonies, group educational workshops, or other cultural purposes and, at times, for overnight use. For any events or usage exceeding regular park hours (5am-11pm, as stated in the Parkland Bylaw, Bylaw 2202), a special application to the City of Edmonton will be required.
Apart from the sweats, the tipi area will be the most frequently used event space on site. Each tipi can accommodate 16-20 people, with the largest tipi measuring about 22 feet in diameter with a height of 30 feet. Tipis will be erected on site on an as needed basis. When not in use, the poles and canvas will be stored in the storage building.
“Igniting the fire of our ancestors’ ways of knowing”