Kihciy askiy will provide a natural setting for the Indigenous community to host ceremonies, sweat lodges and facilitate intergenerational learning.
Amphitheatre and pavillion
Sweat lodge circle and the tipi area beyond
Pavillion and storage building beyond
Kihciy askiy (“Sacred Earth” in Cree) in Whitemud Park will provide a natural setting for Indigenous peoples and communities in the capital region to host spiritual ceremonies, sweat lodges, cultural camps and talking circles; grow medicinal herbs, and facilitate intergenerational learning in an appropriately designed outdoor learning space.
Phase 1 of kihciy askiy design is complete and awaiting funding approval to proceed to construction. The proposed kihciy askiy cultural site will feature:
Four sweat lodges
Space for tipis for ceremonies and small group workshops
Large tent gathering area for ceremonial feasts and cultural teachings
Indoor gathering room
Fifty gravel parking stalls
Two gravel bus parking stalls
Six metre wide gravel road with turnaround for emergency response vehicles, a permanent ceremonial stone heating device with water source and regrading/seeding of the grassed ceremonial area.
On May 6 and 7, 2015, and again on October 28 and 29, 2018, Native Counselling Services of Alberta hosted Grand Council Gatherings for Indigenous Spiritual Leaders in the Capital Region at the Alfred H. Savage Centre.
Outcomes of the gatherings included:
Review and approval of the kihciy askiy concept design
An understanding of the protocols to be used for ceremony at kihciy askiy
An understanding of the ceremonial and spiritual needs of the Indigenous community in the Capital Region
Counsel of Elders
In 2016, Native Counselling Services of Alberta created the Counsel of Elders to work with the Project Team during the design and construction of kihciy askiy:
Howard Mustus (Chair)
The City began working with the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre (IKWC). With guidance from the kihciy askiy Counsel of Elders, IKWC will undertake the work of completing the governance and operation model and engaging with community partners.
An operations plan will be developed and partner and community engagement will continue.
2018 and 2019
With direction from Council, the project team worked with community partners to establish a governance body responsible for finalizing and implementing a governance and operations model for kihciy askiy.
Council approved the Environmental Impact Assessment and Site Location Study in January.
Native Counselling Services of Alberta held a Grand Council gathering in October 2018. Indigenous Elders met to discuss kihciy askiy operations
2015 to 2017
Indigenous consultation, design and environmental review
Council approved an additional $500,000 to upgrade the access road into Whitemud Park through the spring 2016 Supplemental Capital Budget Adjustment (SCBA)
Council approved an additional $1.26 million to build all of Phase 1, for 4 season use, through the fall 2017 Supplemental Capital Budget Adjustment (SCBA)
Native Counselling Services of Alberta hosted a Grand Council Gathering for Indigenous Spiritual Leaders living in the capital region
2009 and 2011
City Council approves $2 million in the 2015-2018 capital budget deliberations for design and construction of kihciy askiy Phase 1
The Whitemud Integrated Area Concept Plan is amended to include the development of the cultural site called kihciy askiy (Sacred Earth)
2003 and 2006
The City receives a proposal from the Edmonton Indigenous Cultural Resource Counsel to create a permanent site for Indigenous cultural events and learning experiences for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
The Whitemud Integrated Area Concept Plan is developed and approved by City Council