Our Indigenous-led Nature Walks in Sik-Ooh-Kotoki (Lethbridge) and Mohkinstsis (Calgary) return for the spring! For a full run-down of the speakers and locations, continue reading below the registration links. We are currently offering the following dates and locations:
Indian Battle Park, Sik-Ooh-Kotoki (Lethbridge)
Fish Creek Provincial Park, Mohkinstsis (Calgary)
Saturday, May 20 | 10AM — Walk With Elder Pablo Russell
Saturday, May 20 | 2PM — Walk With Api’soomaahka
Nose Hill Park, Mohkinstsis (Calgary)
General Walk Information
The walks will be led by a certified hiking guide who aims to ensure the comfort and experience of all participants by mitigating the environmental hazards and offering first aid assistance if necessary.
Youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a guardian.
Dogs and other pets are not allowed on this walk, in respect of the guest speakers and the other participants.
If ticket price is a barrier, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices reflect the full cost of operating these walks, including fairly compensating Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders; however, all are welcome. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you would like to attend, but are not currently in a position to pay for a ticket.
Indian Battle Park – Beginning from Helen Schuler Nature Centre
Meeting at Helen Schuler Nature Centre (300 Indian Battle Road S, Lethbridge), participants will explore 1-2 kms of flat, paved and gravel pathways meandering among the open flood plain and mature cottonwood trees of the Oldman River Valley. Stroller, wagon & wheelchair accessible. Washrooms are available in nearby areas of the park.
Fully exposed at times to the extreme sun, precipitation and/or wind of the grasslands, participants are advised to consult local weather forecasts, pack plenty of water and dress accordingly.
Fish Creek Provincial Park – Beginning from Votier’s Flats Parking Lot
Leading from picnic tables by washrooms adjacent to the Votier’s Flats parking lot (13511 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary), participants will explore 1-2 kms of flat, paved and gravel pathways meandering between creekside meadows and forested picnic areas. Stroller, wagon & wheelchair accessible.
Exposed at times to the extreme sun, precipitation and/or wind of the grasslands, participants are advised to consult local weather forecasts, pack plenty of water and dress accordingly.
Nose Hill Park – Beginning from Winter Club Parking Lot
The 0.5 km, uneven, loose-rock trail leading from the parking lot behind the Calgary Winter Club (4611-14 Street NW, Calgary) to our grasslands classroom is a steep, constant climb requiring an intermediate level of fitness and sturdy, closed-toe footwear.
Beginning with a 97-step, landscaped staircase, participants will experience 80% of the trail’s total 42m elevation gain in the first 300m. Strollers are not recommended. Surrounded by views in all directions, participants will be completely exposed to the sun, precipitation and/or wind of the open prairie for the duration of the walk; and are advised to consult local weather forecasts, pack plenty of water and dress accordingly. Seasonal washrooms are only available at the trailhead parking lot.
If you are looking for a more physically accessible option for yourself and/or would like to bring young children in a stroller, please consider our walks at Fish Creek.
Api’soomaahka (Running Coyote)
Api’soomaahka is a member of the Kainai Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy. An artist and illustrator with 40 years of experience, he roots his work in the Niitsitapi worldview and much of his work is imbued with an ethic of environmentalism. He currently operates Naapi’s Garden and Katoyiss Seed Bank and is a member of the Oldman Watershed Council.
Elder Mary Ellen Little Mustache
Mary Ellen Little Mustache from Piikani First Nation is a strong advocate for retaining, relearning, and promoting her first language of Blackfoot. She offers workshops and programs for the traditional games and explains both the history, the use of natural materials, and meaning of the Blackfoot terminology for these games. Much of her knowledge comes from her parents, colleagues and the elders she has known throughout her life.
Photo Credit: Sheri Tarrington
Elder Pablo Russell
Pablo Russell grew up in the Blackfoot tribe with his grandparents. Based on both the buffalo and Indian traditions, Pablo teaches people about leadership and mental health, as well as personal and spiritual development. For 6 years Pablo worked as a historian and teacher at the Glennbow Museum, Calgary. Today he works for the hospital Elbow River Lodge being a pioneer. With his more than 25-year long study of herbal medicine, he is the first traditional healer hired full-time by the Canadian government through Alberta Health Services.
All photo credit, unless otherwise noted, to Barry Crean with much gratitude!