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BLACKFOOT CROSSING

1993

"Siksika has a rich culture that has been eroded and overrun by euro-centric view of the aboriginal role in the development of Canada. Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park will help revive our noble heritage and will add a new dimension to Canadian History. This is our gift to you, an expression of the partnership understood, when our ancestors signed Treaty No.7."

Chief Strater Crowfoot

Blackfoot Crossing, the Historic Site of the signing of Treaty No.7, is of National and International historical and archaeological significance. It is a designated national Heritage Site and is recommended to be a World Heritage Site. The success of the Treaty No.7 Commemoration in 1977 intensified the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation's vision of building a unique world-class tourist attraction designed to engage visitors in authentic cultural experiences with the Blackfoot people.

The story of the Blackfoot people's lives, their culture and their history has yet to be told in their terms and on their traditional lands that once spanned 70,000 square miles, from British Columbia to Saskatchewan. The Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park is an opportunity to present their story and expand Canadian history by 10,000 years.

The prosposed Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park will identify and preserve historical sites such as Chief Crowfoot's last teepee site, Poundmaker's monument, Treaty Seven Flats, the Earthlodge Village, ancient burial grounds and medicine wheels that are sacred to the Blackfoot people. It will interpret them through exciting, authentic and interactive exhibits, demonstrations and interpretive programming.

The central concept of the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park is that of a Meeting Place. Storytelling and oral tradition will be used to communitcate the culture of the Northern Plains Indian to SIksika members and visitors. Cultural continuity will be achieved through tangible and intangible cultural examples of the Siksika way of life: tribal art, costumes, archaeological sites, music, dancing and language. The prairie chicken dance, teepee circles, buffalo hide shirts, and red stone pipes for smoking tobacco, with unique red stripes for women and black stripes for men, are elements of the Blackfoot culture that are not found among other Plains Indian groups.