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High River’s Historic Murals

Summer is finally here. Your family wants to do something fun and exciting and you may even want to learn something and celebrate our diverse Indigenous culture and heritage.
27 HSG - high rivers historical murals

Alberta is rich in activities and history including a great experience that you can have in High River Alberta – an art-filled walking tour.

Murals along the walking tour

A group of dedicated citizens wanted to celebrate their town and began a creative walking tour that has grown over the years adding new murals, new sculptures and other artistic works from local artists and galleries. There are 16 stops along the tour and it all begins with a mural that is dedicated to the chuckwagon races.

The chuckwagon mural was painted in 1993 and celebrates the popular event that is hosted every year in June. The drivers that are seen in the mural have won championships in both the Calgary Stampede as well as the World Professional Chuckwagon Association Championships.

There are many murals that celebrate Indigenous history. Murals from Brent Laycock (The Medicine Tree), Steve Jones (Old Woman’s Buffalo Jump) and Terry Winter (Fort Spitzee) are among the proud murals that are displayed on the High River walking tour. These murals bring Canadian history to life.

Statues along the walking tour

Along with the murals there are many statues to help celebrate our historic heritage. One of the most popular statues along this walk is Wolf Sculpture by Rocky Barstad and Lorne Eadie. The wolf was created out of cottonwood saplings from the first High River train station. The tree was destined for destruction but was saved in part by using the wood for the statue.

The statue of George Emerson who is more commonly known as the father of the rancher by the locals was erected in 2005. George Emerson is celebrated as he could speak a variety of native languages and established the modern ranch by ranching milk cows when the buffalo began to disappear.

The tour is free and self-driven, being self-driven allows the time needed to read and study about the important event or person in our history. From the time that you begin your journey across from the High River museum until you finish your trip through the rich downtown, you will explore all the art dedicated to important people and events throughout our history.

Other attractions to celebrate Alberta’s rich heritage and Indigenous culture

After the tour there are other attractions within High River that will enhance your visit. The Museum of High Wood where the tour begins connects the past including by showcasing both Indigenous artifacts and the today’s community of High River. The museum is full of archives and photographs that will enrich your knowledge from the mural tour. Other attractions that help celebrate High River’s heritage and Alberta’s past include the High River Agricultural Society Museum and the Sheppard Family Park.

Nathan Reeves is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.

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