Skip to content

Glenbow Ranch celebrates rich Indigenous culture

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park has a rich history of Indigenous people hunting and living on the lands. The park will celebrate this history with an Indigenous Peoples Day celebration June 21. Photo by Nathan Woolridge/Rocky View Publishing

For years, Alberta’s Indigenous people corralled bison in the coulees and established tipi camps on the uplands and lowlands we now know as Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. To honour this rich history, Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation (GRPF) will celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day with a “large-scale event” June 21.

“We wanted a celebration here that would be part of engaging [the] calls to action and supporting youth education around Indigenous culture and history,” said Sarah Parker, executive director of GRPF. “It’s really the first step for our foundation and our own education around Indigenous culture.”

According to Parker, tipi rings and bison kill sites have been identified throughout the park.

“They moved across these lands. They set up at temporary settlements, with tipi, along these lands as they hunted here,” she said. “Our park is rich of Indigenous history.”

To respect that history and the park’s relationship with Indigenous people, Parker said the foundation worked closely with Indigenous communities in the development of GRPF’s celebration.

“Indigenous people been consulted about this event and some of the things that will be taking place, like the dancing and the art,” she said. “This whole celebration was first brought to Elder Virgil Stevens of the Stoney Nakoda Nation. Much of the focus has been around what he and other Stoney Nakoda community members have wanted to see at this event.”

The day kicks off with a tipi raising at 9:30 a.m. Following a brief introduction at noon, vendors, traditional games and art exhibits will be hosted throughout the day until 4 p.m. The event will also include live entertainment all day, including traditional dances, drumming and singing. Parker added two interpretive guided walks have been scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m.

“We have so much lined up – it's going to be really exciting,” she said. “We have a wonderful traditional games expert who will be doing demonstrations and then allowing anybody to come in and try out the games themselves.”

GRPF is anticipating heavy traffic at the park, Parker added. While there isn’t much parking available at the site itself, she said the foundation is offering free shuttle buses from Morley and Cochrane.

For more information or register for the shuttles, visit

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks