Statement from Linda Duncan on National Aboriginal Day

June 21, 2013

What better way to celebrate National Aboriginal Day in Edmonton than to voice support for the “Spirit of Edmonton” concept launched by Edmonton arts and culture leader Lewis Cardinal and the Indigenous Peoples' Art and Culture Coalition. The concept celebrates the enduring engagement of indigenous peoples in Edmonton through eight projects, including an Indigenous Centre for Art and Knowledge at Fort Edmonton Park, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Douglas Cardinal; an indigenous art gallery at Donald Ross School; an art and cultural showcase at the Shaw Conference Centre; an indigenous cultures and natural history trail in the river valley connected to a Kihciy Askiy, an indigenous cultural experience center at the Fox farm location near Fort Edmonton; and, a fountain in Rossdale dedicated to Louise Umphreville, an indigenous woman key to the local pemmican trade and buried in the area.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Aboriginal settlement near Rossdale (City of Edmonton Archives) Aboriginal settlement near Rossdale (City of Edmonton Archives)[/caption]

Douglas Cardinal has shared that the Indigenous Centre for Art and Knowledge will be his most important project. His wish is that the Centre with its flowing design can provide a place to share the knowledge and wisdom of people that have been here thousands of years and help the young people by raising the spirit and dignity and self worth of people who have so long been discriminated against.

The North Saskatchewan River valley is our city’s treasure. The “Spirit of Edmonton” provides the logical historical connection. I hope to see you all at the Aboriginal Days celebrations at the Legislature grounds this Saturday afternoon.