kihciy askiy Ground Breaking Ceremony Significance
Delnor was honoured to participate in a ground blessing event hosted by the City of Edmonton and the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre (IKWC) at kihciy askiy, or “Sacred Earth'' in Cree. This ceremony signifies and celebrates the beginning of construction on a site that will be the first permanent, urban Indigenous ceremonial site in Canada.
As we continue to learn from the IKWC, as well as from our own team of Indigenous Consultants we appreciated this ground blessing ceremony as an opportunity to expand our understanding of Indigenous ceremonial and cultural practices.
The ceremony began with an offering of gifts where our Project manager, Aaron Bonifacio created copper shovels to exchange among the other team members. As the facility will be among the historic fur trading route, the copper shovels signify a commonly traded material. The shovels were decaled with City of Edmonton, IKWC, and Delnor logos to show the intertwined relationship shared through this project.
Ribbons were tied to a carefully selected tree: the green ribbon represented Mother Earth and the remaining four ribbons represented the four directions (North, East, South, and West).
“We welcome the journey and the learning that comes as we work with the City, IKWC, and Indigenous partners, to build this special place and we applaud the tremendous effort of all those who have worked for years to make this project a reality.” commented CEO, Glenn Cyrankiewicz.
kihciy askiy will soon be a natural setting for Indigenous peoples and communities in the capital region to host spiritual ceremonies, sweat lodges, cultural camps, and talking circles; grow medicinal herbs, and facilitate intergenerational learning in an appropriately designed outdoor learning space.
For more details about the kihciy askiy site, including construction details, renderings and more, visit edmonton.ca//kihciyaskiy.