Wanted to see the world's largest tepee in Medicine Hat and to view the Sculptured Brick Murals of James Marshall located around the city. His brick murals can be seen all across Canada. There are dozens in Medicine Hat, but we only saw a few. We also wanted to go to Police Park as I had read there was a Cairn depicting the site of the NWMP Post 1883-1893.
The Saamis Tepee is located next to the Visitor Center just off Hwy 1. Within the circle of the Tepee there are 10 illustrated storyboards that were hand-painted by 7 different artists representing influences and history of First Nations heritage.There are 960 bolts holding it together, the main masts measure 215 feet and the diameter is 160 feet. It was originally built for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and moved and reassembled in Medicine Hat in 1991.
There are several versions of how Medicine Hat got its name one of which is told on the signage.
The scene depicts the sadness that overcomes Eagle Birth and his new bride for the sacrifice of a fellow human to the merman. The teepee is the gift of the otter man given to Eagle Birth to use on his design. The blue circle is our world and the little blue circle is the merman world. The green half is the deep water and the yellow the brightness of our world. The Eagle feathers are the truths by which we live.
The Blackfoot Confederacy is depicted by the important things in their life. The sun for its life giving source, the buffalo skull represents the power and spirit of the food source, the tepee the main household.
Plains Cree way of life is represented by seasons and tools, clothing and animals used for their way of life.
Plains Cree Ceremonies showing the four ribbons representing the four directions, sweat lodge for guidance and prayer, the peace pipe to call upon the spirit powers and to symbolize peace and friendship.
The Plains Indians shows man's relationship between man and nature's survival. The buffalo was the main source of food, shelter and clothing. The Eagle for spiritual direction.
Arrival of the Europeans who were welcomed with open arms, only to be betrayed and transformed with no more spirit of freedom.
Treaty 7 signed by the Blackfoot and the Queen's government. Depicted are the five chiefs who were promised their survival and continued way of life. Another treaty broken.
The Metis of the Plains which came from the union of two human cultures..the native woman and the pale skin man. The Metis sash was worn by the French Voyagers, the thistle represents the Scots, the yarrow shows medicine in plants and the North West half Breed Commission paper gave the native people a small amount of cash and took away their treaty rights.
First Peoples Today showing they have kept their culture including songs, stories, the passing of the feather. still listening to the wind and the acceptance of both worlds.
Circle of Unity shows that even though there are breaks in the clouds, the sun is giving life and the Native Warrior holds his peace pipe invoking wisdom of the Great Spirit representing unity of all people and things. The crossed circle that life has no beginning or end. The different coloured hands represents the different races.
We then drove to Police Park to locate the Cairn for the NWMP post. The park ranger said it was on the golf course just up the hill at hole 3. So we asked some golfers if it would be ok to walk to the hole for a photo. They agreed as long as we kept on the grass edge. When we got to the location, we were polite in asking some other golfers if we could photograph the cairn. One even pointed out locations of some of the buildings before their demolishment. Sure this was a first for them. It just so happens that the post was located right in the vicinity of the cairn and this is all that remains except for a sign next to the South Saskatchewan.
I should have studied the locations of the 48 Brick Murals as we only saw the following.
Stopped to snap a pic of City Hall, Veterans Park and the Monarch Theatre. The theatre open in 1911 and it is said that it was the first movie theatre in Canada and is still operating.
|Findlay Bridge 1908 and still in use|