Discover what some Calgary landmarks and roadways have in common with their Aboriginal history
June 17-23 is Aboriginal Awareness Week, a time to celebrate and recognize the achievements and culture of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples – First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
The physical evidence and history left behind by the Blackfoot people and later by the people of Treaty 7 can be seen and felt throughout Calgary. Many of our major roadways, places and natural landscapes are named after our First Nations heritage. Did you know the history behind these names?
Canada Olympic Park (formerly Paskapoo)
Paskapoo is a buffalo hunting site. Buffalo was the primary source of food, shelter and clothing for First Nations tribes living on the plains.
Nose Hill provided favourable wintering grounds for bison herds, which in turn attracted Blackfoot people to the hill’s grassy slopes. The park today contains numerous tipi rings – circles of stone once used to weigh down the dwellings of bison hunters.
Crowfoot Way and Crowfoot Crossing
Named in honour of Chief Crowfoot, a Blackfoot (Siksika) chief who was instrumental in the negotiations and signing of Treaty 7. He was a warrior who fought many battles for his people. Stories say he went to battle on 19 occasions with other tribes so that his people could live a peaceful life.
The name Deerfoot originates from a Blackfoot man called Api-kai-ees who was a long distance runner and talented athlete in the 1880s. He won many competitions, including running a four-day race of over 175 kms. Stories about him say he was able to chase down a deer.
Named after Chief David Crowchild, who based his life on the four values of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love. He was a great contributor to the Native and non-Native community alike, including the Indian Association of Alberta, the Calgary Stampede and the Moral Rearmament.
Named after the Peigan Nation, now known as the Piikani Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy.
Named for the Tsuu T’ina Nation who were previously known as the Sarcee Nation of Treaty 7.
Named for the Blackfoot Confederacy, and more specifically the Siksika Nation located east of Calgary.
Named after the Stoney/Nakoda First Nation people of Treaty 7.
The Métis arrived in this area as employees of the Hudson Bay Company. A Métis network of supply routes, including a trail that ran from Tail Creek to Fort Benson, passed through the Calgary area for trade with the Blackfoot people.
Calf Robe Bridge
Name refers to buffalo calf robes. Blackfoot men wore buffalo calf robes and whined like lost calves to attract buffalo during a hunt.