The above video features two students reciting the Sun West School Division Land Acknowledgement Statement framed with scenes from land within the borders of Sun West that hold special significance to Indigenous peoples.
The lands highlighted in this video in the order they appear are:
Bison: The video opens with views of bison on the Zdunich farm near Kenaston. Millions of bison once roamed over the entire prairies and were the basis of the Indigenous economy and way-of-life.
South Saskatchewan River: (Lake Diefenbaker near Elbow and Gardiner Dam) Once a major transportation route, First Nations lived near and on the River for centuries. The shores of the River once was home for Mistasiniy, a massive glacial erratic and sacred gathering place for Cree and Nakota peoples. Mistasiniy was blown to pieces when Gardiner Dam was built and its fragments now sit in Lake Diefenbaker.
Saskatchewan Landing: (Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park) A place where Indigenous peoples would cross the South Saskatchewan River. Métis would remove the wheels from their Red River carts and float them across the river. Teepee rings can still be seen on trails in the hills around Saskatchewan Landing.
Buffalo Rubbing Stone: (near Flaxcombe on Highway 7) A huge rock sits at Buffalo Rubbing Stone Historic Site. For hundreds of years, bison rubbed up against the rock to help shed their winter coats and relieve themselves from insect bites. As a result the rock sits in a crater carved out by the bison walking around it.
Louis Riel Trail: (Highway No. 11) The Louis Riel Trail commemorates Métis history and culture and three Sun West communities, Kenaston, Bladworth and Davidson are the sites of metal statues created by Davidson artist Don Wilkins. “The Invitation” tells the story of Louis Riel’s return to lead the North West Resistance; “The Fiddler” celebrates Métis culture; and “The Lesson” honours the First Nations mothers who were the first teachers of Métis children.
Chief Whitecap Trail: (Highway No. 219) Chief Whitecap Trail honours Chief Whitecap, who was one of the courageous Dakota leaders who brought his people to Canada after mass executions of Dakota in Minnesota by American authorities in 1862.
Junction of Coalmine Ravine and Eagle Creek: (near Herschel and part of the Ancient Echoes Interpretative Centre) The rolling hills around this location are home to an ancient prayer rock, petroglyphs, ceremonial sites, a buffalo jump and a buffalo rubbing stone that all date back thousands of years. They stand as a testament to the time-honoured and enduring connection between Indigenous peoples and the land.
The video below tells the story of how the Sun West Land Acknowledgement Statement was written: