Kihciy Askiy: Sacred Earth
Kihciy Askiy means Sacred Earth in Cree and will be a permanent Indigenous ceremonial and cultural site within Edmonton. The project site area is about 2.5 hectares and is located in Whitemud Park at the former Fox Farm Site.
Kihciy Askiy will mainly provide a natural setting for different Indigenous groups to host spiritual ceremonies, grow medicinal herbs, practice traditional crafts and facilitate intergenerational learning. At the same time it will also be open to the general public and become a place where all Edmontonians can learn about the traditions of Indigenous people.
Native Counselling Services of Alberta and the City of Edmonton have partnered to develop this site. Construction is from May 2017 to May 2018. Estimated opening day will be Spring 2019. Click here to visit the City of Edmonton’s Kihciy Askiy website
A first of its kind in Canada, Kihciy Askiy will provide a place where the diversity of indigenous cultures can practice ceremonies and prayer, a place where youth and families can access cultural resources, and a place where Edmontonians can learn about the traditions of Indigenous people. This will provide a much needed resource for Edmonton’s growing Indigenous population and a place for Indigenous people to reconnect with their identity, spirit, and purpose.
Ceremonial and Spiritual Purpose
Sweat lodges have been a long standing tradition for First Nations throughout North America and they serve many functions for Indigenous people today. The sweat lodge ceremony cleans and heals the body. It heals the mind – bringing clarity – and it is often a testing place, offering a rite of passage where a participant can demonstrate endurance, strength and courage.
Sweat lodges are also holy places where Indigenous people can renew their deep connection to the universe and to the spirit realm as well as gain teachings from elders
in a traditional manner. The Kihciy Askiy site will incorporate 4 sweat lodges to provide for efficient use of the site and allow indigenous organizations, schools, universities, as well as the general public to learn and participate in these sacred traditional ceremonies.
It will help families, individuals, and youth to reconnect with their indigenous spirit and provide necessary traditional healing. Teepees will also be used at Kihciy Askiy for prayer ceremonies, group workshops, or other cultural purposes.