Records and Reconciliation: [Kleskun Hills Park Tipi]

Image: [Kleskun Hills Park Tipi] (SPRA

In 2020, the South Peace Regional Archives launched a major project, titled “Renaming the Past, Reclaiming Their Stories: Indigenous Records,” with financial support from Library and Archives Canada. The purpose of the project was to increase awareness of and access to Indigenous-related records within the Archives’ collections: by re-appraising, describing or re-describing, and digitizing more than 300 records in 70 fonds. This project is vital step in the Archives’ ongoing work towards Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. We are now able to share these records with the community.

This week, we are showcasing a photograph from the Beth Sheehan fonds (Fonds 002). The image, from 1999, shows a tipi in Kleskun Hills. The caption on the back of the photograph says “Teepee for rent $5 a night.”

Kleskun Hills has a rich history and deep sacred value to Indigenous communities. The name is believed to originate from the Beaver word for “white mud.” It has long been utilized by Indigenous peoples for gathering, hunting, burials, and other spiritual purposes. The region is Canada’s northernmost badlands ecosystem and home to one of the largest pieces of grassland remaining on “the grande prairie.” It is also home to a heritage museum, which was first established in 1993, and park managed by the County of Grande Prairie on behalf of the province.

Would you like to learn more about the Indigenous presence at Kleskun Hills or share your knowledge? Consider joining the Indigenous History Committee! Contact the Archives for more information.

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