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Sweet dreams in a tipi*

By Andrew Penner
  It's not your average museum fare. Join a First Nation's ceremonial dance. Snuggle into a cozy buffalo robe. Listen to generations-old Blackfoot tales and legends. Then turn in for the night in a fire-warmed tipi. Breakfast is hot fry bread, bannock (scone-like bread), pemmican (think jerky with dried meat and berries) and mint tea. The new Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park is about the authentic Blackfoot way of life set in an ancient meeting place.

     Perched on a windswept bluff on the Siksika Nation Reserve near Calgary, AB, overlooking one of the prettiest and most significant sites in Canadian history, the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park opened in July 2007. An estimated $25 million project, the park was 30 years in the making.
     There's a handsome, eco-friendly building with Blackfoot symbols and designs - a buffalo-jump entranceway, an eagle-feather fan above the doorway, the Seven Sacred Society Tipis. The site itself, just off the TransCanada Highway about an hour southeast of Calgary, is where the famous Treaty No. 7 was signed in 1877. Ultimately, the groundbreaking agreement allowed the peaceful settling of traditional Blackfoot territory.
     As expected for a National Historic Site of Canada, you'll find the requisite museum, artifacts, guided walking tours, art gallery, gift shop, restaurant, theatre and visual exhibitions. Next up? Blackfoot Crossing is in the running to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(*also known as teepee)

Andrew Penner is a freelance writer and photographer who works regularly for publications such as SCOREGolf Magazine, Golf Canada, Opulence, Luxe, Inside Golf, Travelgolf.com and Alberta Oil. Penner specializes in golf and ski-related copy and has written for BC Rockies Tourism's golf guide for the past five years, as well as advertorials for the Thompson Okanagan, BC region and Vancouver Island, BC Tourism. His photography has also appeared in many of these publications. In the past three years, he has sold over 5,000 images world wide from stock agencies that represent his work. Click for Calgary, Alberta Forecast


Photo Credit & Article:
courtesy, Canadian Tourism Commission

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