The Town of Okotoks opened up the Foothills Centennial Centre this past weekend to community members to leave their mark on history.

This summer the town will be receiving a Blackfoot-painted tipi and, as a part of the town's ongoing commitment to reconciliation, offered residents a place to leave a handprint on the inner lining. 

One of the Okotoks residents taking part was Rachael Johnson.

"I came out to support our kin. We are Cree and Métis and I think it's really important that the community takes a stand in being friends with the community around us and was here before us. Reconciliation gets thrown around, but I don't think people really understand the true importance."

"It's been really nice seeing community members step up. I've seen a lot of stuff posted on social media and settler community members are really excited about taking part in this. So, I think it's really made a lot of people think a little bit more deeply about what this means."

a painted tipiOne of the two sections that will make up the inner lining of the tipi.

She has called Okotoks home her entire life and was honoured to bring her family to the event.

"It's really cool." said her daughter Sophie, "It's my culture so it's really important to be involved with this stuff." 

The three-day event was led by the town's indigenous Relations Adviser, Desmond Jackson and assisted by members of the Okotoks Museum and Archives. 

The tipi is to be transferred to the town by elders from nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The transfer ceremony is scheduled for June 3 and will take place in Laudan Park located west of town. 

a poster