About Us

ABOUT

BLACKFOOT CROSSING HISTORICAL PARK

A Canadian National Heritage Site.
Blackfoot Crossing, the Historic Site of the signing of Treaty No.7, is of National and International historical and archaeological significance. It is a designated national Heritage Site and is recommended to be a World Heritage Site. The success of the Treaty No.7 Commemoration in 1977 intensified the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation's vision of building a unique world-class tourist attraction designed to engage visitors in authentic cultural experiences with the Blackfoot people. The Siksika people are proud to present Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park to the world.
MISSION STATEMENT
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park is a world renowned cultural, educational and entertainment Centre built for the promotion and preservation of the Siksika Nation Peoples’, Language, Culture and Traditions.

Adventure INTO THE PAST

BUILDING

ARCHITECTURE

The entire building design should be viewed as a reinterpretation of a vast range of Blackfoot culture, its sacred icons, and the everyday life of the Siksika people. With every design decision, whether on a site planning level, the building, or with an interior design detail, the building is intended to be a literal metaphor of traditional Blackfoot iconography: Ron Goodfellow, Architect for Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park.

Design Metaphors & Concepts

  • Building Entrance – Upon entering the building, the two stone walls represent the “Chiefs' Walk”, named by the late Chief Leo Youngman. The opposite wall is the “Winter Count Wall named by Allan Wolf Leg.
  • The Eagle Feather Fan – is at the front of the entrance as you walk in. It represents the sacredness of the eagle in the Siksika religion and ceremonies.
  • Teepee Sky Light – is the central teepee that decorates the roof. A major sculpture or exhibit will be placed here in the near future.
  • The Buffalo Jump – the visitor may sense the kind of feeling that the buffalo felt as they approached the escarpment of a buffalo jump. What lies before is the dramatic drop-off of a buffalo jump.
  • Yellow Ochre Teepee's –the finish is tooled to reflect the appearance of scraped buffalo hide.
  • Teepee in the Elders Lodge – reflects the “Horse Days”, about 22 ft in diameter.
  • Teepee's in the Skylights – are much smaller and represent the “Dog Days”
  • Teepee's in the lower Gallery – represent today’s Nation
  • Marquee Panel near Theatre – is also painted with red finish to look like Red Ochre
  • Wood Inlay Motif Doors – you can clearly see the Eagle Feather Design
  • Vision Quest Theatre – the visitor will become aware of a vast starlit night sky. The people of Siksika had their own stories and mythologies of the moon and stars. The night sky is the exact replica of the winter sky you would see in January or early February. The entire major constellations are there and would be brought to life by modern storytellers.
  • Wall Scones – recall the war or medicine shields and drums used for singers at pow- wows.
  • Library and Archives – will be where records of Elders' Oral History, History, and Genealogy will be stored as well as a place to do research.
  • Light Pattern over Library Desk – reflects a view of a teepee or medicine wheel.
  • Multi-Colored Wall in the Library – reflects the dresses worn by Jingle Dress Dancers.
  • Stair Cases – designed to frame the view of the valley and the 20,000 sq. space of the lower gallery.
  • Glass on Railings –is supported by bow shaped baluster, an obvious reference to the bows used to hunt buffalo and other game.
  • Gallery – With it's 20 foot high ceiling, the four gigantic teepee pole structures are the primary supports for the main floor and roof of the building. Poles are 50 feet high and pounded 60 feet into the ground with concrete piles.

Interior Finishing Details

Throughout the building, the design employs

  • Prairie colors- horse blanket carpet design in the conference room, pink and pale greens relate to the prairie rose and pale summer grasses, browns in the gift shop relate to colors of the native soil.
  • Floor patterns- in the cafeteria are based on Blackfoot legging designs; tile patterns on the Sundance gallery floor are an interpretation of the Sun’s life giving force
  • Wood paneling- at the main entry and Sundance gallery is patterned on sedimentary layers as seen along the river banks.
  • Public washrooms- use ochre tile along with off white tiles and grays on the floor as well as large circular mirrors which are a reference to the teepee and the circle of life on the mirrors
  • Drive Lane Entry- has a series of large buffalo rocks and stone piles. The stone piles were nicknamed “the women”, because the women of the tribe often hid behind them, ready to jump out and wave their robes in order to stampede herds of buffalo over the buffalo jump.
  • The Seven Sacred Society Teepee's – are situated on the roof and create an inspiring symbol of an ancient encampment; this view is even more spectacular at night when the teepee's and Sundance Lodge are lit up, glowing like lanterns created by ancient cooking fires.
  • Sundance Arbor Poles – represent the cottonwood poles used to create the original Sundance structures. These huge metal poles were custom fabricated here in Alberta. The technology to manufacture these poles was not available until recently and represents a significant element in the authenticity of the structure ( it didn't seem right to use tubular poles). The latest in computer technology was used in the erection process to set up the pipes. The steel structure went up rapidly and flawlessly.
  • Bow String Trusses – are set in a semi circle on concrete columns with high tech concrete piles that were pounded twenty meters into the hillside. In return, they provide lateral support for the west facing curtain wall glass that looks out into the valley.
  • Travois Poles – are interlaced in a semi circle to create the Motokiks, or Buffalo Women’s Society Lodges.
  • Amphitheater Outside – is done in a sunburst design similar to the upper main floor Sundance gallery. Dance demonstrations will be shown here.
  • Light Poles around Amphitheater – are shaped like coup sticks once used by warriors who rode into battle without weapons to demonstrate their bravery.

building

Eco-Friendly

In Canada and in a number of other countries around the world, LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. Achieving LEED certification is the best way for you to demonstrate that your building is truly "green." Here at the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park we have followed this practice by having the following features installed in our building. The maintenance personnel, strive to meet safety and health regulations for the benefit of the general public and staff of the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park.
 
Eco-friendly building

indoor environmental quality

The Building Management System provides control and monitoring of many of the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park’s heating and ventilation systems. It enables efficient control of building environments and reduces energy consumption. Control of the system is carried out via a graphic interface from the FMD building. Details of metered energy use are archived, providing an historical record of energy costs. Reports can be generated to provide detailed information of a building's energy use. Alarms are automatically activated and monitored around the clock.
Water Management

Water Efficiency

Water efficiency can be defined as, 1) the accomplishment of a function, task, process, or result with the minimal amount of water feasible; 2) an indicator of the relationship between the amount of water required for a particular purpose and the amount of water used or delivered. Waterless urinals Timed faucets Implementing a water-loss management program (e.g. repair leaks).
Energy Efficient

Electrical

The Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park installed a lighting system control that maximizes lighting power for interior applications, and minimizes acceptable lighting equipment for exterior applications. Interior common areas, individually controlled by low voltage switching system Exterior, controlled by low voltage switching system and photo-cell. Administration areas, is individually controlled by ceiling sensors and local control switch. .
board

directors

2017-2018 Board of Directors

Alfred Many Heads Chairman and Council Member     Geraldine Red Gun Community Member     Clement Doore Community Member Herman Yellow Old Woman Council Member

Directors Message

New message coming soon.

General Manager Message

Oki! Welcome to the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park’s web site. We invite visitors to come and learn about the proud past of the Siksika (Blackfoot) People. Here they will become educated about our rich and unique spiritual foundation as well as about the survival of our culture. We have built a home in which to house the past and demonstrate our present, preserving both for the future. Now, young Siksika people can come learn of their past and help keep alive our proud heritage and legacy left to us by our ancestors. They left us these words: “…We have to return to our past and learn of our beginnings, only then we will see clearly and all that is ahead of us…” Sincerely, Jack Royal President and General Manager Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
A Message

BCHP Staff Message

A Message from the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park Staff – September 2017
Oki, We would like to thank everyone who sent in their answers and opinions via the questionnaire option on the web site and in-person over the past two years. Your feedback is very important to us, as we continue to improve upon and re-develop our strategic plans for the future. Blackfoot Crossing is not government-owned at all. We are a privately-funded museum that depends solely on our revenue we make each year and the budget we receive every year from the Siksika First Nation as well as gracious donations and approved grants. Faced with a declining budget each year that barely covers our fixed costs and employee wages, we are still doing our best with a very small staff who go above and beyond their regular duties to help one another and our guests. We are working to have more signs placed on highways (all signs must be provincially approved and currently our requests have not been approved) as well as opening on some weekends when we have the money and employees to do so.

Blackfoot Crossing, like many others, has only recently recovered from the 2013 Alberta Floods that devastated many businesses. In our case, we were forced to close the museum for over a month in the immediate aftermath of the disaster due to no water, no electricity, no telephone lines, and the complete loss of our outdoor park. Additionally, over half of our staff – all Siksika Nation members – lost their homes to the flooding. It has taken time and money to get back on our feet again, especially as the Siksika Nation seeks to recover as a whole, taking care of all departments, including Blackfoot Crossing. This year was the first time the outdoor park was open again, but at personal risk due to on-going maintenance. Expect further repairs, changes, and improvements in the future and enjoy our new website.

On an optimistic note, during this past 2017 spring and summer, we saw an increase in general visitors as well as conferences and school groups and tipi bookings. In particular, May and April were extremely busy with booked tours and groups with our staff working hard to accommodate everyone’s requests. Tipi bookings also filled quickly up for the summer. We would like to commend and thank our full-time and part-time staff for their tireless efforts.

As a side note, we also recommend that you read over this website carefully before sending in your questions. Advance notice of closure dates (usually statutory holidays or Siksika Nation band-designated holidays) is always posted to the website in the news section on the home page. Calling ahead of your visit is advised to ease your worries. Our location also comes complete with a map online – see the contact page.

A reminder: photography is allowed on the upper floor and outside, but not in the museum itself downstairs. The reason for this is that there is an agreement between the museum and the owners of the artifacts (either Siksika members or other museum institutions) to not have these artifacts photographed due to spiritual and/or preservation reasons. We ask that all visitors respect these requests, thank you. In closing, we thank each and every visitor who has taken the time to fill out the questionnaire and/or encourage our staff during their visit to the interpretive centre. We have struggled, but like the three tipis that withstood the flood waters in our outdoor park and could not be moved, we will endure and rise to every challenge. We are immensely proud of our Blackfoot heritage, history, and culture, and we are honoured to share it all with the world.

Sincerely, The Staff of Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park