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Airdrie welcomes donated “Îethka Stoney Grandmother's Teachings” sculptures at Nose Creek Regional Park


AIRDRIE, AB – The City of Airdrie welcomed five anonymously donated bronze sculptures called “Îethka Stoney Grandmother's Teachings” at Nose Creek Regional Park last week.

This artwork is a symbol to honour Indigenous Peoples who have been in relationship with this land since time immemorial and continue to live in the City of Airdrie and its surrounding rural districts. The sculptures depict a setting in 1909, when Airdrie was established, with a grandmother sharing her traditional knowledge of local vegetation with her grandchildren.

Mayor Peter Brown stated, “We’re proud to display these sculptures that offer a glimpse of the cultural heritage of this area. On behalf of Council, we are grateful to the Airdrie family who graciously initiated and funded this project and to the Elders and Knowledge-Keepers who generously assisted with this project to ensure the artwork is an accurate depiction of an indigenous culture that worked, lived and played on this location, for thousands of years. My hope also is that this artwork serves as a visual reminder of the welcoming and inclusive municipality our community is striving to be and Airdrie’s desire to embrace truth and reconciliation.”

Creating a caring community that includes embracing the intent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action is as a Council area of focus.

“We held a pipe ceremony at City Hall in 2022 which has set the path for Airdrie on how we move Truth and Reconciliation forward. We continue to listen and seek guidance of Elders and Knowledge Keepers to bring more knowledge and traditional teachings to the Community,” said Jennifer Lutz, Community Development Team Leader.

Indigenous involvement was key to this process. “All indigenous cultures are unique and there are important differences such as how a Nation would have carried infants, collected medicines or made their clothing. It was critical to have indigenous oversite with every step of the process to ensure this project was done in a good way,” said Michelle Jorgensen, Culture and Heritage Strategist at the City of Airdrie.

The concept of the sculptures was a collaborative effort between the donor, Elders and Knowledge Keepers and award-winning artists, Don and Shirley Begg, Studio West Bronze Foundry located in Cochrane, Alberta. Indigenous consultation refined many elements of this process, including the addition of the dog that typically accompanied women when gathering medicines, which can still be found today in Nose Creek Park. The estimated value of this donation is over $300,000.

“Nose Creek Regional Park was purposely chosen as the location for these sculptures due to its historical ties for Treaty 7 as well as Métis Nation of Alberta,” said Adrian Pruden, MNA member and co-chair of the Circle Connections for Reconciliation Society. “Circle Connections for Reconciliation Society were happy to be involved in the consultation process for these monuments, alongside Elders Bruce & Deanna Starlight from Tsuut’ina Nation, Elders Virgil Stevens, Phillomene Stevens, and Knowledge Keepers Ollie Benjamin and Tracey Stevens from Stoney Nakoda, Elder Lance Scout from Kainai Nation, Blackfoot Confederacy, Elder George Pambrun, Knowledge Keeper and Indigenous Advisor Pam Lashmore from the Métis Nation, and longtime Airdrie resident and Blackfoot Elder Carolla Fox Hanley,” he added.

A ground blessing ceremony attended by Mayor Brown, City Councillors and community members was performed by Elders on National Indigenous Peoples Day to welcome the sculptures to Airdrie. There will be a dedication ceremony for this project upon its completion on September 30, in conjunction with the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Visit to view the sculptures.

Airdrie is located on the traditional home of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina Nation, Stoney-Nakoda Nations and the People of Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.


Media Contacts:
Savleen Khurana
Communications Advisor, City of Airdrie
403.948.8800 ext. 8606

Adrian Pruden
Co-chair, Circle Connections for Reconciliation Society