The new official name of a mountain peak near Canmore is Anû Kathâ Îpa (Bald Eagle Peak), which is a traditional name the Stoney Nakoda people have used for it. They shared their historical name for the peak at a ceremony last summer.
Ron Orr, the Minister of Culture in Alberta, said, “I am pleased to officially adopt the name chosen by the Stoney people. I look forward to working together with all Albertans to recognize names that better identify our collective heritage and languages, as well as that of other peoples with whom we share this great land.”
Rick Wilson, the Minister of Indigenous Relations in Alberta said, “This is an important step in reconcili-action. We must recognize and celebrate Indigenous culture and the traditional names that reflect the true meaning and history of the land. We must understand the past and honour these sacred places so we can continue to teach future generations about their ancestors and the places that connect them.”
Corrie DiManno, the mayor of the town of Banff, said, “We are grateful to see progress on the effort to erase the name of a mountain overlooking Banff that is misogynistic and hurtful to the First Peoples who have inhabited this land long before the national park and the town of Banff were created. We look forward to restoring a rightful Indigenous name that reflects the respect and reconciliation we need for a strong future together.”
And Chief Aaron Young, Chiniki First Nation, said, “Stoney Nakoda people have a deep and lasting respect for females in our communities, whether the youth, the middle-aged and especially Elders. It is on behalf of all of them that I stand here today with our Council and Elders and give thanks to the Creator for influencing the naming of Bald Eagle Peak. A racist term has been cast aside and Stoney Nakoda people are grateful.”
Work is continuing to rename another mountain in Banff National Park which the Stoney Nakoda Nation and other Indigenous communities have said is offensive. Alberta’s government agrees. As this mountain peak resides in a national park, the Government of Alberta and Parks Canada are working with Indigenous communities to identify a new name.
Officially changing these names is an important step in reconciliation and means they will be updated and replaced on provincial and federal place name databases and maps. Going forward, Albertans, Canadians and international visitors who marvel at the mountain peaks will learn only a name that respects the culture of the Indigenous people of our province.