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Tunnel Mountain Should Be Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain

The current was in reference to a tunnel that was never made

Photo by: Harvey Locke

In the 1880s, Canadian Pacific Railway surveyors building the railroad through the Bow Valley considered blasting a tunnel through a mountain for tracks. They discovered another route for the train and the tunnel idea was abandoned, but the name Tunnel Mountain stuck.

The Blackfoot name for the mountain is Iinii Istako and the Stoney Nakoda language name is Eyarhey Tatanga Woweyahgey Wakân. The Stoney people called it “Sleeping Buffalo” because it resembles a sleeping buffalo when viewed from the north and east.

In 1858, James Hector had named it “The Hill,” because of its status as the smallest peak adjacent to the town of Banff.

In September of 2016, 15 First Nations signed a resolution calling for the beginning of an official process with the Natural Resources Canada’s (NRC) Geographical Names Board of Canada to rename Tunnel Mountain to Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain.

At their November 2017 “Indigenous Leaders’ Dialogue” in Banff, representatives granted the name, Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain ceremonially as they await the decision of the NRC.

“The renaming has been sitting on the NRC’s desk for three years. With your help, we can move it up the agenda and remedy a mistake lasting 140 years. Below are ways you can support the journey to renaming the mountain.

“To submit a video: Send us your video/photo or any creative ways to express your relations to Sacred Buffalo Guardians Mountain and be part of the next bundles buffalomountainbanff at gmail.com.”

For more information on the Buffalo Treaty visit here and sign the survey here.

Sleeping Buffalo

Lead photo: Harvey Locke