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New Northwest Campus Facility Opens with Smudging Ceremony

16-Mar-2021

The culture and traditions of Indigenous Peoples were incorporated into the opening of Northwest Campus to bring EPS and community members together in the spirit of reconciliation and to recognize the Treaty 6 territory we live on.

Elder Betty Letendre starts the prayer while Elder Francis Whiskeyjack begins the smudge.

Elders Francis Whiskeyjack and Betty Letendre smudged the new facility to cleanse and provide prayer for the future of the Edmonton Police Service and the citizens they serve. 

The smudging ceremony represents a holistic understanding of safety and deepens the connection of the facility to the community.  It was recommended by the Elders as an important step for cleansing and grounding the building with positive energy, and to ask for the Creator’s blessing on the many employees and citizens who will be inside.  

Elder Francis Whiskeyjack smudges participants.

Northwest Campus was built to help EPS better serve the citizens of our growing city, and several key EPS areas will now be located on one site including the Northwest Division Station, Recruit Training, Professional Development, and Detainee Care.  

Acting Sergeant Riley Ledig with Northwest Division, and EPS Indigenous Equity Advisor Andrea Levey, helped to coordinate the smudge ceremony and honour song at Northwest Campus on Friday, March 5, 2021.

Elder Francis Whiskeyjack sings the honour song.

As part of the ceremony, Chief Dale McFee and Elders Betty Letendre and Francis Whiskeyjack unveiled a Treaty Six Land Acknowledgement plaque, which will be proudly displayed at Northwest Campus and at other EPS locations as well.

“With this acknowledgement, we are making a commitment to understand and appreciate the history and contributions of the Indigenous Peoples, to respect one another, and to move forward with a renewed spirit of friendship and cooperation,” said Chief McFee.  “We are embarking on a new journey together.  As Canadians, we are all Treaty people.”   

Elder Betty Letendre, Chief Dale McFee and Elder Francis Whiskeyjack unveil the plaque.