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Queen Elizabeth And Prince Philip Visit Historic Wanuskewin

Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip joined several dignitaries and braved blistery cold wind to visit the Wanuskewin Heritage Park located approximately four kilometers north of Saskatoon.

Her Majesty the Queen arrived at the Medicine Wheel (Motososemiwin) where she was greeted by Sterling Brass, Chairperson, Indian Planning and Development Committee along with Indian representatives Chief Barry Ahenakew, Elder Smith Atimoyoo, Senator Philomene Gamble, Senator Ernest Mike, Chief Gordon Oakes, former chief Cyrus Standing, and Elder Joe Turner. Chief Ahenakew presented Her Majesty with a necklace.

Her Majesty then proceeded to the visitor centre overlooking the park where some artifacts re covered from excavations are displayed. Led by Sterling Brass and Henry Beaudry who carried the Eagle Staff, the entourage proceeded to the podium. Her Majesty unveiled a plaque that had been placed on a huge boulder and covered with a buffalo robe. The site was thereby declared to be of National historic significance. The Great Plains Dance Troup performed for Her Majesty. The troup consists of 35 traditional Indian dancers directed by Arsene Tootoosis. The narrator for the performance was Eric Tootoosis. The Battle Creek singers and Red Bull singers both of the Little Pine Band presented the All Indian Nations National Anthem enacted from the signing of the treaties.

"Her Majesty, the Queen, gave us a flag. To fly in the wind, always it shall fly in the wind." The song expressed the strength and of the international aspect of our TREATIES.

The Queen and Prince Phillip witnessed a North American social ceremony called "Pow Wow", the songs and dances of our forefathers were featured by children, men's traditional, the men's grass dance, the men's fancy, the ladies traditional, the ladies fancy, the ladies jingles and the hoop dance.

Prior to her departure, Her Majesty visited two tipi's, one containing demonstrations of Indian cooking and one displaying Indian art. Irena Daniels of Sturgeon Lake Reserve presented Her Majesty with a bouquet of flowers.

Addressing Her Majesty, Sterling Brass stated, "Her Majesty has asked us to make an effort to look after this place and to contribute to it as much as we can. On this note, perhaps it would be nice if we all walked down to Tipperary Creek, especially during the summer. On a very scenic landscape, one can visit the archaeological site of our forefathers. We can visit the campsites, tipi ring clusters, kill sites, related processing areas and the Medicine Wheel (mostososemewin).

This park is the only provincial designated park in Saskatchewan that is an archaeological site. It has recently been declared a national historic site. Research has shown the artifacts here are up to 80000 years old.

In a unique way, attempts are being made to bring us closer together with our white brothers and sisters to gain an understanding of Indian culture, history and values.

Queen Elizabeth II
Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II
Photo credit T. Whitecalf