Wetaskiwin’s beloved Peace Cairn will soon be moved to its final resting place just east of the Wetaskiwin water tower at 5530 – 50 Ave.
A tender has been issued by the City asking for bids on the Peace Cairn’s relocation, which closed Thursday, Aug. 15.
The move of the Peace Cairn was first announced by the City of Wetaskiwin on Aug. 10, 2018 due to the former Visitor Information Centre property at 4910 – 55A St. being listed as surplus and put on the real estate market.
On April 23, 2019, Wetaskiwin City Council approved the future location and design of the Peace Cairn during their regular Council meeting, specifying that the work amount to no more than $125,000 – to be taken from reserves. City Council also directed Administration to pursue declaring the location a Municipal Historic Reserve, which protects historical resources from demolition or alterations that take away from their heritage value.
Mayor Tyler Gandam collaborated with the Four Cree Nations of Maskwacîs on the final location and design of the Peace Cairn, as well as any traditional ceremonies required throughout the relocation process. The new base of the Peace Cairn incorporates the Cree medicine wheel, with each colour’s meaning as follows:
Yellow (east): Spring; time of planting; birth; connection to the physical realm.
Red (south): Summer; time of growth; adolescence; development of mental capacities.
Black (west): Fall; time of harvesting; adulthood; deeper emotional understanding.
White (north): Winter; Eldership; place of achievement and reflection; deep connection to spirituality and understanding of life.
A dedication and grand opening event will be planned after the relocation process is complete. Keep checking the City of Wetaskiwin’s website for updates!
Brief History of the Peace Cairn:
- As part of the celebrations for Canada’s Diamond Jubilee in 1927, the people of Wetaskiwin erected a cairn to mark the 60 years of peace between the Nehiyawak (Cree) and Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) Nations. Local school children each carried a rock and walked in procession to the hills (now called Peace Hills) overlooking Wetaskiwin to erect the Peace Cairn. The cairn was dedicated on the morning of July 2, 1927.
- The Peace Cairn was moved from Peace Hills to Centennial Park (adjacent to Hwy 2A) in 1980 when the province widened Highway 13.
- The Peace Cairn was relocated again in 2006 as part of Wetaskiwin’s 100th anniversary to the junction of Hwy 2A and 50 Avenue (where it is currently located).