On Monday, which also marked International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Airdrie’s City Council met with six Indigenous elders and other representatives from Stoney Nakoda First Nation for a teepee raising ceremony in front of City Hall. There was also an ancient pipe ceremony that took place.  

“The pipe brought us together in unity to teach us about peace, strength, honour and integrity, all through prayer,” said Mayor Peter Brown. “Obviously, we're humbled to have been a part of such a sacred tradition, to mark the next steps in the journey of Truth and Reconciliation here in Airdrie.” 

Members of the city along with members of Airdrie’s indigenous community also attended the ceremony.  

“We've been working with indigenous groups for the last several years and this is the next of many steps to come," he said. "I can't explain it other than to say, it was just an awesome experience." 

Mayor Brown cited a profound comment one of the elders had made to him.  

“Her [Elder Pamela Lashmore] comments to us on Friday were, ‘It was meant to be.’ She grew up in Airdrie and she has phenomenal memories of Airdrie; when it was a city, hip 1000 or 500 people,” Brown said. “We've got lots of learnings. There's going to be teachings and relationship-building to continue on the path of reconciliation with our indigenous communities.”  

Brown said that the peace pipe ceremony was incredibly moving, as an eagle feather is used to waft smoke and ostensibly prayers to all four corners of the globe, including prayers not just for those closest, but also those who are in the midst of a war in Europe.  

“It really resonated with a lot of people and the strength of their prayers and praying for our community. It was just a really positive experience for everyone.” 


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