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- MLA 8TH EDITION
- Landals, Archie and Erin James-Abra. "Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park". The Canadian Encyclopedia , 15 July 2019, Historica Canada . www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/writing-on-stone-provincial-park. Accessed 05 June 2023.
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- APA 6TH EDITION
- Landals, A., & James-Abra, E. (2019). Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. In The Canadian Encyclopedia . Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/writing-on-stone-provincial-park
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- CHICAGO 17TH EDITION
- Landals, Archie , and Erin James-Abra. "Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park." The Canadian Encyclopedia . Historica Canada. Article published April 16, 2012; Last Edited July 15, 2019.
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- TURABIAN 8TH EDITION
- The Canadian Encyclopedia , s.v. "Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park," by Archie Landals, and Erin James-Abra, Accessed June 05, 2023, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/writing-on-stone-provincial-park
- The Canadian Encyclopedia , s.v. "Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park," by Archie Landals, and Erin James-Abra, Accessed June 05, 2023, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/writing-on-stone-provincial-park" href="#" class="js-copy-clipboard b b-md b-invert b-modal-copy">Copy
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Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park
The Milk River runs through Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is 2,689 hectares, or just slightly larger than the nearby town of Fort MacLeod . Located in Canada’s interior plains physiographic region , the Milk River cuts through the northern end of the park. The area is characterized by grassland, riverside cottonwood forests and hoodoos .
Wildlife and Vegetation
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is characterized by hoodoos — pedestal and pillar-shaped rocks created by wind, rain and water.
Over 100 species of birds have been recorded in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Golden eagles , Canada geese and prairie falcons nest on cliff ledges. Cottonwood forests and thickets of willow , buffaloberry, rose and dogwood grow along the Milk River and in coulee (valley) bottoms, creating some of the most productive songbird habitat in southern Alberta. Commonly-sighted birds include the sage thrasher, lazuli bunting and rufous-sided towhee.
Stonecat fish as well as brassy and silvery minnows are among the more than 20 species of fish found in the Milk River. Reptiles include rattlesnake, bullsnake and plains and wandering garter snakes .
Of the 22 species of mammals found in the park, mule deer , white-tailed deer, pronghorn , yellow-bellied marmot , white-tailed jack rabbit and Nuttall’s cottontail are frequently seen. Two species of cacti (plains prickly pear and pincushion) and a species of yucca (Spanish bayonet) are among the park’s 265 species of plants.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park features thousands of pictographs and petroglyphs on sandstone cliffs.
Thousands of pictographs (rock paintings) and petroglyphs (rock carvings) mark the sandstone cliffs in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park ( see Pictographs and Petroglyphs ). Taken together, these images represent the largest concentration of Indigenous rock art in the North American plains. While researchers believe the majority of the art was created by the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Nation), other groups passing through the area, including the Cree , A’aninin (Gros Ventre), Assiniboine , Apsáalooke (Crow), Ktunaxa (Kootenay) and Shoshone, may also have made some of the images. Before metal tools, the art was carved using antlers and bones, or painted using red ochre, a mixture of iron ore and water or bison fat.
The site is a sacred place for the Siksikaitsitapi and is called Áísínai’pi in their language (meaning “it is pictured” or “it is written”). At Áísínai’pi the Siksikaitsitapi sought guidance from the spirits who live among the cliffs and hoodoos. Many of the rock images describe the power of the spirit world as well as the messages given to the Siksikaitsitapi by spirit beings. Young warriors on vision quests — days spent fasting and praying at a sacred place — may have recorded the dreams they had during these journeys. Other images record important events in human history, including Indigenous peoples’ first contact with Europeans, the arrival of horses and the first car seen in the area.
Visitors to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park can camp, swim, hike, canoe and kayak. Interpretive programs and guided walks are conducted in the summer.
- Provincial Park
Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge The website for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge, which features Canada's largest essay writing competition for Aboriginal youth (ages 14-29) and a companion program for those who prefer to work through painting, drawing and photography. See their guidelines, teacher resources, profiles of winners, and more. From Historica Canada.
Indigenous Perspectives Education Guide
Writing-On-Stone, or Áísínai'pi as it's known in Blackfoot, is home to the largest collection of First Nation rock art on the Great Plains of North America. The park sits in the heart of the Blackfoot's traditional territory and the area holds great spiritual significance for their people. The Government of Alberta is working with Parks Canada and the Government of Canada to nominate Writing-On-Stone for World Heritage Site status with UNESCO under the name Writing-On-Stone/Áísínai'pi, meaning “it is pictured/written” in the Blackfoot language. The Áísínai'pi National Historic Site of Canada is synonymous with Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park.
Much of the park is a protected archaeological preserve, which means it’s off limits to the public unless accompanied by a guide. The park offers rock art tours throughout the summer months where visitors have an opportunity to see some of the artwork and learn more about the meaning behind the pictographs and petroglyphs. Many of the petroglyphs that were created before the introduction of stone tools were incised or scratched onto the cliffs using antlers or bones. The pictographs were painted using red ochre, which is crushed iron ore mixed with animal fat or water. Sometimes even a piece of charcoal was used to create a painting. Unfortunately there is no technique that can accurately date rock art sites; instead researchers can approximate the age based on objects depicted in the artwork or by analyzing changes in rock art styles.
Over 250 characters have been etched into the sandstone, which may depict an actual battle (Retreat Up The Hill Battle) as described by an Aamsskáápipikáni elder named Bird Rattle. It’s likely that the Battle Scene was carved in the late 1800’s, but other artwork in the park has been estimated to be over 5,000 years old. There is evidence that First Nation People camped in the area as long as 3,500 years ago, but it remains unclear when the first appearance of rock art truly happened. There are over 1,000 different pieces of artwork that have been discovered in the park. Researches believe that the Blackfoot People created the majority of that artwork, but other groups such as the Cree, Gros Ventre, Assiniboine, Crow, Kutenai, and Shoshone are thought to have also contributed to this vast collection.
→ Subscribe free to the Bradshaw Foundation YouTube Channel → Canada Rock Art → The Peterborough Petroglyphs → Rock Art of Western Canada → Writing-On-Stone Áísínai'pi Park → Rock Art of Wuikinuxv Territory → Dinosaur Provincial Park → Bradshaw Foundation → Rock Art Network
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Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is located in southern Alberta, just north of the Canada-US border. To the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Nation), the site is known as Áísínai'pi
Meaning:If something is written in stone, it is permanent and cannot be changed. Discover the definition of 'Written in stone' in our extensive dictionary of English idioms and idiomatic expressions
Capture evidence and share your process with the world
Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you
The landscape of this dark and powerful story is the ancient world of Assyria some 3000 years ago, a time when writing was in the world's oldest script, cuneiform, and the domination of unseen forces firmly in the hands of the state's leading Exorcist