If you have never visited the area, or even if you are a regular visitor here, “nipiy”, is a beautiful video made by Conor McNally, featuring local band nêhiyawak, that explores the North Saskatchewan River through the voice of Reuben Quinn, an instructor of nêhiyaw language and philosophy.
Cloverdale is located in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Beaver Hills House in nêhiyawêwin, or Cree, language. Note: there are no capital letters in Cree) on Treaty 6 Territory. You can click here to hear how to pronounce amiskwaciwâskahikan.
Cloverdale is located on the land settled by the Papaschase Cree Nation around the first Fort in what is now called Edmonton. Chief Papaschase signed to Treaty 6 and the Nation was assigned a small reserve (I.R. 136) south of the Fort away from the centre. There was an active campaign, led by Frank Oliver, to remove the Papaschase people and sell the land to white settlers. At the insistence of Frank Oliver, through his use of both political and media power, and with the support of the Federal Government, the Papaschase people were scattered and their land was sold off and the Nation’s status was lost.
Papschase Nation has filed lawsuits against the government in an effort to regain Nation status.
Cloverdale is part of this history as the land was part of a dispute between Chief Papaschase and T.P. Wadsworth (an Inspector of Indian Farms Agencies for the Dept. of Indian Affairs), the Federal government, and politicians such as Frank Oliver. It is important to remember that this land where we live and play, is part of an ongoing dispute and a colonial history that relied on the theft of land and coercion of Indigenous peoples. This was, and arguably continues, to be a common and open practice of colonization. Canada is a colonial country and the active, genocide of Indigenous peoples and theft of their land is well documented.
If you would like more information on the history of Cloverdale, Edmonton, Alberta, and Canada, we would encourage you to check out some of the following websites and resources listed below. There is also an excellent FREE University of Alberta online course offered through the Faculty of Native Studies called Indigenous Canada. You can sign up here to participate.