Calgary, AB,

Mural created by Indigenous youth unveiled at CPS

The Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY) will be unveiling a mural today that will be permanently displayed at Police Headquarters.

The mural, entitled Woman’s Count, centres around the theme of democratic participation and it encourages Indigenous women to actively get involved in voting and running for political office. The title and art are a reflection of the traditional Winter Count, where Indigenous people would come together each year.

We have been working with USAY for several months to find ways that our buildings can better reflect Calgary’s Indigenous heritage and we are honoured that they offered to hang this art in our headquarters.

USAY has been a partner with us for many years, helping us to build positive relationships with local Indigenous youth. We work together on the annual CPS Round Dance and have hosted other special events together using the CPS Tipi.

“It is so important as an organization that we recognize and honour the rich history of our city, a history that long predates European arrival here,” said Chief Constable Mark Neufeld. “The Treaty 7 Nations have graciously entrusted us with a lot of their traditional practices, ceremonies and artwork over the years so that we can make sure that our culture and ceremonies truly reflect the heritage of our area.”

“It is something we are grateful for.”

Local Elders and community leaders have helped us incorporate many traditional practices into the life of our Service.

Elders from the Blackfoot Nation transferred a Tipi to our Office of the Chief in 1985 for us to use to connect with Indigenous youth. The Tipi is used every year at Elbow River Camp and the annual Round Dance hosted at our headquarters to connect with members of the community.

Two years ago, we worked with the community to incorporate smudges and drumming circles into our graduation ceremonies and now invite Elders from the community to participate. A Blackfoot honour song was also recently gifted to us for our ceremonies.

Adding traditional artwork, like Woman’s Count, continues our journey of working with the community to make sure Indigenous culture and history is properly reflected in our Service.