June 16th, 2024

Niitsitapi Experience shares Blackfoot history and traditions

By Al Beeber on July 22, 2021.

Herald photo by Al Beeber Harrison Red Crow, at right, discusses Blackfoot history inside a tipi at Fort Whoop-Up during an event there on Wednesday.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Visitors to Fort Whoop-Up on Wednesday had a chance to learn about Indigenous traditions and practises in a program run by the Galt Museum & Archives.
Niitsitapi Experience will also run Aug. 18 and 25 at the fort.
Natasha Gray, the fort site co-ordinator, said Wednesday the event was a chance for the public to learn about the Blackfoot experience before traders arrived in southern Alberta. The program was led by interpreters Harrison Red Crow and Maya Many Grey Horses.
Wednesday’s event, which included for guests a booklet called “Fort Whoop-Up Remembered from Niitsitapi Voices,” had them learning about the Blackfoot traditional lands, their mode of transportation before the arrival of horses, housing and other things. Inside a tipi constructed on the fort grounds, Red Crow talked about Blackfoot stories and legends. Guests were also given a tour of the trade room, looking at it from an Indigenous perspective, and did a beading project as part of the experiential session.
Cost for the three-hour Niitsitapi Experience is $36.75 including GST and is limited to a maximum of 10 participants.
On Wednesday, three people were listening intently to Red Crow as he spoke inside the tipi. Part of the tour included an explanation of the compound. The event is part of a VIP experience which gives guests a more in-depth look at the history of the fort.
A related program, called Life and Labours of a Fort Trader, will run on July 28. This program, which costs $31.50 per person, will give participants the experience of living and working in Fort Whoop-Up as a trader during the 1800s. It runs from 9 a.m. until noon and is also limited to 10 people.
On Friday, the fort will host Trader Tales from 6 until 9 p.m., a collaboration with New West Theatre that will include private tours of the compound, a wagon ride and dinner. Tickets are $45 with a maximum of 60 participants. It will include a performance by actors from New West Theatre.
In addition to these events, Fort Whoop-Up is offering daily guided tours starting at 10:15 a.m. with the last at 3:15 p.m. The fort is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and from 1 until 5 p.m. on Sundays. The facility is closed Mondays.
Self-guided tours are available daily at 4:15 p.m.
Tours, which last an hour-and-a-half cost $10.50 per person but admission is free for annual pass holders. Admission includes a wagon ride through the river valley except when temperatures reach 30C when rides are stopped for the safety of the horses.

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pursuit diver

Fort Whoop-up has become an Indigenous interpretation center it appears! There is very little explained about the settlers or non-indigenous that frequented the Fort or the operators. Only a matter of time before we are accused of genocide on their tours, like the cultural center in Winnipeg.
Did the Indigenous build this city? Did pay for all the infrastructure? Did they build the economy? I am getting very frustrated with have ‘Indigenous’ forced on me everywhere I go, while being accused of being a colonialist, a racist and having a gun to our heads to Reconcile, or else!
There is very little said in their paid tours and audio visuals about non-Indigenous! In fact, they make out the Indigenous as innocent people who who never hurt anyone! How did Indian Battle Park get it’s name? How about the settler whose lives were ended by their warriors as late at the 1880’s? Not much said about that!
Fairy tales!