Indigenous Spaces & Places


Stories Behind the Land.

Explore Medicine Hat’s Indigenous history with this self-guided tour, made by The Miywasin Friendship Centre and partners.

Police Point Park

Areas like Police Point Park would have offered sheltered camping with an abundance of firewood available for First Nations. The Park was a safe crossing place for the South Saskatchewan River and is home to many different plants, such as chokecherry bushes and buffalo berries. These fruits have been harvested by First Nations for many years. Police Point Park has an important, sacred history — during the winter, an ice-free section of the river was referred to as a breathing hole for the water spirits, and the distinctive cottonwood trees had ceremonial uses. Anecdotal sources said that Police Point Park was also used historically as a location for tree burials.

The Old Man Buffalo Stone, made by stone sculpture artist Stewart Steinhauer, can be found while walking through the Park. Inspired by the Manitou Stone, this two-sided sculpture was crafted to be a guardian watching over the buffalo herds.

Riverside Veterans’ Memorial Park Indigenous Military Service

Thousands of Indigenous peoples have served in the Canadian Military, including all of the conflicts presented on Medicine Hat’s Cenotaph.

In some cases many members of the same family went overseas to serve, sacrificing much. Four Bliss brothers; Pat, Joe, Bill, and Tassie, served in the trenches of the First World War. Tassie was injured, having his forearm amputated, and Bill struggled in his return to civilian life. Bill enlisted in 1915 at the age of 19 with the third CMR. Bill was wounded at Ypres in 1916 by shell in the trenches. He contracted influenza in 1917 and was discharged in 1919 at the age of 23.

Saamis Archaeological Site

If you take a short stroll past the Saamis Tepee, you will see the beautiful Seven Persons coulee. You are also looking down on the very important Saamis Archaeological Site. The area was once used as a late winter, early spring buffalo meat processing site by early First Nations. This site dates back thousands of years, and archaeologists believe there are over 83 million artifacts buried in the valley and this site dates back thousands of years. Visitors are reminded that no digging for artifacts is permitted at the site.

Saratoga Park

Saratoga Park is highly valued for its connection to First Nations use of the area, Medicine Hat’s early industrial development and, more recently, to Medicine Hat’s Métis community. Use of the area stretches back to before Medicine Hat’s earliest days. It was designated a Historic Designation in 2020, and Métis people lived here until the mid-2000s. A plaque was unveiled in 2021 that shares more information and photos.

Strathcona Island Park

Located along the South Saskatchewan River, Strathcona Island Park was home to First Nations and Métis. The remains of some Métis homesteads are on the south side of the spray park and camp kitchen, although obscured now by time and foliage.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Mural

Indigenous artist Jesse Gouchey and the Miywasin Friendship Centre’s Youth Development Program spent a weekend in October of 2019 redesigning and painting the First Street underpass mural. The mural was painted to show the dark and tangled times Indigenous women are facing on Turtle Island today. The red dress’ loose fabric flows across the mural, and then surrounds a jingle dress dancer. The increasing vibrancy, colours, and details in the dancer show the resiliency and strength of Indigenous women, community, and people.

Ómahksípiitaa (Big Eagle)

This gathering space at Medicine Hat College (MHC) creates a welcoming, inclusive, and nurturing environment that enhances cultural awareness and understanding for MHC students and the region. Cultural components support cross-curricular education directly aligned to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and provide a unique venue to honour and celebrate Indigenous culture and history.

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