Enoch Cree Nation reconnects with land after memorandum of understanding with EPCOR
The Enoch Cree Nation returned to land that was theirs more than 100 years ago after signing a memorandum of understanding with EPCOR on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. (Dave Mitchell/CTV News Edmonton)
EDMONTON -- The Enoch Cree Nation has signed an historic memorandum of understanding with EPCOR in hopes of reconnecting the Maskekosihk peoples to their lands through harvesting of medicinal plants and formalizing archeological work.
The informal signing happened Tuesday morning on the banks of the North Saskatchewan river near the E.L. Smith water treatment plant.
“In 1908 it was taken from us. And it's been over 100 years since we’ve got to practice ceremonies, since we’ve got to dance on this land," said Enoch Cree Nation Chief Billy Morin.
In the spirit of reconciliation and collaboration, the two groups are committed to working together on issues of mutual interest over a century after these lands were taken from the Cree people.
“We’re honouring our ancestors today and our future by coming back here today," added Morin.
“We discovered the fact there was a ceremony that was held here over 9,000 years ago, and so we knew there was an opportunity to share that history, understand it more and to bring back ceremony. I think it was right," said Stuart Lee, president and CEO of EPCOR.
The celebration that included a pipe ceremony, gift presentations, and a drum song by local Enoch singers, caps off 12 months of discussions between EPCOR and the Enoch Cree Nation to make the signing possible.
“This area is going to be solar farm,” said Morin.
“This area is going to be a place where we are going to be able to come talk with EPCOR about future projects together in clean energy, harvesting traditional medicines and just honouring the land."