KIHCIY ASKIY SACRED EARTH
Meaning ‘Sacred Earth’ in Cree, Kihciy Askiy will be a permanent Indigenous ceremonial and cultural site within the City of Edmonton. The project site area is approximately 2.5 hectares and is located in Whitemud Park.
Kihciy Askiy will provide a natural setting for urban Indigenous groups to host spiritual ceremonies, grow medicinal herbs, practice traditional crafts and facilitate inter- generational learning. At the same time, it will be open to the general public and become a place where all Edmontonians can learn about Indigenous traditions.
The development of Kihciy Askiy will proceed in phases. This first phase will focus on facilitating sweat ceremonies. It will include the construction of a Gathering Building to host meals traditional after the sweat ceremonies and a storage pavilion.
The design and layout of Kihciy Askiy has been informed by a continuous dialogue between the City of Edmonton and partner, Native Counselling Services of Alberta, as well as an assigned Kihciy Askiy Elder’s Council.
Due to its river valley location, the built facilities are to be located on top of the bank, outside the 100 year flood plain, close to the parking and access road. The storage pavilion has a sloped grass recreation space, which acts as its east wall. This area can be used as an amphitheater and sitting area for performances and presentations.
The site design scaled the large open site into pleasant spaces and balances the need for public areas as well as private spaces. Areas of different activities are separated by tree groves, pathways and swales to facilitate intimate spaces for sacred ceremonies or teachings that could be happening at the same time as other events and trail usage by the general public.
The site is intended to be kept as natural as possible. All proposed planting on site will be native to the Edmonton River Valley. Each tree grove represents a native species found on site and care has been taken to select plants with particular meaning for Indigenous people.
City of Edmonton
Manasc Isaac Architects
Anticipated Spring 2020