Ground blessing ushers in construction at kihciy askiy site

Talking Circle Participants (Photos: City of Edmonton)

Construction at kihciy askiy is set to begin in late 2021, and will take approximately 18 - 24 months to be complete and in-service



The City of Edmonton, in partnership with the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre (IKWC) hosted a ground blessing event today at kihciy askiy, or “Sacred Earth'' in Cree, to signify and celebrate the beginning of construction at this one-of-a-kind site.

kihciy askiy will be the first permanent, urban Indigenous ceremonial site in Canada and will provide a natural setting for Indigenous peoples and communities in the capital region to host spiritual ceremonies, sweat lodges, cultural camps and talking circles; grow medicinal herbs, and facilitate intergenerational learning in an appropriately designed outdoor learning space.

A ground blessing was held instead of a traditional ground breaking to thank and honour the relationship between all stakeholders on this project as well as to seek blessing from Mother Earth in allowing construction to take place at kihciy askiy. As part of the ground blessing, City officials, Indigenous elders, and representatives from IKWC, Reimagine Architects and Delnor Construction participated in a ceremony that included a drummer, gift giving, prayer and a sharing circle. Representatives also tied ribbons to a tree, signifying connections and respect for the earth.

For more details about the kihciy askiy site, including construction details, renderings and more, visit



Gifts for Talking Circle Participants


Ribbon tying with Jason Meliefste. Branch manager, infrastructure delivery


Close up of gifts including blankets (IKWC), glass feathers (CoE) and golf shovels (Delnor)

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