Portraits from Banff Elders’ Gatherings
Every year, Indigenous Elders gather on an historically significant site for First Nations peoples, the Juniper Bench. The event is hosted by the Juniper Hotel, a storied site for many people, including current visitors to Banff National Park.
Elders representing seven different language groups come from First Nations and Métis communities on both sides of the Rocky Mountains. They come to build on connections forged through generations of travel to and through the Bow Valley.
The participants discuss the long shadows cast by residential schools, the failing health of the physical environment that sustains us, the need to create brighter futures for young people. The Gatherings provide hope and direction for restoring culture, language and community, now and into the future.
Over the years, photographer Craig Richards has been capturing portraits of the Gathering’s knowledge-keepers. Now, with support from Bowstrings, his next step is to share the project, create a wider awareness of the rich cultural heritage of the individuals and families involved.
Scroll to study Craig’s portraits of Siksika Elder Tom Crane Bear, Tuus t’ina Anthony Starlight plus Roy Louis, trusted to uphold the traditions of the Maskwacis Cree. Find Dene Elder Maggie Hodgson’s portrait plus a short biography in one of our Heritage Moments.
If the idea of seeing, or hosting, an All Our Relations exhibit inspires you, contact us for more information.