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'Welcome home:' 2,000-year-old bison skull returned to Alberta First Nation

A 2,000-year-old bison skull is shown during a ceremony on the Siksika Nation, Alta., on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. A 2,000-year-old bison skull unearthed during utility work in the Banff townsite has been returned to a southern Alberta Indigenous community. Members of the Siksika Nation east of Calgary gave the artifact a blessing to welcome it home. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lauren Krugel

SIKSIKA, Alta. — A 2,000-year-old bison skull unearthed during utility work in downtown Banff, Alta., has been returned to a southern Alberta Indigenous community.

Contractors with Fortis Alberta were replacing street lights in the scenic mountain town in February when they came across what looked like a bone.

The company says it immediately called Parks Canada, which got in touch with the Siksika Nation east of Calgary.

The skull was given a welcome home blessing on Friday and Siksika members sang honour songs to express gratitude.

Siksika councillor Eldon Weasel Child says bison have been important to the Blackfoot way of life since time immemorial.

The First Nation plans on displaying the skull at the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2019.

 

 

The Canadian Press