Ti-jurabi-chubi - Sibbald Creek - Hiking Alberta

 

Scattered in remnants, the skeletons stand testament to past ceremonies.

 

 

Near the end of the Sibbald Lake on Sibbald Flat, across the field from Stop 9 on the Sibbald Flat Trail, reside skeletons of structures created predominantly from poplar and willow branches.  This is the site of The Sun Dance Ceremony which took place here in June of 1984.  A faint trail approaches the interesting apparition in the grassland and there is entry at the historical plaque placed here to explain and commemorate the spiritual ceremony.

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada The entrance plaque on Sibbald Flat

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada An enlargement of the entrance plaque on Sibbald Flat

 

 

An excellent article on Sibbald Flat may be accessible at a page called Speechless. The narrative is very informative and revealing from a unique and individual perspective.

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada A shelter in ruin, largely reclaimed by nature

 

 

The faint trail, through grass, passes a structure that has collapsed.  A short distance further, the remnants of the Sweat Lodge and another shelter still remain remarkably intact after 27 years. 

In spite of open exposure to the elements and a rugged winter, they have not changed a lot since my hike here last year to Deer Ridge and Eagle Hill.

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Approaching the main building - the Sweat Lodge

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada View towards the main entrance to the sweat lodge

 

A circuitous route is taken around the Sweat Lodge for photographs of the structure remaining stubbornly intact.  This is a spiritual place to the Nakoda-Stoney people and respect for this special location is intuitive.  Colorful cloth on the branches is reminiscent of Tibetan prayer flags.

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada The main entrance of the 1984 Sun Dance Ceremony Sweat Lodge

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada View passing around the right side of the Sweat Lodge

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Colorful banner adorn the structure like prayer flags

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada View from the alternate entrance/exit

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Closer view of intricate construction from the back of the Sweat Lodge

 

An additional structure hosts a present day fire pit and arches of willow branches clearly define its original purpose.

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada The second remaining structure made from arched willow branches

 

Ti - jurabi - chubi - The Sun Dance - Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada A view of the Sun Dance structure with the hill hosting Sibbald Flat Trail in the background

 

The site, on this warm, sunny day is a reminder of the spiritual bond each of us is entitled to experience and enjoy.  Even this brief visit conjures up images of the celebration hosted here in the summer of 1984.  The experience enlightening and with reluctance, the day continues with the return home to Calgary, Alberta, Canada

At any religious site nothing must be left beyond footprints and all that may be taken away are photographic memories to ponder, remember and share.

Modern society has a lot to learn about the importance of a relationship with nature.

 

 

 

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