A group of local organizations in PrNew interpretative signs shine light on historical contributions of Indigenous people to Prince Albert areaince Albert are doing their part to bring greater awareness of the historical contributions of Indigenous people to the area.

The Prince Albert Historical Society and Knowledge Keepers teamed up with the city Tuesday to launch seven interpretative signs that outline the role First Nations and Métis people have played in the development of the region.

The signs are located along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, just east of the Prince Albert Historical Society building.

Historical Society President Fred Paynton said Western historians have largely ignored the major contributions Indigenous people have made to the province.

“We tend to forget them,” he said. “We tend to leave them in the shade. Rather than talking about how they have contributed to the development of the area.”

Historical contributions of Plains, Woodland and Swampy Cree, Dakota, Dene and Métis people are all represented on the signs.

Charlene Larsen is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and part of the Knowledge Keepers.

Larsen said initiatives such as this one, which attempt to set the historical record straight, are a big part of reconciliation.

“It’s really important to recognize the people have come here, have been here from time immemorial,” she said. “And to acknowledge that they were a part of this area before the Europeans came.”

Larsen added the fact the signs are located along the popular Rotary Trail means hopefully people will take in a little bit of Indigenous history while out walking, bike riding or enjoying various other recreational activities.

About 20 people were on hand for the official unveiling of the interpretive signs.

(PHOTOS: Top, Leo Omani of the Wahpeton Dakota First Nation introduces a Dakota interpretive historical sign. Bottom, Charlene Larsen of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band introduces a Cree interpretive historical sign. Photos by Fraser Needham.)