Land Acknowledgement & The Neighbourhood

Land Acknowledgment:

The lands on which the communities of Brookside, Brander Gardens, Ramsay Heights and Rhatigan Ridge were built, and the North Saskatchewan River that runs along our Western border have been the sites of ceremony and culture, travel and rest, relationship building, making and trading for Indigenous people since time immemorial.

We acknowledge that Riverbend Community League operates within Treaty 6 Territory and within Métis Nation of Alberta Region 4. This land is the traditional territory of the Cree, Blackfoot, Saulteaux, Métis and other Indigenous peoples.

We are all treaty people. We are bound by the spirit and intent of treaty to share the responsibility for stewardship of this beautiful land and call upon our collective honoured traditions and spirits to work in building a great community for today and future generations.

The Neighbourhood:

The Riverbend Community League represents the residential neighborhoods of Brookside, Brander Gardens, Ramsay Heights, and Rhatigan Ridge in the Southwest of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Amiskwacîwâskahikan | ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ )

The Riverbend Community League is located in Ward pihêsiwin ᐱᐦᐁᓯᐏᐣ

Pronunciation: pee-hay-soo-win

The name pihêsiwin means Land of the Thunderbirds and was given to this ward because from an aerial view it is shaped like a pihêsiw (thunderbird).

The thunderbird appears in artwork throughout Indigenous history and has different significance between cultures.

In nêhiyawewin (Cree ontology), pihêsiw is a word of power and reverence. The thunderbird is a powerful spirit in the form of a bird. Lightning was believed to flash from its beak, and the beating of its wings was thought to represent the rolling of thunder. When the thunderbird strikes lightning (kakitoht), it re-energizes mother Earth.

The pihêsiw is the keeper of water. As water is crucial for life, the nourishment of our bodies, and the bringer of beauty, the thunderbird is viewed with extreme reverence.

Riverbend was established in 1972 through Edmonton City Council’s adoption of the Riverbend-Terwillegar Heights District Outline Plan, which originally guided the overall development of Riverbend and Terwillegar Heights to the south, and the Riverbend Implementation Plan. As of 1978, Riverbend was the portion of the outline plan area that was within Edmonton’s city limits as they existed at the time. In 1979, Edmonton City Council adopted the Riverbend Area Structure Plan to guide further development of the southern portion of Riverbend.

The Riverbend Community League (RCL), established in 1971, maintains a community hall at Brookside, and at Rhatigan Ridge. Brookside Hall was initially built as a skate shack for two ice rinks that the League operates. RCL also maintains tennis and pickleball courts, as well as a community garden in Brander Gardens, and has built playgrounds, trails and a sledding hill in Ramsay Heights and Rhatigan Ridge.

Neighbouring Community Leagues include:

Photo credit: Ben Ehlers from the Sunsets of Riverbend series
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