In Fall 2018, Edmonton opened its first indigenous art park in Queen Elizabeth Park, which breathed a sigh of relief over the river valley and lower Edmonton landscape. It is called nîw (EE-nu), which means “I belong to the earth” in Cree – the indigenous people are very connected to the earth, so the name is very apt. înîw is located on the site of the historic river, which was originally owned by Joseph McDonald, a Matisse man.
The park was created in partnership with the City of Edmonton, the Confederation of Treaty No. 6 First Nations, the Matisse Nation of Alberta, the Edmonton Arts Council and local artists. Here you will find six art installations created by indigenous artists who were asked to create pieces “inspired by you from this earth”.
When you first arrive, you will see the contract receipt and welcome stones. These stones tell the story of the Cree word wordnîw (EE-nu), to the ancestral lands of the indigenous groups that once lived here, mainly Cree.