City of Edmonton

City of Edmonton

August 26, 2005 12:54 ET

Ceremony to respectfully return remains to Fort Edmonton Cemetery

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Science Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 26, 2005) - In a ceremony not seen in Edmonton for over 100 years, eight caskets containing human remains will be returned to their original resting place in the Traditional Burial Grounds and Fort Edmonton cemetery in the Rossdale area of Edmonton's river valley. The ceremony will take place this Sunday, Aug. 28 at 2:30 p.m.

"We are honouring the people who laid the foundations for our city so many years ago," explains Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. "The Aboriginal, Metis, French Canadian and European settlers buried there should not have been forgotten. We will respectfully return the remains that were removed over the years and we will protect the cemetery area so it cannot be disturbed again."

Descendents of people buried in the area and many community stakeholders planned the ceremonial aspects of the event, ensuring the cultural and religious traditions of their communities are respected. The ceremony draws on burial rituals used in the nineteenth century when Fort Edmonton was in operation. The re-interment ceremony will begin with a traditional funeral procession with the remains carried by a red river cart and horse-drawn wagons. A multi-faith ceremony representing the cultures of those buried in the cemetery will follow.

The site served as Fort Edmonton's cemetery throughout much of the nineteenth century and was a traditional Aboriginal burial ground long before contact with the Europeans. Over the past century, the site has undergone several periods of construction during which human remains were removed.

Sunday's ceremony is a significant milestone in the process of commemorating the burial site. Construction will begin this fall on permanent memorial to mark the location.

"Descendents and stakeholders have been the driving force behind properly commemorating this site," says Mayor Mandel. "Along with local elders, they designed what will be a very special, moving service."

Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 28
/For further information: www.edmonton.ca/ IN: POLITICS

Contact Information

  • David Schneider, Project Manager, City of Edmonton
    Primary Phone: 780-496-8224
    Secondary Phone: 780-446-0530
    E-mail: david.schneider@edmonton.ca