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Monday , 8 August 2022
The Frog Lake monument unveiling.

Frog Lake unveils monument to recognize importance of Smoking Hill

Frog Lake First Nation has recognized an importance site on their land, which calls back to their history.

On Thursday, a new monument was unveiled at Smoking Hill to recognize the significance of the land to their culture. While not quite in the exact location, Smoking Hill was the place where band members would have pipe ceremonies before making decisions for their nation.

It also provided a lookout point at the Frog Lake massacre site.

Elder and organizer Connie Stanley said they moved fast on getting everything ready for the monument.

“It just represents the fact that we acknowledge the past, the history, and that it’s very important that we don’t forget our history,” said Stanley. 

“We were hoping that we’ve opened doors for our kids and our future kids to be able to come and learn, even for the schools to be able to tell our side of the stories on a lot of our history.” 

The monument is closely tied to the Frog Lake rebellion as an outpost where the First Nations first saw settlers trying to come to the lands.

The ceremony began at 10:30am that morning with the grand ceremony, with a pipe ceremony at 11:00am.

Visitors first got the see at monument at around 11:45am before lunch and speeches that followed.

“Today, we think about our ancestors who use this area known for ceremony and to live off the land,” said Chief Greg Desjarlais, who thanked the elders for being at the event, Westlake, Tipi Circle Monuments, the contractors, and the committee who put this idea forward.

“They opened many doors for us. We think about them being starved out. We think about them carrying on our tradition of the ceremony of the pipe as we see here that resemblance.

“To all of you that here, this is part of history.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.