Guide to Exploring ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞

By Mackenzie Brown

In the Fall of 2018, Edmonton opened its first Indigenous art park situated in Queen Elizabeth park, complete with breath taking views of the river valley and downtown Edmonton. It is called înîw (EE-nu), which in Cree means “I am of the Earth”— Indigenous peoples are very connected to land, so this name is very fitting. înîw sits on the historic river lot which was originally owned by Joseph MacDonald, a Métis man.

The park was created in partnership with the City of Edmonton, Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First Nations, Métis Nation of Alberta, the Edmonton Arts Council and Indigenous artists. Here you will find six art installations, created by Indigenous artists who were asked to create pieces “inspired by this land”.

When you first arrive, you see the Treaty Acknowledgement and înîw welcome rocks. The rocks tell the story of the Cree word înîw (EE-nu), an ode to the ancestral lands of the Indigenous groups who were here prior, primarily the Cree.

Photo Source

Reign by Mary Anne Barkhouse

Isoktew by Amy Malbeuf

Mikikwan by Duane Linklater

Mamohkamatowin (Helping One Another) by Jerry Whitehead

Preparing to Cross the Sacred River by Marrianne Nicolson

Pehonan by Tiffany Shaw-Collinge

This park also has one of the best views of the city! It is a place of gathering, story sharing and history. What are you waiting for? Start exploring.

About the Author

Mackenzie Brown is First Nations Cree from Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, currently residing in Amiskwaciwaskahikan, Edmonton. She is a performer, drummer, tourism entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate for at-risk youth in the Edmonton area. Mackenzie and her mom perform as “Warrior Women”. They drum and teach around Alberta for the Northern Alberta Teachers Conference, the annual Jasper Dark Skies Festival, Youth Dream Catchers Conference, Canada Day, Aboriginal Day festivities and more. Along with drumming, Mackenzie is also an avid acrylic artist and traditional First Nations crafts artisan. Her art has been featured in the Pump House Gallery, the Edson Gallery Museum, the Gray Gallery Grant MacEwan, recognized for the Alberta Indian Arts and Crafts Award of 2017, featured for the Alberta Business Competition 2017 and sold to people travelling world wide at Jasper Park Lodge. She is also the recent recipient of the 2019 Esquao Award for Children's Future.