A Time for Opportunities, Changes, and Challenges at the ARPA 2017 Conference
This week the CMN is at the Alberta Recreation and Parks Conference being held at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park. The conference runs October 27 & 28, with opening ceremonies, a keynote, and dinner on October 26.
Last night, we were inspired by Rilee Many Bears and the film about him entitled “The Failure Way.” The film introduced Rilee as a young runner who overcame personal challenges while working towards his goal of competing in the Olympics. Next, keynote speaker, Olympian, and host of The Amazing Race Canada, Jon Montgomery, discussed his successes in Men’s Skeleton and new career in television. He related his accomplishments to the idea of self-efficacy – the belief one holds in their ability to succeed in situations and accomplish tasks. Afterwards, we were treated to a cultural celebration and round dance with the Blackfoot Confederacy.
This morning, we heard from Dr. Reg Crowshoe and panel in their session entitled “Indigenous Engagement: Cultural Skills Development.” They discussed the importance of incorporating an Indigenous perspective in recreation and park planning. The session explored Indigenous history and intergenerational trauma and introduced practices and protocols important when working with Indigenous communities.
In the next session, I presented preliminary findings of my thesis research on historical recreation and tourism developments in Kananaskis Country. My presentation looked closely at the selection of Mount Allan for the Nakiska Ski Area and the 1988 Winter Olympic Games to uncover the contestations between environmental groups, skiers, and the Alberta Government. A retrospective analysis of ski hill development in Kananaskis Country indicates a desire for meaningful public consultation processes to make democratic and environmentally sustainable choices for the development of our parks.
Mountain historian, Dr. PearlAnn Reichwein, from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, explored the history of an urban park in Edmonton, Alberta. Millcreek ravine has a history of civic advocacy and Dr. Reichwein draws on historical and anthropological concepts to look at the contested landscape history of Millcreek. Community members valued the environment and their neighbours, and called on the City of Edmonton to embrace conservation values and the democratic power of the public.
Dr. Tom Hinch, also from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, along with graduate student, Mu He, presented their proposed study: “The Impact of the Interpretive Programs on Visitor Experiences in the Columbia Icefields: A Work in Progress.” They discussed the role climate change education could play in developing interpretation programs as a means of educating the public on significant issues while also providing recreation and leisure experiences. They query the impacts the inclusion of a world issue like climate change may have on leisure experiences; in particular, in relation to tours on the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefields.
Tonight, ARPA treats delegates to an O’Canada-themed tradeshow and opportunity to connect with the recreation and parks community. Tomorrow is another day packed full of exciting and interesting sessions as well as the Presidents Awards Banquet and Rapid Fire Theatre TED Talks!
This is an article written by Michelle Murphy.