Who We Are
Aseniwuche Winewak Nation
We are the Rocky Mountain People; caretakers of the earth.
Not long ago, our people were a natural part of ecosystems, just like the wolf or caribou. Traditional life was maintained in this area until about 1965. Some still live it today. This intimate relationship with the environment defines who we are. Cumulative, inherent understanding was passed down through countless generations: this is our Traditional Knowledge.
We no longer depend on hunting & gathering, but the land still sustains us. And we are not alone in our need. All Albertans, and all future generations, depend on the land. As science struggles to understand the vast complexity of the natural world, the importance of Traditional Knowledge is emerging. We wish to share knowledge with other users of the land, and work together to create sustainable land practices.
Today we are on a journey forward, toward our rightful place in society. We are a respected People, recognized for progressiveness and achievement. Our voices are being heard, and we stand together as a community, steadily moving towards a better future.
'Aseniwuche Winewak' is Cree for 'Rocky Mountain People'; this is how we are known to tribes across western Canada. We have never signed a Treaty, nor received Metis Scrip. Traditionally we lived a hunter and gatherer lifestyle in our traditional boundary that encompasses a large land base along the Rocky Mountains and foothills of Alberta. In 1910, after thge creation of Jasper National Park, several family groups of our ancestors were forced to leave behind their homes in the Jasper Valley and relocated to the Grande Cache area where they settled near extended family. Until the 1960's we lived a rich and integrated traditional life on the land. In the wake of the development of the Town of Grande Cache, we were further marginalized and our way of life changed again. In the last 40 years our way of life and traditional means of economic self-reliance has been nearly destroyed. Today the six individual AWN cooperatives and enterprises communually hold title to 4,150 acres of land spread over seven parcels of land.
As a people, we now choose a different path. The AWN has organized itself into a contemporary society, which is used to help build the community's infrastructure, both socially and economically. Today, we are on a journey forward, toward our rightful place in society. We are a respected People, recognized for progressiveness and achievement. Our voices are being heard, and we stand together as a community, steadily moving towards a better future.