Why we call it Grandmothers Hills
By Ruth Blaser and Judy Delorme

One summer afternoon when I was a young woman in my late twenties, Donna Pinay, a Cree woman and I, walked the land my grandparents settled in the early 1900s. Donna and I sat at the fire circle near Buffalo Rock, visited and ate.

As the sun was setting Donna said to me, “You know Ruth, before this land was your people's it was my people's.” In the acknowledgement of this truth, and the painful history of domination of First Nations people and land, by white settlers, we two young and idealistic women with such rocky and harsh historical terrain between us and a tenacious friendship, decided that we would rename these hills and coulees that are so much a part of both our stories. According to the rural municipality map, the official name of this place is Loon Creek. But on that day Donna and I renamed it Grandmothers Hills for all grandmothers – all ancient and wise ones – who care for life.

This reflection is adapted from a longer writing by Ruth Blaser and Judy Delorme called Making Our Way by Heart published in Running Barefoot: Women Write the Land, edited by Wynne Edwards and Dianne Linden, Rowan Books Edmonton 2001. (Available from Coteau Books)