On Friday June 15, 2012 Writing-on Stone Provincial Park was given a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the national histoic significance of Aisinai'pi.
The plaque given to Aisinai'pi which means "it is pictured, it is written," recognizes the historic value of this sacred place to Canadians. The surviving rock art, some of which may be 2,000 years old, provides insights into the history and culture of the Blackfoot people.
"Through the national commemoration program, Canadians are offered opportunities to better understand and appreciate Canada's unique history and culture," said Minister Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. "The program also helps to create learning and tourism opportunities that support regional economic development."
"We've worked closely with the Blackfoot people to preserve the sacred landscape of Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park and share it with visitors from around the world," said Christine Cusanelli, Minister of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. "The designation of this national historic site reinforces our commitment to appreciate the cultural and spiritual significance of Niitsitapi rock art for generations to come."
Since ancient times, the Blackfoot people have come to Aisinai'pi to communicate with the Spirit world through dreams and prayers. The spiritual significance of Aisinai'pi is revealed in the extensive rock art found throughout the valley.
"The images tell us of Niitsitapi religious beliefs, dress and weaponry, of battles and hunts, and of the introduction of horses and guns," said Dorothy First Rider, Vice President of the Mookaakin Cultural and Heritage Society. "More important, Aisinai'pi remains a place of spiritual power for the Niitsitapi, and a living part of our heritage."