Writing-on-Stone has just become Canada’s newest World Heritage Site.
The decision to include the historic site was made by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the 43rd session of its World Heritage Committee, which took place in Baku, Azerbaijan.
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The site, which is also known as Áísínai’pi (its Blackfoot name), had been nominated in a joint effort from the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Alberta.
“Writing-on-Stone/Áísínai’pi is the site of many natural wonders and a testament to the remarkable ingenuity and creativity of the Blackfoot people,” said Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks, in the release.
“It’s easy to see why the site is seen by many as an expression of the confluence of the spirit and human worlds. I hope all Albertans will take the time to explore this extraordinary part of the province and all it has to offer.”
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park joins Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, and Wood Buffalo National Park as the sixth World Heritage Site within the province of Alberta, as it had been on a tentative list of potential sites since 2004.
According to a release, over 60,000 people visit the area each year to explore the landscape and see the writing and paintings that had been left on the stones 2,000 years ago.
“Writing-on-Stone is an Alberta treasure that draws thousands of visitors annually to take part in interpretive tours and activities led by knowledgeable and passionate staff who love to share the park’s unique history,” said Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Tourism, in the release.
Pursuing the designation had been a goal of the Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park Management Plan as far back as 1997.