In June, the CSP zone in northwestern Alberta was renamed with assistance and support from the Indigenous community, after a years-long process.
Powâkan Zone is made up of ski patrollers throughout northwestern Alberta. The renaming process was based in part to avoid confusion with Peace River, Alberta, as well as the Peace River and District Ski Patrol Association (aka Misery Mountain ski patrol).
After Indigenous consultation and membership approval, the zone is now known as Powâkan Zone. The name was suggested to local CSP members by an Indigenous elder. The term Powâkan is Cree for “guardian spirit.”
Cree is the dominant Indigenous language spoken throughout northwestern Alberta. By choosing a Cree name, the CSP hopes, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, to honour the Indigenous people that make up northern Alberta.
The term reflects a “guardian spirit” which is fitting for members of the Canadian Ski Patrol, who act as guardians for people in need, both off and on ski hills.
The name change was effective on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, 2023, to further honour the Indigenous people of the northwestern Alberta region. The name change was approved by the CSP national board of directors in late 2022.