By Garry Roth and Ian Hamilton, Powâkan Zone (;

A newly-named zone in the CSP Mountain Division, Powâkan Zone, reflects the area’s Indigenous traditions and the guardian role of patrollers.

Over the past few years, the former Peace Zone, which represents ski patrollers throughout northwestern Alberta, has undergone a process to change its name from Peace Zone. The zone was being regularly confused with Peace River (Alberta), as well as the Peace River and District Ski Patrol Association (AKA the Misery Mountain patrol).

After Indigenous consultation and membership approval, the zone will now be known as Powâkan Zone.

The name was suggested to the local CSP by an Indigenous elder, and the term Powâkan is Cree for “guardian spirit” (source: Search results ( ). Cree is the dominant Indigenous language spoken throughout northwestern Alberta. By choosing a Cree name, we are hoping, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, to honour the Indigenous people that make up northern Alberta.

The Powâkan name also 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 our ski hills. The name change was made effective on June 21, 2023, National Indigenous Peoples Day, to further honour the Indigenous people of our region. The name change was approved by the CSP board of directors at its December meeting.

How to pronounce our new name: The â in the Cree language is pronounced like the a in “father” (source:, so Powâkan is pronounced “pow-ae-kan.”

Zone members are extraordinarily proud of the new name and its link to the land on which we patrol, live, and play.

CSP Powâkan Zone replaces Peace Zone in northern Alberta

This post is also available in: French