On the ride up, the voice of Cherith Mark can be heard telling stories passed down by elders.
“This project started off with elders discussing and telling us what the mountains mean to them,” Mark said after riding the gondola up to the peaks of Sulphur Mountain.
Mark worked with elders to translate the stories into English while incorporating some Stoney language.
At the top of the mountain, the Stoney word for snow, Wapa is projected in the night along with stories of the winter moons.
“In Stoney Nakoda calendar, winter lasts about 7 moons,” Mark said. “I believe this is a great opportunity for visitors and guests to hear the sound and the language of the area.”
Night Rise is a collaboration with Pursuit, Moment Factory and the Stoney Nation.
“You may visit Banff and then not really know whose traditional territory you’re on so this is really important for us,” said Kristen Ryder with the Stoney Tribal Administration.
“A lot of people come here to the gondola to experience.”
Light shows, bonfires and stories light up the mountain while the sounds of music by Anders Hunter fill the air.
“My role in today’s day and age is to keep the traditional songs strong and alive,” said Hunter who is also from Stoney Nakoda.
“I think when they hear the music and the sounds and voices that’s been put together it’s going to be a memory that they will never forget.”
The Night Rise experience is now running until March 12, 2022
“It’s special,” Ryder said, “I’m glad that we’re involved and can say ‘hey we’ve been here for a very long time.’ Our people have been here; we’ve gathered here, we picked medicines here, these are our traditional lands.”