Canada 5 July: Drumheller, AB - Herschel, SK

Peace On The Prairie

We were so happy that Pavaka from Montreal joined the team yesterday. He shares the torch with a friendly camper who was excited about the Peace Run who offered his goodwill as we were leaving 11 Bridges campground this morning.

The road towards Herschel in Saskatchewan was quite flat but scenic with fields of yellow flowering canola.

Soon the sky darkened and rain clouds were trheatening.

We escaped the heavy rains and made our way finally to the rolling hills of Herschel where we stopped at the Herschel Interpretive Centre, or Ancient Echoes.

The Herschel Interpretive Centre is set up totally by volunteer work and funded by donations, and a small government grant. The Centre’s mandate is to promote ecology, fossil history and the Aboriginal heritage of the area.

Once inside we had a wonderful guided tour by Treyton (Trey), a college student who is studying paleantology and geology locally.

Jo Cooper, is a Metis Artist whose paintings revolve around the theme, 'The Disapperance and Resurgence of the Buffalo.' Her paintings decorate the walls of one of the fascinating rooms of inspiring and informative displays.

Trey and Jo explained to us the valuable contributions that the buffalo played to the native peoples here for centuries.

Various fossils millions of years old tell the history of this area of Canada and North America which was part of the Western Interior Seaway: a strip of salt water that flowed from the Arctic down to Texas and over to the Gulf of Mexico. This finger of ocean divided North America in half. Sharks, fish, crocodiles, birds and giant clams lived in a climate that was much like that of the Florida Everglades.

Later, our outdoor tour guide was David Newfeld who is one of the Founders of Ancient Echoes 22years ago.

Dave and Jo took us on a very informative and inspiring walk through the fields nearby that once were home to millions of buffalo and aboriginal native peoples.

Dave sings us a traditional native song about the oneness of all people as we share the same creator, the same earth and the same sky.

Trey also joined us as these three guides offered valuable information about the traditions of the native people incuding the symbolism of the petroglyphs on some of the large sandstone rocks.

Dave explains some of the petroglyphs on the large rocks from many generations past.

In various places there were rock patterns for various uses including this one being tried out by Pierre.

After the tour we cooked a nice meal at the Herschel Retreat House which so kindly offered to us today by Dave and the Ancient Echoes.

After the meal we introduced ourselves and the Peace Run around a campfire with some locally invited guests. After introducing themselves they offered us inspirational thoughts and ideas about peace.

Trey displays his enthusiasm for his study and work involving geology and paleontology. His passion is finding and digging up fossils, especially dinosaur bones which are quite prevalent in this area.

Trey's Mom has three other children here as well to share their ideas and passion for peace and oneness.

We happily welcomed Purnakama from Winnipeg who just joined us today.

Dave and his wife accept our Certificate of Appreciation for their service to humanity through volunteer work in many countries for over five decades.

Jo Cooper sings us a traditional aboriginal song about gratitude at the end of our campfire meeting as the sun set most beautifully.

Laura and Treyton(Trey), two college student guides at the Ancient Echoes Interpretive Center, accept our most colorful offering of a World-Harmony painting by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run.

We proceeded indoors at the Interpretive Centre for homemade cookies, coffee and tea as we were able to get to know each other more fully.

Jo read out one of her poems about the buffalo. Someone had recorded it as a song which was sung quit beautifully. It was a very uplifting way to end the day. We are very grateful to all those who took time to meet with us and share their valuable experiences and sentiments which are important contributions to world peace.

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