The Pulse: Oct. 16, 2023

Here's what you need to know about Edmonton today.

Sponsored by:

Want this in your inbox? Sign up to get The Pulse by email. It's free!


  • 17°C: Cloudy. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h near noon. High 17. UV index 2 or low. (forecast)
  • Blue: The High Level Bridge will be lit blue for World Food Day. (details)
  • 21-35: The Edmonton Elks lost to the Montreal Alouettes on Oct. 14. (details)
  • 3-4: The Edmonton Oilers lost to the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 14. (details)

An audience applauds as four people in front of the room smile, with the Let's Find Out banner behind them

Urban national park in Edmonton seen as opportunity for reconciliation

By Stephanie Swensrude

The proposed national urban park in Edmonton's river valley needs to be developed with reconciliation in mind, says the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations.

"I think that the federal government, like many Canadians, is figuring out what reconciliation actually means," Miranda Jimmy, the confederacy's project coordinator for the national urban park initiative, told a special live taping of Let's Find Out.

The curiosity-driven history podcast wrapped up its season about Edmonton parks with a live show at the Alfred H. Savage Centre on Sept. 21. The night began with a presentation by bison conservation historian Lauren Markewicz, who explained how the creation of national parks often resulted in the displacement and erasure of Indigenous people under the guise of protecting wildlife.

Her talk was followed by a panel discussion about the national urban park initiative proposed for the river valley, of which the City of Edmonton is in the planning phase.

Reconciliation is one of three main priorities the federal government has laid out in the national urban park initiative.

"Historically, Indigenous people have not been part of the equation in the development of national parks. In fact, it's been detrimental — forced removal, forced relocation, removal of harvesting rights, ceremonial sites," Jimmy said, adding that the current government seems to be approaching national urban parks differently, and the cities that were shortlisted for the parks had demonstrated strong relationships to First Nations.

"Edmonton, from what I've been told, was chosen because the City of Edmonton has an existing memorandum of understanding with both the Confederacy of Treaty Six and the Métis Nation of Alberta," she said. "And so those provided a groundwork for the municipality to bring in Indigenous partners in a good way at the ground level."

But 18 months into the process, consultation is only just beginning, said Jimmy, who was hired in August. She said the chiefs of the confederacy's 16 member nations had yet not been briefed on the initiative and engagement with their communities had not yet taken place.

Continue reading

Headlines: Oct. 16, 2023

By Mariam Ibrahim

  • The Mustard Seed is requesting the city rezone a lot at 95 Street and 106 Avenue to allow it to open a new homeless shelter. The agency sent out a notice in early September to nearby residents and business owners seeking feedback on its proposal, which would include 60 winter shelter beds and a 64-bed women's ward. One resident who spoke to CBC said she is concerned about the plans because there is already a high concentration of social service agencies in the area. City planners will review the application and a public hearing will be held before council makes a decision.
  • A provincial government study to explore options for the Edmonton Law Courts has been delayed until spring 2024. Originally due this month, the study will make recommendations to either upgrade or replace the 1972 building, which has had capacity issues and leaks. In January, a multi-day power outage shut down part of the building, prompting renewed calls to replace the aging courthouse.
  • Calgary-based content creator and urban cyclist Tom Babin applauded Edmonton's plans to build new bike lanes in a recent video on his YouTube channel Shifter. Babin described the city as "the most exciting bike city in North America," adding that dedicated bike lanes can encourage more people to take up cycling. "We see this over and over again: when safe bike lanes are implemented, people will use them," Babin told CityNews. In December, city council approved a $100-million plan to build additional bike lanes over four years.
  • The University of Alberta released a report and dashboard tracking its progress in fulfilling the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. The dashboard indicates the university has so far fully completed two calls to action, and recently made progress in recruiting Indigenous students by signing a deal with Treaty 8 First Nations to offer dual-credit courses.
  • Hundreds gathered at the RASC Observatory in Coronation Park near the TELUS World of Science to view a partial annular solar eclipse on Oct. 14. People lined up between 9am and noon to safely view the eclipse through a telescope at the observatory, while others wore special glasses to catch a glimpse of the event. The next full solar eclipse visible from Edmonton will happen in 2044.
  • The Mindbender rollercoaster at West Edmonton Mall is almost completely dismantled, with only two small portions of the loops remaining. The mall announced in January it was closing the ride after 37 years in operation, with plans for a new attraction in its place, although nothing has been announced so far.
  • As Alberta's risk of wildfire increases, forestry companies may increasingly salvage wood from trees burned in forest fires. According to provincial government data, fire-killed trees represented about 20% of the total timber harvest between May 2019 and April 2020. The figures can vary each year for a variety of reasons, including the type of trees that burned, the cost of salvaging the wood, and the price of lumber. Climate change may force companies to focus more on salvaged wood, said University of Alberta professor Brad Pinno.
A brunette woman sits amidst tall yellow grass, playing an acoustic guitar. She wears blue jeans, a cream sweater, and glasses.

EPL's How To Festival taps into new knowledge sources

By Ashley Lavallee-Koenig

The Edmonton Public Library is making use of its new musician-in-residence program and kitchen space as a part of this year's How To Festival.

The third annual event will teach a variety of skills at sessions held in person or online on Oct. 21.

"Edmonton Public Library is all about sharing knowledge in different forms, whether that's through our collections or through our classes," said community librarian Alexandria Daum. "So one kind of value for the community is just the chance to learn a new skill and be exposed to something that they maybe wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to learn or be exposed to."

EPL's first musician in residence is Mallory Chipman, an award-winning singer and songwriter. She will be showing attendees of any experience level how to write a song at the Calder branch.

Chef Doreen Prei will be taking over The Kitchen at the Stanley A. Milner to show participants how to make Italian risotto. As is often the case at The Kitchen, the class is full.

Visual artist Shaihiem Small will lead a session on how to draw a portrait at the Capilano branch. The rest of the classes will be offered online:

The lessons are aimed at adults, but youth and supervised children are also welcome to attend.

"We hope that people find an opportunity to learn something new through this kind of range of sessions, and we're excited to be able to provide this opportunity for learning and discovery for Edmontonians," Daum said.

Photo: Mallory Chipman, EPL's first musician in residence, will explore the foundations of songwriting at the How To Festival. (Katherine Melrose/Facebook)

Several young people talking in small groups surrounded by posters for scientific talks

Coming up this week: Oct. 16-20, 2023

By Debbi Serafinchon

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is marking Small Business Week with a number of events. Other happenings include a session on entering international markets, discussions of community-campus collaborations, a progress report on downtown revitalization, a look at cycling-friendly cities, and talks from cutting-edge AI researchers.

Find even more things to do in Taproot's weekly roundups.

Photo: TechAid returns for another year, offering tech talks, an AI challenge, and DevCon, the annual student developer conference. The event will raise money for Boyle Street Community Services and the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. (Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute/Facebook)