The Wicked Woods Music Festival NEWSLETTER

History of the Land: Treasured Space for Centuries

When attending Wicked Woods Music Festival, it is essential to remember that you are in a place with a deep-rooted history and an unparalleled natural beauty. This land has been home to the Indigenous peoples of this region for centuries, and their presence can be felt all around you. Every blade of grass, every tree, every rock carries with it a piece of their history and culture. As you experience the music and festivities, take a moment to pause and reflect on the significance of this land. Respect the wilderness and its inhabitants, from the tiniest insect to the largest animal. Be mindful of your actions, leave no trace, and do your part in preserving the natural beauty of this region for generations to come. Remember that we are all temporary visitors on this land, and it is our responsibility to leave it as beautiful and vibrant as we found it. By doing so, we pay tribute to the rich and ancient history of this land, and we honor the people who have called it home for centuries.

The land surrounding Fairmont Hot Springs, located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, has a rich history that spans thousands of years. The area is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and hot springs that have attracted visitors for generations.

This area is home to a diverse range of wildlife. In addition to elk, deer, bison, and moose, the region is also home to grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, wolves, and coyotes. Bald eagles, ospreys, and other birds of prey can often be seen soaring through the sky, while otters, beavers, and muskrats make their homes in the nearby rivers and streams.

The Ktunaxa people have lived in the area surrounding Fairmont Hot Springs for over 10,000 years. They have a deep connection to the land and have relied on its natural resources for their livelihoods for centuries. The traditional Ktunaxa people were hunter-gatherers who subsisted on the rich wildlife in the region, including elk, deer, bison, and moose. They also harvested plants such as berries, roots, and herbs and fished in the nearby rivers and streams.

The Ktunaxa people have a rich culture and traditions, including storytelling, art, and spiritual practices. They believed that the hot springs near Fairmont were a sacred place where the spirit world and physical world intersected. They also believed that the hot springs had healing properties and would often bathe in them for medicinal purposes.

The abundance of wildlife in the region is a testament to the area’s rich biodiversity and the importance of preserving it. The Ktunaxa people have long understood the importance of maintaining a balance between human activity and the natural world, and have practiced sustainable hunting and fishing techniques for generations.

Just east of Fairmont lies a beautiful valley known as the Columbia Valley. Within this valley is where we gather annually for Wicked Woods Music Festival. The valley stretches for over 160 kilometers and is surrounded by towering mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests. The valley has a rich history, with evidence of human habitation dating back thousands of years. The valley was also an important route for fur traders and explorers in the early 19th century, and today it is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing opportunities. The valley is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elk, moose, grizzly bears, and wolves, making it an important habitat for conservation efforts.

Over the years, human activity has had a significant impact on the land surrounding Fairmont Hot Springs. European settlers began to arrive in the area in the late 1800s and quickly established mining and logging operations. The construction of roads and railways also had a significant impact on the environment, disrupting migration patterns for wildlife and altering the natural landscape.

The development of tourism in the region in the early 20th century also had a significant impact on the area. The construction of hotels, resorts, and other amenities for tourists changed the local economy and the way of life for the Ktunaxa people. While tourism has brought economic benefits to the region, it has also created challenges, including increased traffic and pollution.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need to preserve the natural environment surrounding Fairmont Hot Springs. The Ktunaxa people and other local groups have been working to protect the land and its wildlife while promoting sustainable tourism practices.

As you enter the grounds to Wicked Woods Music Festival, we encourage you to pause and recognize the significance of the land on which we gather. The lore of this land is carried in the winds that rustle through the trees, in the streams that meander through the valleys, and in the rocks that line the cliffs. The Indigenous peoples who have called this region home for centuries have left their mark on this land, and their presence can still be felt today. As festival attendees, we must respect the land and its history, leaving no trace and doing our part to preserve its natural beauty. Through acknowledging and honoring the stories of this land, we pay tribute to the rich and ancient history of this region and the people who have been stewards of the land since time immemorial.

Captured by Greg Rogers Photography, 2022