The Rooney family respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of the Cree, Dene, Blackfoot, Saulteaux and Nakota Sioux. We make this acknowledgement as an act of reconciliation and gratitude to those whose territory we reside and work on. We acknowledge all the many First Nations, Metis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries as meeting grounds, gathering places and travelling routes.
The company name, Ministik Hills Dog Training & Consulting comes from the name given to the piece of land where we make our home: Ministik Hills. It was given this name by Don Fenna, who owned this property for many years. Previous to our purchase of 80 acres, the Fenna Family farmed and used the land for educational purposes. Professor Lois Fenna offered classes here as University of Alberta biology students conducted ecological field studies during the 1970s and 80s. Faint traces of trails still exist throughout the aspen forest and hills on our acreage.
The rolling hills and lowlands were formed long ago, as glaciers gouged their way across this region as a whole known as the Cooking Lake moraine. The movement of glaciers helped form the hills that we now see, bringing up large boulders, rubble, sand and clay. Many of the local lakes were formed at this time as the ice melted in depressions that created the Hastings, Cooking, and Miquelon Lakes, to name a few. Largest of all, at its peak over a hundred years ago, the Ministik Lake had 300 to 400 islands: hence, its' name which, in Cree means Lake of Many Islands.
Time and drought have taken their toll, as the waters have dropped considerably. The high hills and abundant vegetation remain, leaving a unique landscape, rich with wildlife. The sloughs that continue to exist serve as a playground for our Retrievers, and a source of water for numerous varieties of water fowl, beavers, muskrats, moose and deer.
The surrounding area, including our home, has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere, thanks to the efforts of the Beaver Hills Initiative Committee. A granting of such a designation places this area on the map as a recreational destination that is committed to protection of the environment and wildlife.
Photo Credits: Daryl Rooney Historical Credits: Glen Lawrence, Committee Chair