This place is called Îyâ Mnathka [ee-yum MNAHTH-kah] which means “flat-faced mountain.” The Îyârhe Nakoda do not usually climb mountains because they are recognized as very sacred places.
The Stoney Nakoda people believe that prior to going up a mountain, it is very important to have a ceremony with a prayer, to ask the Creator’s permission. This helps to prevent disturbing the spirits residing there and ensures a safe and positive experience for the climber.
This area was the best place for the Îyârhe to hunt kiska [KIS-ka] — bighorn sheep. Out of respect for the spirit of the animal, no parts were wasted.
Strong winds at the top are a sign of the strong spirits who live here. Please show your respect for this living, sacred place as you hike and climb Îyâ Mnathka.