If you’ve ever wondered what kinds of amazing stories Edmonton has to offer, look no further than University of Alberta alumnus Lauren Markewicz.
Markewicz completed her Bachelor of Arts in History and French at the U of A before obtaining a Master’s in Public History at Carleton University, focused on the representations of Indigenous people on early Western Canadian postcards. She now works as a bilingual public interpretation coordinator for Parks Canada. Her career path has taken her to some unexpected places — Fort Edmonton Park and Elk Island National Park — for a graduate degree in history.
“People sometimes tell me that I’m a naturalist (instead of a historian) and wonder if I’m doing something related to my degree,” Markewicz says. “But what I’m doing is actually directly related to my degree: bringing cultural history to park visitors.”
The work has led her to some amazing discoveries. Through her conversations with Indigenous elders and independent archival documentary research, Markewicz has encountered a wealth of verbal knowledge and legends that are largely unknown to much of the general public. From stories about elaborate funerals to supernatural cannibalistic wendigos — evil spirits of many indigenous legends — to hidden buffalo hunting grounds in now-urbanized areas, Markewicz has found that there are always stories to be heard if you’re willing to listen.
Check out last month’s installment of “Beyond the Bachelor” here.