ZOOM MEETING: Rotary Peace Park Presentation
May 21, 2020
ZOOM MEETING: Rotary Peace Park Presentation
ZOOM MEETING: Rotary Peace Park Presentation


  • Human history in the Waterton National Park area, located in the south west corner of Alberta can be traced back for over 10,000 years. The first people were nomadic including the Kutenai and the Blackfoot.
  • It is thought that the first European to visit was Lt. Thomas Blakiston, a member of the Palliser Expedition. Waterton is named after the British Naturalist Charles Waterton.
  • Waterton was the fourth National Park in Canada and was established in 1895.
  • The first superintendent of the Park was John George Kootenai Brown appointed in 1911
  • Glacier National Park was the tenth National Park in the U.S and was established in 1910.
  • One of the US citizens instrumental in its creation was George Bird Grinnell, who was an advocate for several other US national parks.
  • Glacier is the fourth largest park in the US
  • Waterton National Park and Glacier National Park have been recognized as International Biospheres and World Heritage Sites.


Creation of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

  • After the creation of the two parks, the park rangers felt that the two parks should be joined in some fashion and by 1931, many others including Rotarians from both sides of the border also became advocates.
  • The Rotary Club of Cardston initiated a Goodwill meeting between Rotarian from Canada and the United States and on July 4th, 1931, 100 Rotarians from Alberta and Montana convened a meeting of fellowship and good will in Waterton. As a result of discussions they decided to lobby the governments of the United States and Canada to establish a permanent International Peace Park.
  • On Dec. 8th, 1931, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to establish the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
  • In 1932, the Canadian Government passed a similar bill.
  • On June 18th, 1932, 2000 People attended the dedication ceremony at Glacier Park Montana.


The Assembly and Association

  • In 1935, the Great Falls Rotary Club suggested that Rotarians from both countries hold an annual joint meeting and the first Assembly was held at Glacier Park.
  • Our Rotary Club has helped to organize several of the Assemblies when they have been held in Waterton and many of our Club members have served and are serving on the Board of Directors of the Association. At present Bryan Walton is a member of the Board and Terry Allen is an ex-officio member having served as President of the Association.  In 2005, our 50th Anniversary, we sponsored the Assembly with great support from our Club. Earl Huson was the chair of the organizing committee.
  • The Assembly is held alternately in the United States and Canada. The Assembly program consists of opportunities to socialize, hear speakers on topics associated with environmental and park programs. Frequently the park rangers also offer programs of interest for participants and for all of us, the ceremony on Sunday at the conclusion of the Assembly is the Hands Across the Border pledge with Canadians and United States Rotarians is a highlight and moving experience.