Inside a tipi.
The Stoney/Nakoda and other Treaty 7 First Nations people had been visiting the mountain areas near what is now the town of Banff for many years. They hold several areas sacred, and would perform ceremonies, collect medicinal herbs, meet with other (more distant) First Nations people, and engage in various sporting and cultural activities.
In 1889 a rockslide blocked the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) near Banff, and it soon became obvious that CPR's passengers would not be going anywhere for a few days. The CPR manager had good relations with the Stoney First Nations people (then known as "Indians"), who live on a reserve at Morley, about forty miles from Banff. He contacted them, and asked if they could provide some entertainment for his unexpected guests. The Stoney people obliged, and their efforts were apparently well received.
Though the 1889 activities were expected to be a one-time event to meet a particular situation, they were so popular that they developed into a regular annual feature, and were known as "Banff Indian Days". These continued until 1978, when various factors contributed to their demise.
Some time after Indian Days ceased, another set of events was started: "Tribal Days" This runs at the Rafter Six resort, which is located between Morley and Canmore. [insert links here]
In 2004, some of the Stoney people, inspired and led by Roland Rollinmud - a well-known Stoney artist at Morley, decided to revive the Indian Days traditions. However, their primary motivation was to re-introduce their young people to their tribal cultural traditions. The fact that the majority 'non-Indian' population was eager to learn more about the 'Indian' traditional ways was just a bonus - it helps to build understanding and better relations between the still somewhat distinct societies.
The 2004 events were on a small scale, and not well publicised. In 2005 there were rather more things happening, and publicity was improved. The participants were still only Stoney people, but news of the events was more widely spread, and many other First Nations tribes from southern Alberta, British Columbia and the United States have asked if they could (re)join the revived activities in following years.