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The Alberta government wants to make ammolite the official gemstone of the province.

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If passed, Bill 6, tabled in the legislature Thursday, would amend the Emblems of Alberta Act to give ammolite the designation alongside more than a dozen other “official” things, including the province’s official bird (great horned owl), official mammal (Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep), official fish (bull trout), and official stone (petrified wood).

In a statement, Culture Minister Ron Orr said ammolite is an important part of Alberta’s heritage and economy.

“Recognizing ammolite as Alberta’s official gemstone reflects the unique nature of the stone and of our province,” he said.

Found mostly in southern Alberta, ammolite is created when fossilized shells of molluscs, known as ammonites, sink to the seabed and get covered in mud that hardens over millions of years to become shale.

NDP indigenous relations critic Richard Feehan said in a statement that ammolite has an important history with deeply rooted traditions for many Indigenous cultures

“I hope that honoring these traditions and practices will help us reflect on our relationship as treaty people,” he said

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