Indigenous Awareness Month 2023:
Strengthening Relationships Through Connection

The entirety of March at Bow Valley College is devoted to celebrating the unique contributions, histories, traditions, and cultures of and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples. Every Nation holds their own customs, teachings, languages, and ways of being. And with more than 400 self-identified Indigenous students, and Indigenous staff, instructors, and leaders, we are proud to create opportunities to learn and celebrate the richness of diversity of the college community together.

Awareness is a first step toward meaningful action. Each week will have a thematic focus on critical contributors to our story as Treaty Peoples and as an ally institution. All members of the College community are encouraged to attend throughout the month. These activities can be a foundation for anyone who is looking to increase their understanding and personal journey toward healing for all.

For questions, please contact: iniikokaan@bowvalleycollege.ca

Events at a Glance

Indigenous Awareness Month Kick-Off Event
  • Date: Wednesday, March 1
  • Time: 11am – 12pm
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Main Campus, South building Second Floor Atrium (beside the Market)
  • Description: Start off the month in a good way by observing a pow-wow dance demonstration and an Indigenous-style food showcase featuring a type of fry bread, and traditional berry soup from local vendor, Kokum’s Bannock Kitchen!
  • Special Guests: Jackie Wabasca and Wandering Spirit Ltd.  
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community

 

Beading at Iniikokaan (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
  • Date: March 2, 7, 9, 14, 26, 21, 23, 28 & 30
  • Time: Tuesdays (10am - 12pm) * Thursdays (1pm - 4pm)
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Learn from experienced student facilitators how to bead the basics. Create your own project or start a lanyard, brooch, set of earrings, etc. All materials provided. Participants should be prepared to come to multiple sessions to complete a project.
  • Special Guests: Indigenous student facilitators
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Open to all, priority given to students. No experience necessary.
  • Notes: Space is limited to first-come basis. This session will be offered twice weekly throughout the month of March.

     

    Learn the Bow Valley College Drum Song
  • Date: Every Friday in March (3, 17, 24, and 31)
  • Time: 2pm - 4pm
  • Access: In Person at the Iniikokaan Centre
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Bow Valley College will be transferred a traditional song by Elder Clarence Wolfleg, member of Siksika Nation. Skip Wolfleg (Clarence Jr.) has learned the song and will spend time with us so we can learn and sing it ourselves. All students, staff, leadership, and faculty are invited to hear the teachings, learn the song and drum/rattle in anticipation of the ceremonial transfer. This is a weekly session happening throughout the Month of March. No experience necessary.
  • Special Guests: Clarence “Skip” Wolfleg Jr., traditional drummer/singer and member of the Siksika Nation
  • Protocol: Please do not record the session in respect of the traditional information shared.
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: No experience necessary. Please bring a drum and/or rattle if you have one.

     

    Online Smudge Teachings with Elder Keith ChiefMoon
  • Event: Online Smudge & Prayer with Elder Keith ChiefMoon
  • Date: Every Monday throughout March (March 6, 13, 20) with an in-person Elder March 27
  • Time: 8:15am – 8:30am
  • Access: Online only via MS Teams
  • MS Teams Link: Click HERE for the link to join
  • Description: Join Elder Keith ChiefMoon, a member of the Blood Tribe/Kanai Nation in a guided smudge ceremony and prayer for your week. Hear the Blackfoot language and receive blessings to start your week off in a Good Way. Prayer requests welcome.
  • Special Guests: Elder Keith ChiefMoon, Blackfoot language speaker, ceremonialist, and member of Bow Valley College’s Knowledge Keepers Network.
  • Protocol: Participants may ask questions at the end of the smudge and prayer.
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: Indigenous students are encouraged and welcome to attend in-person at the Iniikokaan Centre.

Iniikokaan Community Update – A Year in Review
  • Date: Wednesday, March 8
  • Time: Light refreshments and giveaway @ 12:30; online presentation at 1-2:30pm
  • Access: Online with a live stream in-person at the Iniikokaan Centre
  • Location: MS Teams & live stream in the Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: The Iniikokaan Centre is a cultural hub for Indigenous-related student supports. Serving over 400 self-identified students of Canadian Indigenous ancestry, and housed within the Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation unit, Iniikokaan is excited to present A Year in Review. For anyone interested in meeting the team, learning what we do and how we work, please join us. We will also have a special gift for those in attendance to celebrate International Women’s Day.
  • Special Guests: Bow Valley College’s Iniikokaan Team, Director of Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation, and Vice President Learner Experience.
  • MS Team Link: Click HERE to access the online presentation
  • Audience: Open to all internal and external online guests
  • Notes: Feel free to submit any questions for the presentation to iniikokaan@bowvalleycollege.ca


Indigenous-Focused Student Club (SABVC): Meet & Greet
  • Date: Thursday, March 9
  • Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Access: In-person only
  • Description: Are you interested in getting involved in an Indigenous-related club on campus? Whether consider yourself an ally of Indigenous peoples, identify as an Indigenous person yourself, or are interested in learning more, this collaborative event is for you! Join the Students Association of Bow Valley College’s Indigenous Student representative to share your ideas, needs and connections.
  • Special Guests: Lou Lou Al Takach - SABVC Indigenous Student Representative
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Students only
  • Notes: Lunch will be provided
Online Smudge Teachings with Elder Keith ChiefMoon
  • Event: Online Smudge & Prayer with Elder Keith ChiefMoon
  • Date: Every Monday throughout March (March 6, 13, 20) with an in-person Elder March 27
  • Time: 8:15am – 8:30am
  • Access: Online only via MS Teams
  • MS Teams Link: Click HERE for the link to join
  • Description: Join Elder Keith ChiefMoon, a member of the Blood Tribe/Kanai Nation in a guided smudge ceremony and prayer for your week. Hear the Blackfoot language and receive blessings to start your week off in a Good Way. Prayer requests welcome.
  • Special Guests: Elder Keith ChiefMoon, Blackfoot language speaker, ceremonialist, and member of Bow Valley College’s Knowledge Keepers Network.
  • Protocol: Participants may ask questions at the end of the smudge and prayer.
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: Indigenous students are encouraged and welcome to attend in-person at the Iniikokaan Centre.

     

    Beading at Iniikokaan (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
  • Date: March 2, 7, 9, 14, 26, 21, 23, 28 & 30
  • Time: Tuesdays (10am - 12pm) * Thursdays (1pm - 4pm)
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Learn from experienced student facilitators how to bead the basics. Create your own project or start a lanyard, brooch, set of earrings, etc. All materials provided. Participants should be prepared to come to multiple sessions to complete a project.
  • Special Guests: Indigenous student facilitators
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Open to all, priority given to students. No experience necessary.
  • Notes: Space is limited to first-come basis. This session will be offered twice weekly throughout the month of March.

     

    Film Screening: Reel Injun
  • Date: Wednesday, March 15
  • Time: 2pm - 4pm (film runs 1 hour 28 mins)
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Featuring hundreds of clips from old classics as well as recent releases, the film traces the evolution of the “Hollywood Indian.” Diamond guides the audience on a journey across America to some of cinema’s most iconic landscapes and conducts candid interviews with celebrities like Clint Eastwood, Robbie Robertson, and Jim Jarmusch. The film is a loving look at cinema through the eyes of the people who appeared in its very first flickering images and have survived to tell their stories in their own way.
  • Special Guests: Featuring Cree filmmaker, Neil Diamond, National Film Board of Canada
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: Popcorn and snacks provided. A discussion circle will follow the film.

     

    Film Screening: Heartbeat of a Nation
  • Date: Friday, March 17
  • Time: 12pm - 1pm (film runs 22 mins)
  • Access: In Person at the Iniikokaan Centre
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Heartbeat of a Nation is a short documentary by Eric Janvier that celebrates Dene cultural reclamation and revitalization, a father passes on traditional knowledge to his child through the teachings of a caribou drum. Popcorn and snacks provided!
  • Special Guests: Featuring Eric Janvier
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: Popcorn and snacks provided. A discussion circle will follow the film.

     

    Learn the Bow Valley College Drum Song
  • Date: Every Friday in March (3, 17, 24, and 31)
  • Time: 2pm - 4pm
  • Access: In Person at the Iniikokaan Centre
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Bow Valley College will be transferred a traditional song by Elder Clarence Wolfleg, member of Siksika Nation. Skip Wolfleg (Clarence Jr.) has learned the song and will spend time with us so we can learn and sing it ourselves. All students, staff, leadership, and faculty are invited to hear the teachings, learn the song and drum/rattle in anticipation of the ceremonial transfer. This is a weekly session happening throughout the Month of March. No experience necessary.
  • Special Guests: Clarence “Skip” Wolfleg Jr., traditional drummer/singer and member of the Siksika Nation
  • Protocol: Please do not record the session in respect of the traditional information shared.
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: No experience necessary. Please bring a drum and/or rattle if you have one.
Online Smudge Teachings with Elder Keith ChiefMoon
  • Event: Online Smudge & Prayer with Elder Keith ChiefMoon
  • Date: Every Monday throughout March (March 6, 13, 20) with an in-person Elder March 27
  • Time: 8:15am – 8:30am
  • Access: Online only via MS Teams
  • MS Teams Link: Click HERE for the link to join
  • Description: Join Elder Keith ChiefMoon, a member of the Blood Tribe/Kanai Nation in a guided smudge ceremony and prayer for your week. Hear the Blackfoot language and receive blessings to start your week off in a Good Way. Prayer requests welcome.
  • Special Guests: Elder Keith ChiefMoon, Blackfoot language speaker, ceremonialist, and member of Bow Valley College’s Knowledge Keepers Network.
  • Protocol: Participants may ask questions at the end of the smudge and prayer.
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: Indigenous students are encouraged and welcome to attend in-person at the Iniikokaan Centre.

     

    Beading at Iniikokaan (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
  • Date: March 2, 7, 9, 14, 26, 21, 23, 28 & 30
  • Time: Tuesdays (10am - 12pm) * Thursdays (1pm - 4pm)
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Learn from experienced student facilitators how to bead the basics. Create your own project or start a lanyard, brooch, set of earrings, etc. All materials provided. Participants should be prepared to come to multiple sessions to complete a project.
  • Special Guests: Indigenous student facilitators
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Open to all, priority given to students. No experience necessary.
  • Notes: Space is limited to first-come basis. This session will be offered twice weekly throughout the month of March.

     

    Staff Workshop: Guide to Gifting – Indigenous Relations
  • Date: Tuesday, March 21
  • Time: 10:00am – 11:00am
  • Access: Online only via MS Teams
  • MS Teams Link: Click HERE to access the meeting
  • Location: Online via MS Teams
  • Description: If you need to know about the College’s approach to monetary gifting (honorarium), Elder engagement, and Indigenous student volunteerism, this session is for you. We’ll cover the executive-approved Guide to Gifting – Indigenous Relations.
  • Special Guests: Michelle Fournie, Manager, Iniikokaan Centre – Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Open to staff only
  • Notes: The act of gifting to show appreciation is a respectful approach to relationship management. Sharing gratitude through gift giving respects trusted community partnerships, respectful employee recruitment and retention efforts, and right relations with Bow Valley College. Join us to learn more.

     

    Indigenous Student Artisan Market
  • Date: Wednesday, March 22
  • Time: 11:00am – 2:00pm
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Main Campus, South, Second Floor Atrium (beside the Market)
  • Description: Come and support the entrepreneurial spirit of talented students in this Indigenous Student Artisan Market.
  • Special Guests: Featuring Indigenous student artisans
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: Please bring cash as there is no ATM located on campus

     

Indigenous Employee Appreciation Event
  • Event: Date: Thursday, March 23
  • Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Are you a College employee who identifies as having Canadian Indigenous Ancestry? If so, we’d love to connect with you and share our appreciation for who you are and all you do! Save the date for an Indigenous employee mixer, meet & greet, and appreciation event hosted by the Dr. Maurice Manyfingers, the College’s first Director of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and as part of March Awareness Month activities. Please join us to enjoy light refreshments and small gift of appreciation.
  • Special Guests: Dr. Maurice Manyfingers, Director Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation, Tahira Ebrahim, Associate Director, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Access
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Any employee (staff, leader, instructor, etc.) who identifies as having Canadian Indigenous Ancestry (e.g. First Nations, Metis, Inuit)
  • Notes: Can’t make it? We’ll hold onto your gift for pickup at the Iniikokaan Centre after the event, so please email your name and role to iniikokaan@bowvalleycollege.ca

     

    Experiential Learning Opportunity: Kairos Blanket Exercise
  • Date: Friday, March 24
  • Time: 10am - 2pm (participants must attend the entire session)
  • Access: In Person at the ATB Hall. Registration required.
  • Registration Link: Click HERE to register
  • Location: S2009, ATB Hall, Downtown campus, south building, 2nd floor (across from the Market)
  • Description: The Kairos Blanket Exercise is an invitation to build understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Everyone is actively involved as they step onto blankets that represent the land, and into the role of First Nations, Inuit, and later Métis peoples. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy.
  • Special Guests: Social worker and Blackfoot Elder Charlotte McLeod, member of the Bow Valley College Knowledge Keeper Network.
  • Protocol: Participants are expected to attend the entire session.
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: Trigger Warning: This workshop discusses and presents themes of colonialism, violence, and other distressing topics. Counselling services are available for students. Registrants are expected to complete the entire workshop (10am – 2pm). Lunch will be provided.

     

    Learn the Bow Valley College Drum Song
  • Date: Every Friday in March (3, 17, 24, and 31)
  • Time: 2pm - 4pm
  • Access: In Person at the Iniikokaan Centre
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Bow Valley College will be transferred a traditional song by Elder Clarence Wolfleg, member of Siksika Nation. Skip Wolfleg (Clarence Jr.) has learned the song and will spend time with us so we can learn and sing it ourselves. All students, staff, leadership, and faculty are invited to hear the teachings, learn the song and drum/rattle in anticipation of the ceremonial transfer. This is a weekly session happening throughout the Month of March. No experience necessary.
  • Special Guests: Clarence “Skip” Wolfleg Jr., traditional drummer/singer and member of the Siksika Nation
  • Protocol: Please do not record the session in respect of the traditional information shared.
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
Notes: No experience necessary. Please bring a drum and/or rattle if you have one.
 
Monday Smudge with Elder Charlotte McLeod
  • Date: Monday, March 27
  • Time: 9:00am – 10:00am
  • Access: In person only
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Join Blackfoot Elder Charlotte McLeod and the Iniikokaan Centre to start off your week in a good way with this guided smudge provided by Elder Charlotte McLeod. This smudge is an in-person connection and teaching with Elder Charlotte McLeod
  • Special Guests: Elder Charlotte McLeod
  • Protocol: Students may ask questions at the end of the smudge and prayer.
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
  • Notes: Please aim to attend the entire teaching.

     

    Aksistoiypaittapiisinni: A Guided Session to Help Move Through Stress, Adversity & Life’s Challenges
  • Date: Monday, March 27
  • Time: 11am - 1pm (1.5 hour duration with lunch provided. Please plan to attend the whole session)
  • Access: In-person only. Registration required. Click HERE to register now.
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Using physical movement, breath, posture, guided meditation and sacred sound current, this 1.5 hour workshop will expose participants to tools and teachings they can use in their daily lives to overcome stress and adversity. Lunch will be provided. Join Poo’miikapii (Blackfoot approaches to Wellness) University of Calgary graduate student and trauma-informed Kundalini yoga practitioner, Maatsowanikapi (Tim Kenny) in collaboration with Skip Wolfleg (Clarence Jr.) for a special offering for our campus community.
  • Special Guests:
    • Traditional drummer, Skip Wolfleg, member of Siksika Nation.
    • Tim Kenny (he/him), John Baptiste Gambler #183 First Nation in Calling Lake is a seasoned Kundalini yoga practitioner and heart-based Indigenous wellness facilitator with lived experience in using sacred tools to move through tough times.
  • Protocol: Sacred medicines will be burned during the class.
  • Audience: Participants of any age, size, and physical ability can participate.
  • Notes: Lunch is provided. Please wear any comfortable clothes you can move freely in and bring an open mind (and a water bottle in case you get thirsty).


Indigenous Student Documentation Support
  • Event: Indian Registration Service: First Nations Health Consortium Presentation
  • Date: March 29, 2023
  • Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm
  • Access: Hybrid event: online via MS Teams or attend in-person at Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Space
  • MS Teams Link: Click HERE to access the meeting
  • Location: Online via MS Teams or Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Are you a First Nations Indigenous student who needs to access to official government documentation such as status cards, band registration, or have questions about Jordans principle? Join this presentation provided by the First Nations Health Consortium.
  • Special Guests: Kathleen Davis, First Nations Health Consortium
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Indigenous Students of Bow Valley College

Beading at Iniikokaan (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
  • Date: March 2, 7, 9, 14, 26, 21, 23, 28 & 30
  • Time: Tuesdays (10am - 12pm) * Thursdays (1pm - 4pm)
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Learn from experienced student facilitators how to bead the basics. Create your own project or start a lanyard, brooch, set of earrings, etc. All materials provided. Participants should be prepared to come to multiple sessions to complete a project.
  • Special Guests: Indigenous student facilitators
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Open to all, priority given to students. No experience necessary.
  • Notes: Space is limited to first-come basis. This session will be offered twice weekly throughout the month of March.

     

    Land Acknowledgment Workshop
  • Date: Thursday, March 30
  • Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: During the first part of this session we will explore the significance of Land Acknowledgements, and ways to offer a Land Acknowledgment with confidence and authenticity. During the second part of this session, you will be invited to create a personalized acknowledgment.
  • Special Guests: Dr. Jaime Fiddler, Learning Design Consultant: Curriculum Indigenization and Decolonization
  • Protocol: N/A
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community

     

    Learn the Bow Valley College Drum Song
    • Date: Every Friday in March (3, 17, 24, and 31)
    • Time: 2pm - 4pm
    • Access: In Person at the Iniikokaan Centre
    • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
    • Description: Bow Valley College will be transferred a traditional song by Elder Clarence Wolfleg, member of Siksika Nation. Skip Wolfleg (Clarence Jr.) has learned the song and will spend time with us so we can learn and sing it ourselves. All students, staff, leadership, and faculty are invited to hear the teachings, learn the song and drum/rattle in anticipation of the ceremonial transfer. This is a weekly session happening throughout the Month of March. No experience necessary.
    • Special Guests: Clarence “Skip” Wolfleg Jr., traditional drummer/singer and member of the Siksika Nation
    • Protocol: Please do not record the session in respect of the traditional information shared.
    • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
    • Notes: No experience necessary. Please bring a drum and/or rattle if you have one.



    March Awareness Closing Circle
  • Date: Friday, March 31
  • Time: 12pm - 1pm
  • Access: In-person only
  • Location: Iniikokaan Centre, Gathering Room (2nd floor main campus, South)
  • Description: Join us for a closing circle, luncheon, and a review of Indigenous Awareness Month at Bow Valley College. Participants are encouraged to share their reflections, learnings, and sentiments after participating in the month-long celebrations.
  • Audience: Open to all BVC Community
 
Bow Valley College Library: Indigenous Books Display and Indigenous Literature Guide
  • Date: All Month Long
  • Access: Hybrid: In-person and online access
  • Location: Bow Valley College Library
  • Description: View the Bow Valley College Indigenous Books Display at the Library all month long. Interested in learning more about Indigenous history, community, and teachings. Check out the Indigenous Literature guide created by the Bow Valley College Library. This guide contains links to physical and digital books that collect examples of Indigenous short stories, poetry, articles, and art from across North America.
  • Link: Click HERE to access the online collection

 

Iniikokaan Centre Community Update - A Year in Review

The Iniikokaan Centre is a cultural hub for Indigenous-related student supports. Serving over 400 self-identified students of Canadian Indigenous ancestry, and housed within the Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation unit, Iniikokaan presented “A Year in Review” for our community both internally and externally. This presentation included our past and current projects, an introduction to the Iniikokaan Team, student stories, and more. Thank you to everyone who has joined us, celebrated, and elevated our community here at the Iniikokaan Centre.

Watch the recorded meeting here: Iniikokaan Centre Community Update – A Year in Review 

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