Indigenous Awareness Month March 2022: Exploring Identities

March 2022 is dedicated to “Exploring Identities” in respect of the diversity of Nations within Treaty 7 and Metis Nation Region 3. Students have shared their desire to learn more about themselves, each other and the world through the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples. These student-focussed events are an opportunity to create relationships of reciprocity and friendship while learning from and with Indigenous peoples. This month’s events highlight language components in relation to culture, connection to land and identities. 2022 Marks the start of UNESCO’s Decade of Indigenous Languages and human rights.

There are also some fun activities planned—virtual reality experiences, Indigenous style cooking class, drop-in beading hangouts, and intro to language workshops!


While we celebrate the unique traditions, cultures, and ways of life of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples, we acknowledge it can be with heavy hearts during difficult times. There is much work to be done. We are still literally unearthing the Truth and mourning losses from the legacy of the Indian Residential School system, colonization, cultural genocide and these intergeneration impacts. This is in addition to investing the worthwhile time and support to address systemic barriers for students in their journeys toward success, as they define it. We lean on the direction from the Knowledge Keepers’ Network, comprised of committed Elders who support our students and guide the path forward.

Every day at Iniikokaan, we work toward creating safe and respectful spaces for Indigenous students to access, learn, celebrate and connect/re-connect to land, peoples, and communities.

As Indigenous Peoples, we are reconnecting with ourselves, traditions, each other and our own stories. We face many barriers in our pursuit of western education and are grateful to those who have gone before us sharing the value and importance of education as “the new buffalo.” Trusted relationships and strong networks of support start with listening and learning, and sometimes, that means un-learning what we think we know. We have hope for the future and invite the campus community to participate with an open heart and take the opportunities to reflect on your individual role in reconciliation.

Upcoming events

Event: Ceremony & pizza party

Description: Join Elder Casey Eagle Speaker in a teaching about identity. Pizza party to follow in the Iniikokaan Centre while supplies last. 

Special Guests: Sorrel Horse, Elder Casey Eagle Speaker: Casey Eagle Speaker is also known by his traditional name “Sorrel Horse” within the Blackfoot Confederation. He is a member of the Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta.

Access: In-person Iniikokaan Gathering Space (2nd floor, BVC South Building)

Protocol: Please do not interrupt the teaching. Question and answers period will begin toward the close of the teaching. Please do not cross in front of the Elder.

Audience: Students

Event: Indigenous Awareness Month Opening Ceremony (in person)

Description: Join us in the Iniikokaan Gathering Space for a special in-person ceremony and prayer for the Month ahead.

Special Guests: Fry bread, tea & coffee available for students at the Iniikokaan Centre following the ceremony. Elder Hazel Derange, Piikani will lead students in a prayer and ceremonial opening. Akainihkasimi/Many Names, Clarence ("Skip") Wolfleg Jr., Siksika will share the drum songs with students. Elder Hazel Derange, Piikani
Akainihkasimi /Many Names, Clarence ("Skip") Wolfleg Jr., Siksika 

Access: In-person Iniikokaan Gathering Space (2nd floor, BVC South Building)

Protocol: Participants who identify as women are encouraged to wear long skirts. Skirts will be available for use in the Centre. Please stay for the duration of the prayer and teaching out of respect. Due to the ceremonial nature of this event, no recordings are permitted.

Audience: All

Event: Indigenous Awareness Month Kick-Off Event (virtual)

Description: Join us as we virtually kick off our Month-long celebrations with prayer, drum song and keynote speaker for an inspirational message on advocacy, leadership and the way forward. Keynote speech will be about the Legal Order of Inherent and Treaty Rights Live broadcast in the Iniikokaan Centre gathering space
Miiksika'am/Red Crane, Elder Clarence Wolfleg, Siksika will lead the prayer in the kick-off event. Akainihkasimi/Many Names, Clarence ("Skip") Wolfleg Jr., Siksika will share the drum songs with students. Bow Valley College Welcome remarks: Catherine Koch, Vice President Learner Success Services & CFO. Lynn Connell, Director Learner Success Services.

Special Guests: Miiksika'am/Red Crane, Elder Clarence Wolfleg, Siksika Akainihkasimi/Many Names, Clarence ("Skip") Wolfleg Jr., Siksika André Bear is Nêhîyaw from Little Pine & Canoe Lake First Nation from Treaty No. 6.

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to join

Protocol: Fry Bread will be offered for participants to share prior to the next online event. Feasting is an important part of community and gathering.

Audience: All

Event: Elder Teaching: Introduction to Stoney Nakoda history and language

Description: Learn about the Stoney-Nakoda or îyârhe Nakodabi, "Rocky Mountain Sioux" from Elder Alice and Thomas Snow in an introduction to history and language in this exciting overview from language speakers mother and son cultural teaching.

Special Guests: Yumotata Mani (Grizzly Walker) Alice Kaquitts Elder Alice resides on the Stoney Indian Reserve in Morley and is a member of the Wesley First Nation. She is a mother, grandmother, knowledge keeper, and interpreter/translator of the Iethka Nakoda language.
Thomas Snow of Wesley First Nation specializes working as a facilitator between Elders and the non-Indigenous to bridge cross-cultural understandings of the Stoney Nakoda and First Nations.

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to join

Protocol: Please do not interrupt the teaching. Question and answers period will begin toward the close of the teaching.

Audience: All

Event: Drop-in beading in Iniikokaan

Description: Bring a project you're working on or learn how to bead with student volunteer facilitators. Drop-in, no registration required. Materials provided.

Special Guests: Student volunteer facilitators

Access: In-person Iniikokaan Gathering Space (2nd floor, BVC South Building) 

Protocol: Supplies will be provided by the Centre. Please feel free to bring your own project you are working on as well.

Audience: Students

Event: Virtual Smudge Ceremony

Description: Join Elder Keith Chief Moon for an online smudge and hear how Elder Keith used the smudge ceremony to support his educational journey. Practice and learn about his "why" and "how" behind the smudge.

Special Guests: Onistaya Kopi, Elder Keith Chief Moon is a ceremonialist and educator from Kainai. A residential school survivor, he shares his wisdom and strength using the smudge ceremony. He holds a B.A. and B.Ed and a Master’s in Education degree. Students are encouraged to join in the teachings “that all human beings have a responsibility to live a good life, to prosper, to share, to respect and take each day as a new day.”

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to join

Protocol: No recording of this event is permitted. Please do not interrupt the Elder. Questions and comments can be reserved at the end or when prompted.

Audience: BVC Students and Staff

Event: “Beyond the Sash,” a presentation of Métis history and resources 

Description: To learn more join in a virtual presentation and introduction to Metis history with a complete resource overview from Rupertsland Institute, Centre for Excellence.

Special Guests: Kimberley Fraser-Airhart

Access: Register Here

Protocol: This session is not recorded. Register for link

Audience: BVC Students and Staff

Event: International Womens’ Day Speaker: Mrs. Globe Canada and Human Rights Advocate, Lorelei Higgins, Métis

Description: Join Bow Valley College’s Diversity and Equity Inclusion Strategist, Annie Sarwar as she meets with Lorelei Higgins, Mrs. Globe Canada and Rotary Peace Fellow, member of the Metis Nation about the importance of education in her work around the globe.

Special Guests: Lorelei Higgins is a Métis Canadian Cultural Mediator, Rotary Peace Fellow, Rotary Positive Peace Activator and an Indigenous Relations Strategist. She is also Mrs. Canada Globe 2021! Lorelei leads conflict transformation projects globally, with a focus on Indigenous human rights.

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to join

 

Audience: All

Event: Elder Teaching: Leading from the Heart

Description: Listen to Elder Christina Fox as she guides students through a practice and teaching to tap into the inner wisdom of the heart.

Special Guests: Elder Christina Fox is grounded in her Blackfoot culture, language, and faith, Christina inspires her students to live by the traditional values: Respect, Kindness, Wisdom, Love, Courage, Humility, Harmony, Faith and Truth.

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to join

Protocol: This session is not recorded.

Audience: All

Event: 17 Roadblocks to Self-Determination and One Chief’s Thoughts on Solutions with Author Leroy Wolf Collar, Siksika

Description: Presenting on his book, Leroy presents innovative ideas and gives an overview of the complexities of representation and the ways forward.

Special Guests: Sako Opakiiyi (Last to Break Camp), Siksika Leroy Paul Wolf Collar is a member of Siksika Nation. He speaks fluent Blackfoot and is familiar with the Blackfoot culture. Leroy has 30 plus years of Leadership, Management and Governance experience and expertise which he gained as a former Chief, Councillor, Manager and a Consultant.

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to join

Protocol: This session is not recorded.

Audience: All

Event: Drop-in beading in Iniikokaan

Description: Bring a project you're working on or learn how to bead with student volunteer facilitators.Drop-in, no registration required. Materials provided.

Special Guests: Student volunteer facilitators.

Access: In-person Iniikokaan Gathering Space (2nd floor, BVC South Building)

Protocol: Supplies will be provided by the Centre. Please feel free to bring your own project you are working on as well.

Audience: Students

Event: Virtual Film Screening: I Am Indian Again Film Screening (34 mins.)

Description: I Am Indian Again shares the powerful story of Mary Two-Axe Earley, who fought for more than two decades to challenge sex discrimination against First Nations women embedded in Canada’s Indian Act and became a key figure in Canada’s women’s rights movement.

Special Guests: Read more about the Nation Film Board’s screening HERE.

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to join

Audience: All

Event: Métis History and Michif Language Session with Métis Knowledge Keeper and language speaker Marie Schoenthal & Rupertsland Institute Kimberly Fraser-Airhart

Note: In very rare cases and only upon Elder request, we use the platform of the external party we are working with. As this is a Rupertsland session that we are providing access to (and not a Bow Valley event) this is the reason for the Zoom link and not MS Teams. They will manage access. 

Access: Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83163979381

Event: Virtual Reality Experience: Thunder, a Blackfoot Language Learning Tool

Description: Based on a traditional Blackfoot origin story as told by Elder Saakokoto, this VR experience will immerse you in the middle of an epic journey of a man who must challenge the powerful spirit, Thunder (Ksiistsikom), to find his wife and bring her back to him.

Student volunteers available for sanitization stations.

Access: In Person in ATB hall, South Campus Bow Valley College (beside Iniikokaan)

Register Here: VR Registration Form

Limited space available. Bookings range from 10:30 am – 2:30pm

Audience: Students

Event: Virtual Reality Experience: Áísínai'pi, or Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park – An Elder Guided Journey

Description: Take a visit to a sacred place on Niitsítapi (Blackfoot) traditional territory! The UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for having one of the largest collections of biographic and ceremonial rock art on the Great Plains. You will have the unique opportunity to take a guided tour with Blackfoot Elder Saakokoto Randy Bottle and Blackfoot actor Eugene Brave Rock

Experience: approximately 11 minutes.

Student volunteers available for sanitization stations.

Access: In Person in ATB hall, South Campus Bow Valley College (beside Iniikokaan)

Register Here: VR Registration Form

Limited space available. Bookings range from 10:30 am – 2:30pm

Event: Engaging Indigenous Communities – best practices

Description: Learn how to support others and self who have lived through trauma with Lacy Runner, Tsuut’ina

Special Guests: Lacy Runner, Tsuu T’ina Nation

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to join

This session is not recorded.

Event: Let’s Talk About Microaggressions

Description: What happens when we leave our biases unaddressed? Microaggressions may appear to be harmless or even intended as a compliment. However, they contain demeaning hidden messages that often stem from our stereotypic and unconscious biases.

Special Guests: Annie Sarwar is Bow Valley College’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist.

Access: Registration Link

Audience: BVC Students

Event: Drop-in beading in Iniikokaan

Description: Bring a project you're working on or learn how to bead with student volunteer facilitators. Drop-in, no registration required. Materials provided.

Special Guests: Student volunteer facilitators

Access: In-person Iniikokaan Gathering Space (2nd floor, BVC South Building)

Protocol: Supplies will be provided by the Centre. Please feel free to bring your own project you are working on as well.

Audience: Students

Event: Student Workshop: Decolonizing Self

Description: Join Shalome Hope in exploring heritage, connecting and reconnecting with self and finding a sense of identity. What does it mean to decolonize? Find out Shalome’s journey as a First Nations and Metis mother carrying her traditional ways for her children.

Special Guests: Shalome Hope is Cree from Thunderbird First Nations and Metis. She is a mentor, mother, educator and graduate student living with her family in Cochrane.

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to access

Audience: All

Event: Indigenous Professionals Panel Discussion

Description: Join Indigenous professionals in this interactive session as they discuss their career journey and share their advice on education, career, and personal commitments.

Access: MS Teams link will be provided to registrants

Protocol: Registration required, deadline is March 29 Register on MyCareer Hub (login with your MyBVC email and password)

Audience: Students

Event: Virtual Cooking Class: Fry Bread

Description: Join MamaCita in this sacred recipe of Fry Bread. Fun and informative, get ready to cook!

Ingredient list: Flour, water, hot oil (vegetable or canola for high heat), instant yeast packages, & sugar *Students who need support with groceries for this teaching can email their name, and student ID at Iniikokaan@bowvalleycollege.ca

Access: MS Teams Click HERE to access

Audience: All

Special Guests: Michif Lessons with Sky Blue Morin (Metis)n Knowledge Holder Sky Blue Morin walks through the basics of learning our Michif Language! Follow along, take notes, pause and play as you need!

Access: Click above to access the video resource

Audience: All

Your cart is currently empty.

Browse Available Courses

Close

  • If you are currently studying in a post-secondary program at BVC, please register for your courses via mybvc to ensure your enrolments and fees are processed appropriately.
  • Cart total based on domestic tuition rates. For information about International Tuition rates please see Additional Fees Apply
  • If you anticipate applying for a student loan, your payment will be refunded to you based on your loan award once your funding has been received by BVC.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Learn more in our privacy policy