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April 2017

Published by Blood Tribe Administration COMMUNICATIONS Department The Blood Tribe Administration Review entitled ‘TSINIKSSINI’ is dedicated to the sharing of information for the people of the Blood Tribe. The magazine format features news, stories, articles and an array of items as our way of sharing what is occurring on the Blood reserve and beyond. We hope you enjoy your magazine and invite any suggestions you may have in improving our coverage on any number of events and activities. The magazine will be printed on a monthly basis and will be distributed to various locations on-and-off the reserve. The magazine is free of charge. The magazine is published by the Blood Tribe Communications department and is printed by Graphcom Printers (2011) of Lethbridge. The collection of information, photographs and layout of the magazine is from the Blood Tribe Communications department. Reproduction of any story or use of photographs must be requested in writing and addressed to the Blood Tribe Communications department. Any unauthorized use of stories and photos of TSINIKSSINI or from the Blood Tribe Communications department may infringe on tribal copyright laws. We would like to acknowledge the Blood Tribe Chief & Council and the people of the Blood Tribe for your support. Rick Tailfeathers: Communications Director Tom Russell: Communications Writer Myron Fox: Layout Graphic Design Tracy Weasel Fat Photos/Stories Brent Scout Photos/Stories Mason Wolf Child Photos


In this issue, we highlight the work performed by health care specialists who are attempting to improve upon the delivery of services to First Nations people through a framework designed to provide meaningful collaboration between the levels of government and our people. A new Indigenous Mental Health Framework being developed in Alberta is the direction health care specialists are taking in a concerted effort to improving on the quality of life for First Nations people who are affected by a huge number of issues on a daily basis. Brent Scout, contributing writer, Tsinikssini, shares with you his research as to what concerns need to be addressed in providing healthy communities for our people to grow and thrive in contemporary and cultural environments. With the hockey season over for most players, it is a time to reflect on the past year as each team can assess their efforts and contributions and to slowly begin preparations for friendly competition in their various divisions and leagues. A number of local teams brought home gold, silver and bronze medals after competing with teams from across Alberta during the provincials and Treaty games. We wanted to include everyone in the magazine, but, unfortunately, space is limited. On behalf of our leadership and our people, we want to acknowledge all the players, coaches, officials, referees, parents, guardians and everyone involved in this hockey journey for your dedication and commitment. Each year, everyone is a winner as we play a sport that has a rich history with deep roots filled with talent and accomplishments. Our newly elected leaders in their various committees are busy in developing ways to reach out to the people in hearing issues and seeking alternatives in meeting these areas of concern. The Lands Management department hosted an Information Session in which the department and committee can listen to the people and to gather information useful in dealing with matters in the future. These one-on-one meetings gave the people opportunities to share their concerns on short- or long-standing issues and to try to deal with these issues as fast as possible. The Lands Committee and department personnel will be meeting with our people who reside in Calgary and Lethbridge to meet with them and to hear their opinions. Tsinikssini will keep you up-dated and informed on these meetings. We hope you enjoy the information shared on our social media sites and your magazine. Again, we ask you to keep us informed on any up-coming events or functions and we will do our best to provide coverage. If we cannot attend any of the events, we kindly ask if you can share your photos with us. These photographs also contribute to the history of our people. You can pickup a copy of the magazine Tsnikssini, or visit us at bloodtribe.org. cover photo

Published by the authority of Blood Tribe Chief & Council Box 60 Standoff, AB T0L 1Y0 ph: (403) 737-3753 FAX: (403) 737-2785 visit our website for more... www.bloodtribe.org

Front page photo: Myron Fox Contributing photographers: Mason Wolf Child, Don Cotton, Joe Healy, Caroline Russell, Teresa Beebe, Kyla Crow, Scott Many Fingers.




Part Of The Healing Process

disproportionately over-represented in the child welfare system. The facts are not new and many factors like colonization have contributed to unhealthy communities: loss of control, broken treaties and policies of displacement and assimilation, separating children from their parents and community, forbidding the use of their language, the banning of social, political, economic and spiritual practices.

Patty Shade is part of a Working Group in reviewing mental health issues on First Nations.

The issues of First Nations mental health and addictions continue to be left out of the national conversation. That’s not to say dialogue is not happening. Much lip service is given to addressing the problems, but discrimination and the underfunding of First Nations mental health continues. Those are issues being raised in a new Indigenous Mental Health Framework being developed in Alberta. Alberta Health Services (AHS) established the Mental Health Review Committee in 2015 to review Alberta’s Addictions and Mental Health system and part of that work included “Aboriginal Mental Health – A Framework for Alberta.” AHS is now redrafting that Framework with First Nations consultation on indicators after they demanded AHS engage them to ensure that the framework is reflective of their worldviews. Patti Shade, Manager of the Blood Tribe’s Mental Wellness and Addictions Department, says much work is needed to break the stigma and to openly communicate on addictions and mental health. Problems due to lack of funding and culturally appropriate assessment tools, continuity of

service and aftercare, the need to address jurisdictional struggles, systemic racism, and the many socio-economic issues facing Indigenous communities. “We did a lot of work on developing that Framework back in 2006 that included identifying those gaps. First Nations (stakeholders) and elders from each of the treaty areas here in Alberta identified the many gaps and barriers such as funding and discrimination when Aboriginal people access any kind of health care service. You can’t even get a proper assessment on our people because of culturally inappropriate tools and there’s this preconceived idea that we are sub-standard citizens. These are just some of the problems that we need to address in a Framework,” says Shade. First Nations youth are five to seven times more likely to die by suicide than non-Indigenous children. Many living on reserves face poverty, poor nutrition, lack of funding for basic infrastructure such as sustainable funding and clean drinking water, the lasting effects of colonialism, Indian residential schools, drug and alcohol addictions and systemic racism. First Nations children are also 3

“It’s important to have a First Nations voice and not have non-natives tell us what is best for us. Meanwhile, Mental Health issues and addictions are growing. We are overwhelmed and underfunded. It’s getting so dangerous at home. More and more young people are exposed to trauma, violence and addictions that lead to mental health problems,” says Ms. Shade. “We made several recommendations in the first Framework, such as proper assessments, more funding, cultural safety training, more native psychologists and Elders especially what they said about healing through ceremony, identity, culture and language.” In February 2017, the Working Group initiated a new phase of work, including First Nations, to gather indicators and develop a second version of the Alberta Mental Health Performance Framework. The Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre was directed to support First Nations in gathering mental health and addiction indicators for community use and the Working Group is committed to upholding the First Nations Principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP®); the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “We are fortunate to have elders at our subtables and we are slowly moving back to our teachings: to heal our spirit, our bodies and minds. That is the key, to have that experience, the essence of where we come from. It’s never too late to go back to those teachings. That’s where we are going to heal.” Story by Brent Scout


Lands Management Hosts Information Session

To Meet The Community and to HEAR CONCERNS The Blood Tribe’s Lands Management department and its committee members hosted an Information Session on April 19, 2017, whereby community members had the opportunity to meet with the Lands committee and staff to share their concerns on all matters related to tribal land. Emcee Travis Plaited Hair, Executive Director, Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society, kept the people informed on the activities and requested the people to complete a survey related to where the people suggest the 19 per cent fee from farmed tribal lands should go. The survey also included a comments section that will be utilized as a guide and as a source to determine how the Lands committee and staff can better serve the people and tribal interests. CloAnn Wells, Director, Lands Management, said the gathering of information is vital in maintaining open lines of communication.

“We’re taking on interviews to hear out individuals, those are on-going,” he said of meetings with the people. “When we have these meetings, interviews, we will do proper follow-ups through our minutes to understand where these discussions will go next. Our council really wants to go back to the community to hear from our members.” Hank Shade, Lands committee member, mentioned the council’s move toward dealing with long-standing issues related to tribal lands through proper communications.

Lands Committee Chair, Lance Tailfeathers

“What we want is more communication between the committee and membership,” he said. “And we’re already doing that. We’ve done public interviews, members have come to the committee and we’ve met with them. We’re getting good feedback and the people appreciate that. Also, this committee is committed to customer service as part of our operating philosophy.” Wells invited all community members to the Lands Information Sessions with the next meetings on May 16, 2017, in Lethbridge and May 17, 2017, in Calgary. She also acknowledged the public who attended the session and thanked the organizations and businesses that set up their booths during the day’s activity.

The Lands staff met with many community members to share information.

“This is one of three community engagement sessions we will be hosting. The Blood Tribe Lands Management information session is to provide information from our service delivery areas, to introduce our employees of the current department operation.,” said Wells. “All our employees are members of the Blood Tribe. The current department is the result of restructuring initiative that began in 2000 and implemented in 2003. We are proposing a new structure and

these information sessions will help us gauge how much more information we can provide.” The Lands Management committee members each had a designated table were they met one-on-one with community members. Lance Tailfeathers, Chair, Lands Committee, welcomed the people in attendance and shared his thoughts on the direction of the Lands department. 4

Lands Committee member, Hank Shade

Story by Tom Russell


The community members had an opportunity to visit the many booths during the Information Session.



The Blackfoot Confederacy Revival of an Old Alliance

the alliance began gathering annually at Blackfoot Confederacy conferences hosted in various locations throughout southern Alberta and northern Montana by member tribes. As the momentum gained movement, the Blackfoot Chiefs proposed a corporate structure that could give them more visibility and perhaps more decisionmaking authority. After nearly 17 years, it is coming about in the most recent discussions among Blackfoot Chiefs and the Provincial Government of Alberta. In March 2017 a protocol agreement was entered into and supported by the NDP government. On April 18, leaders of the Blackfoot Confederacy gathered in Calgary to begin the arduous task of developing the mandate of the organization and the services it will be providing to its members.

Kainai Chief Roy Fox, Piikani Chief Stan Grier and Siksika Chief Joe Weasel Child proudly represent Blackfoot Confederacy.

Much has been said and written about the Blackfoot Confederacy by historians, academics and mostly by Blackfoot elders and members themselves. For centuries, the western Plains in Canada and northern Montana were controlled by the Blackfoot, which saw little resistance from neighboring tribes who feared the Blackfoot. This alliance consisting of the Siksika, southern and northern Piikani and Kainai has existed since time immemorial. The Blackfoot share a common language, culture, history and shared political power. This governance structure fostered strength and power for the Blackfoot who protected their lands and resources from invasion by other people. It was necessary for the

survival of the nation and to exercise sovereignty over their territory. Siksika Chief Joe Weasel Child stated, “The Blackfoot controlled vast areas of land in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and northern Montana, undisputed for centuries,” and added: “The Blackfoot have never lost a war with anyone or a major conflict with anyone.” Through the process of colonization and the implementation of treaties, the Blackfoot Confederacy became inactive and existed only in principle. In 2000, the chiefs of the Blackfoot began dialogue on the revival of the Confederacy, which was received very favorably by elders and members of the tribes. The dialogue continued and 6

Chief Stanley Grier commented, “The Blackfoot Confederacy Tribal Council is in transition and we will consult the communities in the coming months as we develop the structure of the organization.” Essentially it is laying down the foundations by which the Confederacy will operate as a corporate entity. Kainai Chief Roy Fox also commented: “I’m glad to see the movement of the Blackfoot Confederacy toward a corporate structure. This will help to retain our language, our culture and our history and allow us more control over our lands and resources.” Presently the Blackfoot Confederacy has the greatest population of First Nations in the Treaty 7 territory at approximately 25,000, which is approximately 77%, and occupies the largest land base of roughly 1/3 of all First Nations in Alberta. The Blackfoot Confederacy can now begin to re-establish old alliances that have been dormant for at least a century or longer; a success achieved through years of negotiations and dialogue.

Story by Rick Tailfeathers


Blood Elder GOODSTRIKER Honored at Annual

American Indian Council’s Pow Wow in MONTANA

Blood elder Wilton Goodstriker, with Jay Dusty Bull, pictured with champion chicken dancers in Bozeman, Mont.

Blood Tribe elder Wilton Goodstriker was honored at the 42th annual American Indian Council powwow in Bozeman, Montana, on April 15, 2017, in recognition for his lifelong commitment and dedication in keeping strong the culture and respect of all First Nation peoples. Goodstriker, surrounded by family and friends, acknowledged those who organized the function and especially Jay Dusty Bull and his family who took the opportunity to show their respect in sharing Goodstriker’s lifelong achievements. He also thanked all the drum groups, dancers and announcers for sharing the day with him and his family.

At last year’s powwow in Bozeman, Dusty Bull was given a gift he proudly uses during appropriate celebrations.

Dusty Bull, Unit Manager, Blackfeet Municipality of Solid Waste and Chairman, Montana Indian Gaming, said the time was right to share the Blackfoot elder’s history and legacy with the people.

During the powwow celebrations in Bozeman, the Dusty Bull families and relatives called upon Goodstriker and his family where they were brought to the dance floor and an honor song was performed. Dusty Bull shared his thoughts on the celebration.

“The reason we had the chicken dance special in honoring Wilton Goodstriker is we are losing a custom of our people when we honor those who have done good things,” he said. “My grandfather’s teachings (Anthony Dusty Bull) was always to honor those who have done great things for their people.”

“Last year, Wilton transferred to me a straight up war bonnet, a headdress, and in return we, as a family, put up $5,000 chicken dance special in his honor,” he said. “These are things we do, our family being a part of the Blackfoot Confederacy, our relatives we honor. My grandfather used to say to us ‘I don’t like it when people honor others when they’re dead. I like it when they honor them when they’re alive so that they can feel that pride, that honor.”

“Wilton accomplished a lot of great things in his life such as rodeo, racing horses, announcing, being an active member of our holy society and as a speaker of our people,” he said. “In Blackfoot, there’s a saying that we wish you a hundred winters; we wish Wilton all the best in the future. It 7

was truly a great day.” Dusty Bull acknowledged all his family, relatives and friends who helped make the celebration in honor of Wilton Goodstriker memorable and filled with pride.

Wilton and Evelyn Goodstriker.

Story by Tom Russell


AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde New Bank Note Honors Senator James Gladstone

Highlights First Nations Contributions as

Nation Builders

OTTAWA, April 7, 2017 /CNW/ Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today attended the unveiling of a new Bank of Canada $10 commemorative note that recognizes Senator James Gladstone, the first status Indian to be appointed to the Senate of Canada in January 1958.

The commemorative bank note unveiled today also includes portraits of Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier and Agnes Macphail. This polymer $10 note will be in circulation by June 1, 2017.

AFN National Chief Bellegarde stated: “I lift up the Bank of Canada for honoring Senator Gladstone and highlighting the contributions of First Nations people as nation builders. Efforts like this help to educate all Canadians about our shared history, and education is important to achieving our goal of reconciliation. This is a year to dedicate ourselves to understanding our history and our original relationship of partnership and sharing,” and continued. “We must all commit ourselves to restoring it, so we can move forward together. Today, we remember Senator Gladstone’s accomplishments and his commitment to our people, and we join in celebration with his family and his nation.” Senator James Gladstone, a member of the Blood reserve in Alberta, was appointed to the Senate of Canada in January 1958.

(l. to r) Senator’s daughters at unveiling Pauline Dempsey, Doreen Garvey.


Story by Rick Tailfeathers


Three Southern Alberta Schools Collaborate On Drama Production of HORSE AND ACCEPTANCE A collaboration from three schools in southern Alberta created a drama production entitled iisohtsik – Moving Forward, with the horse used as the central motif and the topic of acceptance included in the play. The production on April 13, 2017 at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod, gave the audience the students’ aspect and their interpretations of the topics during the three presentations and of how the drama students of the three schools joined together to create a final and closing performance. Ramona Big Head, principal, Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School, worked with Kainai High School students on this production. The approach Big Head chose was to learn from Blackfoot elders on the historical and cultural significance of the horse among the Blackfoot. Pat Provost, Piikani elder and rancher, sat with the cast and crew from Kainai High School and shared his experiences and teachings about the horse. Pat and his son, Ty Provost, also hosted an afternoon session in equine therapy with the cast and crew from Kainai High School. Then, the students and Ramona took it from there to create their scene. “The starting point for this production was a group of Drama educators, working on Curriculum Development in Edmonton,

began talking about the possibility of collaborating on a drama production. Everyone immediately lit up and got excited. In all my 20 plus years of creating and directing plays, I have never worked with off-reserve high schools. This is unprecedented. Iisohtsiik - Moving Forward is a play created by three Southern Alberta High Schools: LCI, FP Walshe and Kainai High School,” she said. “Each high school drama club work-shopped a scene and then all three high schools collaborated on the fourth and final scene. This play explores the horse as the focal point within Blackfoot and newcomer relations. This production is also created in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.” The production from the F.P Walshe drama club focused on the horse theme and the facilitator Duane Petluck was pleased at the performances of their students and those of the three schools. “I am immensely proud of the work that they have done. From the first meeting to performance day, this has been driven by students and their ideas. Even at Walshe we have such a diversity of perspectives, it was fascinating to see everyone come together to create theatre,” he said. “Urban and rural, indigenous and non-indigenous youth, everyone came together to create the

piece you are about to see.” The drama production from LCI featured an angle difficult to present, but focused on how one culture perceives another. Dr. John Poulson, the facilitator of the performance, said the students chose a topic that needed to be shared. “This play has offensive content. It depicts cultural ignorance and it deals with racist comments. It will be difficult for some people to hear. It has been a difficult piece for the actors to explore. This is a scary topic to come face to face with, but we believe we must because we are exposed to this behaviour and these comments on a regular basis,” he said. “That is the purpose of our show. It demonstrates the impotence and fear the students feel as they are exposed to these unacceptable behaviours. They want things to change, but don’t know how to fix it. As a class, we discussed the importance of, and desire to work towards reconciliation. This play depicts the starting point we as an Albertan community are faced with.” The drama production was well-received and the accomplishments of all involved from each of the three schools was acknowledged graciously by the audience.

Ramona Big Head and drama teachers share their interpretations with the audience.


Submitted by Joe L. Healy


LEJAN HIRED AS NEW KAINAI MARKET PLACE MANAGER -- Brings with him ideas to improve customer services --

Clayton LeJan, standing by the meat produce section, enjoys working for his customers and hopes to attract more business.

The Kainai Marketplace has a new manager. Clayton LeJan, who has been in the food market business for the past sixteen years brings with him the knowledge and experience required to manage a growing industry on the Blood reserve. “I’m excited to be here,” he says. “I’d like to say that the sky is the limit. We make the store everything it can be, we grow the business with the support of the Blood Tribe, the outside community. Let’s make the store what it can be.” LeJan has plans to expand sales on food items, but is also looking at other items community members might need such as hardware supplies. He also wants to look at items that have a traditional aspect, such as moccasins for sale, however, his main focus is offering items healthy for the people who do business at the Marketplace. “We have hot food in the deli, breakfast, fried chicken, cold meals as well,” he says.

“ We have pizzas people can cook at home, lasagna, our meat department sells a ton of flank, our produce is doing quite well as well as many other food items.”

by possibly establishing a place in the dry goods section with food items that are considered safe to consume without having to search each isle for these products.

The location of the Marketplace is an advantage for community members and for those from the nearby local communities and the prices remain competitive for those looking to stretch their budgets. LeJan says buying groceries local will help the economy, but also saves on the cost of fuel and vehicle wear-and-tear for the customers.

“With the diabetic community out there, we should be looking at strictly diabetic menu offerings in our dry grocery section,” he says. “I have to some research to make sure we buy the items we need to buy and by all means, if the customer can show us products they’d like to purchase from us, we’ll do our best to get them in the store.”

“We should be more competitive, especially when you factor in the cost and time of driving to Lethbridge,” he says. “While in Lethbridge, you might buy a meal which will add to your costs, so it’s very worthwhile to shop and save closer to home.” The manager is looking at ways to assist the customers, especially those with diabetes, 10

LeJan sees the need to advertise the Kainai Marketplace and wants to offer products the people want to purchase. He welcomes all the people and wants the business to continue to grow in meeting the needs and demands related to the food industry. “If you haven’t been here, you need to come here and check it out,” he says. “You have to see what we have to offer; you won’t be disappointed.” Story by Tracy Weasel Fat


Healy Treats Kids to FLAMES Game

Today marks the day that three young individuals had a special day with the Calgary Flames Organization. Roger Buckskin, Alan Collar Jr., and Jace Healy all made the trek to Calgary to have an exciting day by attending the Calgary Flames practice this morning, followed by a meet and greet with Michael Ferland who is an aboriginal in his early twenties playing with the Flames in his third full season. We attended the practice early this morning, followed by an autograph and photo opportunity. Mr. Ferland was very gracious and kind to the boys who had a wonderful time getting individual pictures and their jerseys signed. Once the morning was finished we had the opportunity to take all three boys and family members as tickets were donated to the families of the three individuals by Talbera Technologies. The company graciously donated tickets that were able to accompany a guest with each ticket. The day ended with a win versus the Colorado Avalanche, so it made the trip even more worthwhile to Calgary. About a month and a half ago I approached the Flames Organization about doing a meet and greet with Michael Ferland for Roger, Alan Jr., and Jace, and right away they responded and agreed to allow the boys to first attend the practice, meet and greet, and finally to attend the game all the same day. I knew it would be a special day for all three as they are all big hockey fans. It was very

exciting to see the boys get so excited as it was Jace Healy’s first live NHL game that he attended with his dad Leon, Roger attended with his mother Tammy, and Alan Jr. with his mom Cher, Dad Alan Sr., and sister Reyes. It was something that I had thought about for a while as I had a handicapped uncle the late Merle Healy. Because Merle was so special I wanted to do something for these three boys because opportunities don’t often come up like this. This is something I wish I could’ve done for Merle as he was always a joy to be around. With that being said the three boy’s families and I are hoping to start a handicap association and have a meeting very soon to throw some ideas together to see what and how we can do more for the handicap community. I have been working for the tribe for over ten years and enjoyed it very much and to do this for the three youngsters was my way of trying to give back a little to a community that has been very good to me. Hopefully it will be a day for all three families to remember for a long time. Regards, Joe L. Healy


Submitted by Joe L. Healy


Kainai Minor Hockey Association

Played Outstanding Hockey During Season Oki hockey fans, it has been a productive first full season in the Central Alberta Hockey League for Kainai Minor Hockey Association. We have had our initiatial league challenges but we did prevail and displayed as a community we are ready for full membership in the CAHL. The KMHA was well represented in all divisions from novice to midget and initiation in an exhibition style format with all responsibilities on the shoulders of the coaches Maize and Lance Little Shield. For the other divisions, novice through midget, you have to give a shout out to the KMHA for placing each division in competitive tiers that showcased our local talent as competitors.

Congratulations to the Kainai Chiefs Atom B for their Bronze Medal win at the Treaty Hockey Tournament in Calgary AB

Congratulations Kainai Bantam for going undefeated and taking Gold in the Bantam A division during the treaty Hockey tournament (2 gold medals in 2 weekends

The Novice team, coached by Robert No Runner, did have a good mixture of both female and male skaters and proved to very competitive in their tier. For the Atom division, it was the largest registration this season. The KMHA was approved two teams in the CAHL, however they would need to be in two different tiers and both teams did represent Kainai very well throughout the season and playoffs. The Kainai Peewee Chief’s coaches Duane Delaney, Russell Wells and Clarence Black Water, did stress old time hockey from man-to-man defence to dump-and-chase offence that resulted in some outstanding net minding from Jude (101 shots) Black Water; making the team very competitive

Congratulation to the KAINAI GOLDEN CHIEFS for winning the Gold Medal at the 2017 Treaty Hockey Tournament in Calgary A.B. (2 gold medals in 2 weekends

throughout the season and playoffs. The bantams really did improve on the hockey skills they received from coaches Ken Detma and Ray Eagle Bear. The bantam were the only top tier (4) teams from KMHA and players like Jett Black Water and Ryan Detma both ranking high in the overall league scoring race along with Blackwater’s league leading penalty minutes. To save the best for last, the Kainai Midget Chiefs did end the season with a tier banner and some incredible showstopping performances from goaltender Walker Many Fingers. The KMHA thanks all parents, volunteers and sponsors for their support throughout the season and we are looking forward to next season. We feel 12

it is going to be a good one so come on out to the Kainai Sport Centre and support your local talent. The Kainai Minor Hockey Association consists of: President, Amanda Black Water- Treaty games southern representative; vice-president: Clarence Black Water, Treasurer, Norma Wolf ChildProvincial games southern Representative; CAHL, Brett Healy and Board member Neal Wolf Child.

Submitted by Clarence Blackwater.

Big Valley Child Eligible For



“Seeing how Spider-Mable was all done, it took a small army of people to do it, and the city of Edmonton was behind her. That is going to happen here. I have received a lot of support. I haven’t set a date yet, but I will make it happen for her,” says Day Chief. The Mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation is: Wishes are more than just a nice thing A wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a life-threatening medical condition. This one belief guides us in everything we do at Make-A-Wish®. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve. It compels us to be creative in exceeding the expectations of every wish kid. It drives us to make our donated resources go as far as possible. Most of all, it’s the founding principle of our vision to grant the wish of every eligible child.

The young Day Chief prepares for her time to make a wish.

A mother’s love for her daughter is one of the strongest connections known to humankind. This is all too true for Crystal Day Chief, who is mother to Aryianna. Aryianna was born with Neurofibromatosis (NF1), a disease which causes tumors to form on her body. This does not stop the fun loving 14-year old from doing things she enjoys. Day Chief set off to make her daughter’s wish come true and she contacted the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Aryianna’s mother is exploring options to make a great experience for her daughter. The Make-a-Wish Foundation responded

with enthusiasm and is in the final steps to making the event happen. The Make-aWish foundation is currently conducting interviews with Aryianna to discover what would be her dream day. Day Chief was inspired by Spider-Mable, a six-year old girl suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, whose wish was to fight crime in the streets of Edmonton with Spider-Man. With the help of Makea-Wish, Mable was able to fight along side Spider-Man and save Edmonton Oiler Captain Andrew Ference from an evil villain, last September. 13

Wishes are more than just a nice thing. And they are far more than gifts, or singular events in time. Wishes impact everyone involved - wish kids, volunteers, donors, sponsors, medical professionals and communities. The impact varies. For wish kids, just the act of making their wish come true can give them the courage to comply with their medical treatments. Parents might finally feel like they can be optimistic. And still others might realize all they have to offer the world through volunteer work or philanthropy. Whatever the odds, whatever the obstacles ... wishes find a way to make the world better. We grant the wishes of children with lifethreatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. ”

article courtesy of The Drumheller Mail



Black Water pictured with Councilor Lance Tailfeathers.

After 44 years in the health administration field, Cecilia Black Water retired at the helm as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Blood Tribe Department of Health Inc. (BTDH) where she advocated tirelessly for excellence in health care. Black Water officially ended her tenure as BTDH CEO on April 21, 2017 after an exceptional record of leading the Blood Indian Hospital and BTDH during positive growth and turbulent times. Fresh out of college in 1972, Black Water got her start at the Blood Indian Hospital as an inventory clerk and worked her way up through the ranks. Her strong work ethic played a significant role in Black Water’s journey through the ranks of the Blood Indian Hospital and BTDH. From clerical positions, she steadily advanced to management positions at the hospital. Then, she was promoted as Acting Administrator for the Blood Indian Hospital in 1997 after former administrator, Charles Weasel

Head, was appointed as the CEO for BTDH. When the Blood Indian Hospital was shut down, Black Water was appointed Director of Health Services for the newly opened Kainai Continuing Care Centre in 1999. Then, in 2011, Black Water advanced to her current position as CEO and in April retired after many years of dedicated service. Reflecting on her decision to retire, Black Water said, “Now is a good time for change at BTDH because it is a well-established Health Centre with a strong leadership team in place. I feel good that all the goals I’ve set were met.” From 2011 through 2017, Black Water’s term as Chief Executive Officer was dominated by challenging times. Shortly after her appointment, Black Water’s first task was to deal with the BTDH $2-million deficit, which was accumulating before her appointment. In order to address the deficit, BTDH was placed under Co-Management 14

and chartered accountant, Randall Spohn was appointed as Co-Manager. With a sound remedial financial plan and a strong management and Board of Directors team, it led BTDH back into the black, much to the surprise of its funders, FNIHB. They conquered their deficit one year ahead of their original goal of eliminating their deficit. Black Water is quick to credit her staff, advisors and board members in achieving the goals. “When I first became the CEO, I had to rely on staff to assist me – they were instrumental in guiding me and if I had any questions, they were happy to answer my queries.” Another goal achieved during Black Water’s tenure was accreditation, which is a process a health care institution undergoes to demonstrate compliance with standards developed by Accreditation Canada. With an annual budget of $11-million, the BTDH offers a number of programs and services which must meet standards in health care to comply with Accreditation Canada. The accreditation process was guided by consultant Rita Talosi who assisted the Board and Directors to develop management tools and instruments to provide positive outcomes. “It was a long journey and it really shows the dedication of front line staff,” said Black Water. “The BTDH is fully accredited and have met all the requirements of Accreditation. It’s an on-going process and the next evaluation will be in four years.” In 2014, BTDH was placed under comanagement to address the governance issues of the organization. The 2013 BTDH By-laws were revised including clauses to deal with election and conflict of interest issues. The key change in the new By-laws was the change in the electoral district. The Blood reserve is now one electoral district thus eliminating the three districts – north, central and south. Therefore, any Blood Tribe member, regardless of residence, at least 21 years of age or over can run and vote for the “Class A” BTDH Board of Directors. Two years later, BTDH Board elections (Class A) were held and the new By-Laws were voted in favor by the membership. Today, a seven-member Board of Directors governs BTDH.


Black Water enjoyed her time spent with her staff of professionals.

The goal that Black Water was proud to assist was developing the management foundation of the Kainai Continuing Care Centre. When K.C.C.C. was first opened in 1999, it was one of the first long-term facilities located on a reserve. With 25-beds (21 Permanent Beds – 2 Respite Beds and 2 Palliative Beds), Black Water was instrumental in setting up the policies and procedures and implemented programs based on the Basic Continuing Care Service Standards Systems. As well, a cultural component was included in the K.C.C.C. programs. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of registered nurses, KCCC had to downsize and shut down a wing at KCCC. Employees are the backbone of any organization. Once the deficit was under control, Black Water recognized the importance of “giving back to the employees.” With the assistance of a Human Resource consultant, a salary grid classification system was designed and implemented which resulted in wage increments for BTDH employees. Black Water’s health administration career was marked by a number of key milestones. From a health care delivery system that

was designed and delivered by the Medical Services Branch, to the period when the federal government recognized the importance of First Nations involvement in the provision of health services delivery to their communities, has contributed to better health outcomes for band members. Black Water saw technology in the office evolve, office staff come and go and finally qualified and trained First Nation health professionals. “When I was at KCCC, It struck me the majority of the people hired were qualified. We have a Recreation Therapist, R.N’s, L.P.N’s, Health Care Aides. I’m so proud of the staff.” Cecilia attended elementary school at the St. Mary’s Indian Residential School and the Standoff Day School and graduated with her high school diploma from F.P. Walsh in Fort Macleod. Upon graduation, Cecilia attended Henderson School of Business and studied business administration at the Lethbridge Community College while working full-time at the Blood Indian Hospital. She enrolled in hospital administration courses and completed the three-year program in two years. She was granted credit for courses taken at LCC. An appreciation honor night was held 15

on April 21, 2017, where staff and board members alluded to Black Water’s accomplishments and dedication. Black Water is looking forward to her retirement to travel and spend time with her husband, Norbert, children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.

The people of the Blood Tribe Blood Tribe wish you well during your retirement. Story by Tom Russell

Children Hunt for Easter Eggs in Event Hosted by Kainai Children Services Kainai Children Services Corporation Prevention & Support Services Program hosted their 4th Annual Easter Egg hunt for children of the community at the Saipoyi School on April 19, 2017. This year’s theme was “Spring into Spring with Family Fun”. Over 250 children and parents attended and enjoyed a fun-filled day of activities. Everyone enjoyed the food and there were plenty of prizes given away which included bikes, scooters and skateboards. The children proudly presented their home made Easter hats in a parade and then participated in the highly awaited Easter egg hunt. Frances Many Bears, Supervisor, Prevention & Support Services, spoke of the planning and dedication that it took to provide the successful community event. “A lot of work goes into preparing for it and it takes a lot of dedicated, committed workers to pull it off.” Kainai Children Services Corporation Prevention & Support Services Program would like to thank the children, parents, sponsors, administrators and teachers at Saipoyi school and those who donated to make the day a happy celebration for the children.

Community members and their children enjoying the Easter get-together.

The gifts and candy treats laid out.

The children dressed for the occasion.

There were many Easter bunnies.

Story by Tom Russell


the Blood Tribe where Indigena provides capital and expertise as required to incubate the projects for the mutual benefit of both the Blood Tribe and Indigena. Chief Roy Fox commented, “By entering into this Agreement with Indigena, the Blood Tribe is positioning itself to significantly expand its participation in the commercial activities taking place on and around our lands. Key initiatives relate to our agribusiness and their associated supply chains, renewable energy and other commercial resources on our estate. By taking an active role we can assist the Province of Alberta and Canada in meeting their carbon reduction commitments by advancing our wind energy project. It is time for the Blood Tribe to have an active participation in the commercial projects being advanced in Southern Alberta.”

Indigena Capital members John Jurrius and Christine Robinson.

The Blood Tribe is pleased to announce that it has entered into an Opportunities Assessment Memorandum of Understanding (the “Agreement”) with an affiliate of Indigena Capital (“Indigena”), a specialized provider of investment capital to Indigenous Nations. The purpose of the Agreement is to align the long-term commercial interests of the Blood Tribe with a management team that has a proven track record of successfully partnering with First Nations to create meaningful economic value. Indigena’s principals bring over three decades of focused experience to assist the Blood Tribe in assessing and implementing potential new ventures and business opportunities. Historically, the Blood Tribe was allied politically, culturally and economically with the Siksika (Blackfoot) and Piikani (Peigans) forming what historians refer to as the Blackfoot Confederacy. In 1877 the Blackfoot speaking peoples entered into Treaty No. 7 with the British Crown. Today the Blood Tribe has the largest reserve in Canada, encompassing nearly 600 square miles, located approximately 200 kilometers south of Calgary, Alberta with over 12,000 members both on & offreserve. While the Blood Tribe’s historical business ties have been to agriculture, they have a tradition of innovative economic development strategies dating at least as far back as the launching in 1971 of Kainai


Industries, a sectional housing plant owned and operated by the Blood Tribe. By entering into the Agreement the Blood Tribe is able to utilize Indigena’s substantial technical and financial expertise to analyze potential economic, business and commercial ventures associated with the Blood Tribe’s various resources, lands and traditional territory, and the complete associated value chain. Indigena has committed to evaluate the business opportunities for their investment potential, and propose partnership structure with

Christine Robertson, President of Indigena noted, “We’re extremely pleased about the Agreement with the Blood Tribe. Their reserve is strategically located in an area that will see significant commercial and resource activity in the future. Chief Fox and Council have shown real leadership and understanding of the need to be proactive in ensuring that these activities benefit their Nation through increased opportunities in employment, equity, participation in resource development and potentially more financial resources to address the challenges facing their communities.”

Kainai Chief Roy Fox looks toward mutual benefit for Blood Tribe and Indigena.


Story by Tom Russell



The students had a full schedule during their tour of New Orleans in Louisiana.

A group of students from the Kainai High School recently traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, during the Easter break on April 12-17, 2017, to visit the historical sites and experience the sights, sounds and culture of the Bayou. The students and staff visited such sights like the Audubon Zoo, Mississippi River, Audubon Aquarium, River Road African Museum & Gallery and also got to see the spookier side of New Orleans when they visited the Voodoo Museum and went on Guided Ghost Tours. New Orleans is world famous for its indigenous cuisine and the group was able to experience traditional Cajun food. On their last day they explored the French Market, which was once a Native American trading post on the shores of the Mississippi River. The trip to New Orleans was most

memorable for each of the students as they were able to experience a variety of cultures that have amalgamated into forming a distinct and unique heritage known worldwide. The students and the chaperones were busy throughout the tour as they experienced one site after another during their five-day trip. The students who went on the trip were excited to leave but all were happy to return home safely. They acknowledged the Kainai High School administrators, staff, the Kainai Board of Education and family members for their support in making this tour one to remember.

Native Rain Barrel


Story by Tracy Weasel Fat



Profile for Tsinikssini

Tsinikssini April 2017  

Vol. 9 Issue 4

Tsinikssini April 2017  

Vol. 9 Issue 4