TSINIKSSINI January 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
in this issue BLOOD TRIBE COMMUNICATIONS What can we offer to you? The Kainai Nation is proud of our leadership, employees of the various departments and entities, and mostly, proud of the many accomplishments and contributions of our people. We can respectfully boast of our achievements, but many, for the most part, remain humble and modest. This is where a team of writers and technicians involved in the media step in. For a number of years, the Blood Tribe Communications department and other media outlets such as the Kainai News has witnessed the growth and development of the Blood Tribe from the sharing of such stories including the taming of the great bucking horse Cyclone by the legendary Tom Three Persons at the famed Calgary Stampede to Broadway in New York City where a group of students from within the Kainai Board of Education school system shared their play “Strike Them Hard” (the Baker Massacre play) to enthralled audiences. We have covered much more from the paving of the loop road to the construction of the multipurpose facility to the opening of the tribe’s own Kainai Marketplace. The story ideas, events and activities shared by our people are endless. We encourage you for your support in sharing your story ideas and events and activities to feature in your magazine TSINIKSINNI. For those stories and activities that may not make it to the magazine, we have the option of featuring them on your website -- BLOODTRIBE.ORG. If you have any information that requires immediate reach to your intended audiences, we can provide the means to access the sharing of your information much quicker and faster. We look forward to meeting the sharing of information with you and again, encourage you to visit our website or to read the information within your magazine in keeping informed on all current or past events. The management and staff of the Blood Tribe Communications wishes each of you a happy New Year as we look toward serving the best interests of the proud Kainai Nation and our people. 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
Chief Roy Fox, Rob Crow, Director, Economic Development, members of the Blood Tribe Council and represenatives from the provincial and federal government, including the project managers and funding agency delegates gathered at the grand opening of the Kainai Market Place for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Front page photo: Rick Tailfeathers
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
Liberals’ New Carbon Pricing Rings in the New Year, the Devil’s in the Details in the (oil and gas) industry and no doubt the tax has a huge impact on the energy industry. Because we do have our own oil company there will be impacts but it remains to be seen how we will be affected. We’re going to meet next week to discuss and upon further analysis, we will have our perspective on this.” File photo of carbon emissions.
On January 1st, Alberta rang in the New Year with its new carbon tax. And for many, it came with confusion and halftruths about what the tax will mean for Albertans and businesses. But what does it mean for First Nations? Are we exempt? Are we going to drive less? Should we put up solar panels and get a wood stove? Or do we just put on a sweater, slap on some long johns and turn down the thermostat? But you know how gramma loves her heat! Ultimately, the idea behind the carbon tax is to put a price on climate change, make us change our behaviors and lead less carbon burning lives. Putting a price on carbon is meant to give people and companies an incentive to look for lower carbon emissions to save money. The price can come in the form of a specific tax or levy, or a more indirect cap-and-trade system.
Alberta’s tax starts at $20/tonne and will increase to $30/tonne in a year. If the federal government follows through on its commitment to impose a tax nationally, Canadians will pay $50/tonne by 2022. Other measures have also been promised to reduce emissions to meet a 2030 commitment of a 30 per cent reduction below 2005 levels. Nobody needs to convince First Nations that climate change is real. At a recent climate change summit with Canada and Alberta, Chiefs asserted that impacts on the environment are serious and have consequences for everyone around the globe. Some argue that socio-economic and cultural factors may lead to a double burden from the tax. Indigenous communities are
expected to face a disproportionate burden from the impacts of climate change and are disadvantaged from a socioeconomic perspective but “the devil is in the details.” As both emissions-trading schemes and carbon taxes have cost implications for indigenous peoples, but they can be designed fairly, using revenues from within or outside the pricing policy. But ultimately, “it is a political choice.” Putting a price on carbon is an important part of any climate change plan. Pricing carbon, however, will impact indigenous communities in many ways, by their specific consumption and production activities. Many Indigenous People are convinced that the effects of climate change are already being felt and that their ability to harvest and process their food for health and well-being is threatened. One study raises the possibility of impacts on mental health resulting from the reduced ability of community members to practice aspects of traditional lifestyles. This is just one example of the vulnerability of indigenous health to the impacts of climate change.
But what does this mean for First Nations? The Blood Tribe holds the title as being the largest Indian Reserve in Canada, with vast agricultural, oil and gas resources among its many assets. Does this mean we pay a hefty price as a producer? As consumers? First Nations are exempt from paying the carbon tax on fuel when the sale occurs on reserve land. Sales of fuel off-reserve are subject to the carbon tax unless the fuel is purchased for delivery to a reserve. Blood Tribe Chief Roy Fox says it’s too early to say what the new carbon tax will have on First Nations. “We’re involved 3
Story by Brent Scout
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
Flash Mob Provides way to DIRECT AWARENESS in Stopping Flow of DEADLY AND HARMFUL DRUGS
Pam Little Bear and many community members organized a flash mob to bring awareness to eliminating drugs on the reserve.
Many people doing business at the Blood Tribe Administration were surprised, then supportive, of a flash mob designed to bring awareness to the deadly drugs that are create havoc to our communities. Local tribal member and an advocate for a lifestyle free from harmful addictions, Pam Little Bear, with several other concerned community members brought attention to the people as the supporters carried signs and danced in the Blood Tribe Administration foyer to the traditional songs of drummers Cameron Chief Calf, Kevin Plaited Hair and Sterling Crying Head. “We are our children’s voice,” said Little Bear to the people watching. “Our children are not being fed (due to neglect) and we don’t want anymore deaths here on the reserve. So, please, talk to your loved ones and let them understand how dangerous these drugs are.” The drugs currently creating danger to those addicted to these pills are Fentanyl, Oxy 80s and W-18, a drug that is 100 times more potent and harmful, even deadlier than
the Oxy 80s and Fentanyl. According to a Media Release from the Blood Tribe Police Services (Dated November 30, 2016), it stated that during the month of November, there were approximately seven overdoses related to Opioids (Fentanyl), and on November 28, there were four overdoses related to Opioid use. In the Media Release, it was stated that all those who overdosed survived the deadly experience with the drugs. During the same month, the Blood Tribe Police dealt with 25 calls for service related to the drug activity and remind the public about the dangers of Opioid use for their addiction and the high possibility that death could occur from overuse and abuse. As a result of their on-going investigations, the Blood Tribe Police have charged several individuals who sold these deadly drugs and are currently facing charges pursuant to the Controlled Drug and Substance Act. Today, a core group formed to combat the use and abuse of these deadly drugs continue their efforts in creating awareness to rid the reserve of harm and danger 4
related to these drugs. However, it is people like Little Bear, a concerned community member who was once addicted to drugs, who step up when needed in promoting a healthy lifestyle and advocating for a drug free reserve. “What we’re doing is for our people and our community,” she said. “We will be doing more of these activities to keep the awareness out there, so please come out and offer your support.” The Blood Tribe Police encourage the public to do their part in cleaning up the reserve from these illegal and deadly drugs. Anyone with information about these matters is asked to contact the Blood Tribe Police Service at 403-737-3800 or at oxy@ bloodtribepolice.com or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com. You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers, and if you provide information to crime stoppers that leads to an arrest(s), you may be eligible for a cash reward. Story by Tom Russell
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
Prescription Drug Strategy Project Continues to Take Stand Against Deadly and Illegal Drugs
Plume, Donna Gros Ventre Boy, Steven Crying Head, Leonard Chief Moon, Jr., Darcy Medicine Crane and Wilma White Man Left each received a T-shirt with the logo ‘I SAVED A LIFE’ for their quick thinking in using naloxone kits to keep the victim alive until medical help arrived. The project continues Naloxone training and the distribution of the kits, a priority, and encourages all community members to have a kit because no one ever know if you will ever come across someone who will need it. The project provides harm reduction supplies to the users to decrease the spread of STBBI’s in the community, as well prevent further harm associated with drug use.
Gayle Chase, Prescription Drug Strategy coordinator, continues to share information on deadly drugs.
Gayle Chase, was hired April 1, 2015 to coordinate the Prescription Drug Strategy Project by implementing the Public Health Strategy for Reducing Prescription Drug Misuse and Illicit Drug Use in the Kainai Nation which was developed by the Kainai Drug Misuse Prevention Committee (Core Group). The Public Health Strategy was adopted from the “Take A Stand Frame Work” developed by the Chiefs of Ontario and is based on 4 pillars to initiate Community Action Planning. The 4 pillars are Healthy Relations, Continuum of Care, Working with Physicians and Healthy Living. The first and foremost plan of action is reducing the Overdoses and the Fentanyl Related Deaths in the community. The strategic plan called for implementing a community wide Awareness Campaign that included planning and hosting the Blood Tribe United Conference which was held June 15 & 16, 2015. The Conference was successful and attended by 800 plus community members the conference included creating an awareness of the difference between Prescription Drug Misuse and the fatal fake Oxy 80’s that are illegally being distributed and sold throughout the community. The conference further educated the community in the use of the naloxone kits which in an antidote
to reverse the affects of an overdose in users until they reach the hospital. Both Dr. Tailfeathers and Dr. Christenson were instrumental in dispensing the naloxone and providing the necessary training in the community. It is estimated the naloxone kits have saved a large number lives in the community to date. The Prescription Drug Project does not provide direct counselling services as these services are offered by Kainai Wellness who have addiction counsellors and mental health therapists on staff. The Project provides referral services, peer support networking for those in recovery. Currently, the efforts of the Prescription Drug Strategy are focusing on awareness, community involvement, and enhancing a harm reduction approach to reduce the overall harm associated with prescription drug misuse and illicit drug abuse. In creating awareness on its activities, the Prescription Drug Strategy Project hosted a round-dance in conjunction with the National Addictions Awareness Week event. The round-dance which took place at the Old Saipoyi gymnasium had over 300 people in attendance and honoured and recognized those individuals whose care and compassion saved the lives of people from overdosing on deadly drugs. Bruce Dallas Shouting, Zoe Tallow, Kathy Black 5
The winners of the three Person Hand Drum Contest were: 1st Place 300.00 – Shane Across The Mountain group; 2nd Place 200.00 – Troy Delany Group; 3rd Place 100.00 – Ruben Big Sorrel Horse Group. The consolation prize was won by Perry Day Chief, Less Wolf Child and Keegan Rain. On behalf of the Prescription Drug Strategy Project, Chase thanked and acknowledged all the sponsors and volunteers of the rounddance and encouraged everyone to continue in their efforts to work toward living their lives free from drugs and alcohol. Chase adds that as a community we have to remember that there is strength in numbers and the more the community is involved this will foster a recovery process for the individuals, families and the community as a whole. Anyone that has an interest in volunteering, or have suggestions, or would like to get involved, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org by calling them at 403-737- 8740. “We encourage people to use the Helpline 403-737-4357 and Recovery Circles held every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Multipurpose Building,” says Chase. “It is amazing to see the individuals who have chosen recovery, taking back their life, being responsible for their children and being responsible members in the community.”
Submitted by Gayle Chase
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
Kainai Marketplace opens for business
healthy food products to on-reserve First Nation members who currently have no alternative to convenience store junk food. This is especially important considering the myriad of health issues and lack of nutritional choices that members face.” An earlier study conducted by the Blood Tribe Department of Health revealed that the lack of affordable nutritious food on the Blood reserve could impact the health of individuals, especially in the Standoff community, noting the high number of members with diabetes, heart and stroke ailments and cancer. There are also other health issues related to a lack of nutritious food. It is hoped that the Kainai Marketplace will address some of those concerns.
Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations - Alberta (r), attends grand opening.
The newly opened grocery store in Standoff is bringing fresh, healthy food and 24 new jobs to the Blood Tribe community. The $6.2-million Kainai Marketplace is the only grocery store on the Blood reserve and was funded through a partnership between the Blood Tribe and the Alberta government.
“Indigenous-owned businesses like the Kainai Marketplace do more than create jobs and strengthen local economies. An entire community benefits from this investment,” commented Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations-Alberta.
Community members previously had to drive to nearby communities of Cardston, Fort Macleod and Lethbridge to buy affordable groceries; a challenge for those without ready access to transportation.
Rob Crow, Director, Blood Tribe Economic Development, who oversaw the project added:
“The Kainai Marketplace is an example of how positive collaboration between the Blood Tribe and Alberta can get a positive result towards a community need. The opening of the Marketplace is a historic event for the community of the Blood reserve. We look forward to other joint initiatives with other governments and Alberta in economic and other sectors,” stated Chief Roy Fox, newly elected Chief of the Blood Tribe. The province contributed $1.5 million to Kainai Marketplace through a pilot program that has since become the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund. The Blood Tribe also contributed $1.5 million and is covering the remaining costs through third party financing. Construction involved local companies and more than 7,500 person-hours of labour.
“The goal of the Kainai Marketplace grocery store is to bring affordable, fresh,
The Aboriginal Business Investment Fund provides capital funding to Indigenousowned businesses that are breaking ground on construction or close to starting operations. Last year, the fund provided $5 million for eight projects across the province. Alberta has earmarked another $5 million for the fund this year and successful applicants should be announced in early 2017. The Aboriginal Business Investment Fund is one of several Alberta government programs that support opportunities for Indigenous people to participate fully in Alberta’s diversifying economy.
Chief Roy Fox, chats with staff of the new Kainai Market Place which is offering healthier food.
Story by Rick Tailfeathers
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
Former NHLer helps out Kainai Bantam Team
Former NHL hockey player Morris Lukowich sharing knowledge with Blood youngsters.
On December 3rd, 2016, the Blood Tribe had the privilege of former NHL’er Morris Lukowich coming to Standoff to share his experiences with the Kainai Bantam team. They had the opportunity to see and wear some of his jerseys from his playing days as well look at his championship rings. Lukowich took the time to speak to all of the players and coaches about the importance of empowering behavior in speech and attitude. This entailed language that would be positive for others and not negative. He also really focused on team and how everyone one of the bantam team had to be positive and do their part for the team. It was really incredible to see how the team responded to this. Morris Lukowich is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey player. He was a member of the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association (WHA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1976 to 1985, and later played for the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. Playing left wing, he played in a total of 582 NHL games, registering 199 goals and 219 assists for 418 points in eight NHL seasons. Lukowich played junior hockey with the Medicine Hat Tigers for three years. He was selected 47th overall in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as the Houston Aeros in the 1976
World Hockey Association Amateur Draft, and he opted to turn pro in the WHA rather than the NHL. The opportunity to play with his idol, Gordie Howe, in Houston was the deciding factor in this decision. After two seasons in Houston, Lukowich moved on to Winnipeg for the 1978–79 season; the last for the financially troubled WHA. When the WHA folded in 1979, the Jets were among four of its teams absorbed by the NHL. Under the NHL’s admittance terms, these teams could only protect a fraction of their roster, and Lukowich was one of the few players Winnipeg managed to retain. The early NHL years were difficult for the Jets, but Lukowich
quickly emerged as the team’s star, and he was appointed Winnipeg’s captain for the 1980–81 season. He was invited to the NHL All Star game for the second year in a row, playing on a line with Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier. Early in 1984–85, Lukowich was traded to Boston in exchange for Jim Nill. He played in 36 games over parts of two seasons with the Bruins, but was placed on waivers early in the 1985–86 season. He was later picked up by the Los Angeles Kings and was where he finished his NHL career. He played one additional season in Italy in 1987–88 before retiring from professional hockey. During his visit, Lukowich shared a team building exercise with all of the team in smaller groups. They finished off their half day with Lukowich running a practice for the team and showed new hockey skills and relaying to the team the importance of these skills. It was a great day for the players and coaches and has helped the Bantam team a great deal.
Lukowich in action during heyday.
Group photo of Lukowich and hockey school participants at the Kainai Sports Centre.
Story by Tracy Weasel Fat
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
2016 – A YEAR IN REVIEW
and establishing on-going partnerships with the city.
KAINAI YOUTH ARTS AND MEDIA SUMMIT ON SOUTHERN ALBERTA’S BLOOD RESERVE
STANDOFF, AB. – Approximately 120 youth, ages 10-18, attended the first, three-day Kainai Youth Arts and Media Summit, on southern Alberta’s Blood reserve. Shannon Soop, Chief Executive Officer, Kainai Children’s Services, said the summit was geared toward developing the technological aspirations of the young people who are very adept with modern technology.
Chief Jim Shot On Both Sides LAST OF THE TRUE HEREDITARY BLOOD CHIEFS
Chief Jim Shot On Both Sides was the last of a long line of hereditary Blood Chiefs. He was a strong, silent force and commanded great respect by his colleagues and members of the Blood Tribe. He led his people through the turmoil of the post World War II years and initiated many positive developments during the 1970s.
BLOOD TRIBE MEMBERS RESIDING IN CALGARY ALL TREATED TO FESTIVE CHRISTMAS DINNER
Blackfeet Bison Return Home To Traditional Territory
The Blackfeet Nation celebrated the return of an animal that once roamed freely for centuries on traditional Blackfoot Confederacy territory. On Monday, April 4, 2016, 88 bison yearlings made it to their ancestral place on the plains in the heart of the lands the Blackfoot have occupied for thousands of years. It was a long awaited moment celebrated with the traditional songs that help bring the bison home.
BLOOD ACTORS AMONG TWO WHOSE SKILL CONTRIBUTED TO A large number of tribal members residing ACADEMY AWARD MOVIE in Calgary were once again the recipients of a Christmas dinner on January 7, 2015, at the Carriage House Inn in celebration of the festive season. With Travis Plaited Hair as the emcee, the urban residents gathered despite a cold wind to enjoy a turkey meal with all the trimmings.
The Blackfoot are still counting coup as members of the Blood Tribe were among those First Nation actors who contributed to the major motion picture movie, ‘The Revenant,’ in which famous Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio captured his first Oscar as the Best Actor. Long-time professional cowboy Dallas Young Pine and his brother Paul played pivotal roles in the movie that garnered two other Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Director.
Human Resources Conference Gives Insight To Employees In Meeting Needs Of The Public
The Blood Tribe Administration’s Human Resource department hosted a conference on April 7-8, 2016, in their on-going effort to not only improve on the quality of service for the employees and people, but to provide employees with additional skills and resources in working for the best interests of the tribe. Frank Scout, Director, Human Resources, says each year the conference brings forth professionals who present topics useful for the benefit of employees.
TRIBAL STUDENTS INVOLVED IN TINY HOUSE PROJECT SHOW THAT DOWNSIZING HOMES ARE VERY LIVEABLE
In what may seem like a minor project to seasoned carpenters is a major undertaking for the students involved in the Mini Homes project at the Kainai High School on the Blood reserve. Ten students were chosen to learn the construction of building of a house from the blueprints to the eventual finished product.
SAIPOYI SCHOOL SHARE THEIR COMPASSION TO HELP FAMILIES WHO LOST HOMES IN FIRE
Treaty 7 Urban Indian Housing Recognized For Contributions And Growth In The City
In an extreme act of kindness and generosity, the students and staff of the Saipoyi Elementary School had a quick of fundraising activity where they raised much needed money to give to a number of families who lost everything in the fire earlier this month that wreaked havoc in Fort McMurray, AB. Sharon Eagle Plume, Saipoyi K4 instructor, said the students
The Treaty 7 Urban Indian Housing Authority were recently recognized by the City of Lethbridge on January 28, 2016, during the 10th Annual Housing Awards Luncheon where they received a Special Recognition Award for providing over 30 years of service for First Nations people 8
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
and staff felt the need to contribute in any way possible to help those feeling the devastation of the fire.
2016 – A YEAR IN REVIEW AUGUST
FIRST NATIONS METIS & INUIT CHAPTER REACH OUT TO MEET ON KAINAI NATION
INDIGENOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM LAUNCHED
A new school year means training for a new job for six professional development (PD) consultants hired by the Alberta Teachers’ Association. The consultants met at Barnett House last week to begin preparations for a $2.5 million project designed to educate all 42,000 Alberta teachers about First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) history, world views and ways of knowing.
The Kainai High School was the gathering place as the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association First Nations Metis and Inuit Chapter hosted a noted tribal scholar on Tuesday May 3, 2016, to share his views on a number of topics. Dr. Leroy Little Bear, professor emeritus, said he was honored to work alongside U of L President Mike McMahon and the FNMI alumni association and students to talk to people on the importance of the sharing of knowledge.
NATIONAL INQUIRY INTO MURDERED AND MISSING WOMEN LAUNCHED
The Blood Tribe Fire department is looking at innovative ways in improving its services to the community. The establishment of a volunteer fire-fighting crew is considered a blessing especially when an emergency requires additional staff to control the blaze. Jacen Abrey, Deputy Fire Chief, Emergency Services, said the 14 volunteers are in training and once they complete their requirements, will have the opportunity to be of assistance anywhere in Canada.
The 50th annual Kainai Indian Day festivities on July 15-17, 2016, was entertaining and enjoyable as the singers and dancers gave it their all in sharing their talent and skills with the people who travelled from across Canada and the United States to be a part of this momentous celebration. Despite the downpour of rain, the people braved the wet conditions to put on a show that captivated those who witnessed talent at its finest. This year’s payout was the largest the Kainai powwow has ever produced and it showed, especially in attracting some of the top-notch drummers in Indian country.
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS CURRENTLY IN TRAINING WILL ASSIST IN PROVIDING SAFETY FOR THE KAINAI
TRADITIONAL BLACKFOOT HEADDRESS TODAY MAKING DRAMATIC COMEBACK
50TH ANNUAL KAINAI INDIAN DAY CELEBRATIONS BRING TOP-NOTCH TALENT TO TRIBAL POWWOW
FEDERAL MINISTER OF HEALTH JANE PHILPOTT The Blackfoot straight-up headdress, once feared to have gone extinct except for a few VISITS WITH KAINAI ceremonial exceptions, has been enjoying NATION TO HEAR a strong comeback in recent times. Once CONCERNS worn by great leaders and fierce warriors, and worn ceremonially by Blackfoot ladies, is very striking. Other tribes across North America, acknowledged this magnificent regalia and in many cases associated it exclusively with the Blackfoot Nation.
It was a day for the Blood Tribe to show the federal minister of health how much effort and involvement the leadership, physicians, health specialists, the law enforcement agencies and concerned tribal members is taking in combatting the deadly effects of illegal and illicit drugs on the Kainai Nation.
2016 – A YEAR IN REVIEW 9
It’s been said that every Indigenous family or community in Canada has faced the tragedy and despair over murdered and missing women and girls. Now, after decades of struggling to have their voices found, the federal government announced an independent inquiry into the phenomenon of missing and murdered Indigenous women in August.
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
2016 – A YEAR IN REVIEW SEPTEMBER
Blackfoot Confederacy Tribes Gather to Promote Tribal Unity
The 16th Blackfoot Confederacy gathering brought together a large number of members from each of the four Blackfoot Nations in Lethbridge, AB., from September 1921, 2016, to bring forth key issues and goals as a measure of solidarity and unity. This year’s Confederacy gathering was hosted by the Siksika Nation under the leadership of Chief Vincent Yellow Old Woman, Siksika council and their staff and management who ensured a smooth flow of speakers and activities.
Red Crow College Gala Well Attended in Efforts to Raise Awareness and Fundraise for New Facility
CROW NAMED 2016 INDIVIDUAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER
As a member of the Blood Tribe located in Southern Alberta, Rob Crow currently is the Director of Economic Development for the Blood Tribe and has been employed by them for over 19 years. Well-educated with a Bachelor of Management Degree as well as a Masters of Science in Management, Rob is a role model in his community and has completed outstanding work.
Blood Tribe Honors PAST AND PRESENT War Veterans FOR ULTIMATE The Red Crow College hosted a Gala at the SACRIFICE Galt Museum & Archives in Lethbridge, AB., on September 17, 2016, to celebrate 30 years of providing quality education to present and former students enrolled in the institution. The gala was held to create awareness about the college by sharing information to Lethbridge and surrounding communities to what they have been doing. The Gala also serves as a reminder to the community of its rich history that it has provided towards education and of its resiliency to move forward.
Blood Tribe Human Resources Cancer Drive gives tribal members opportunity to share
The Blood Tribe Human Resource department recently organized its annual Breast Cancer Awareness drive and collected a sizeable amount of money from employees and the public to seeking a cure for this disease. An amount of $2000.10 was presented to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada who were most pleased with the contribution.
Thousands of brave Aboriginal Canadians have proudly served in our country’s military over the years By some estimates, more than 12,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis men and women served in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. This tradition of service continues today and it is estimated that more than 2,000 Aboriginal men and women are currently in the military.
Blood Cowboy LEVI BLACKWATER SR. Inducted To Indian National Finals Rodeo Hall Of Fame
Levi Blackwater Sr. was recently inducted into the INFR Hall of Fame during the 2016 finals as one of the legends of the great sport of rodeo. Levi Black Water Sr. was born at the Blood Indian Hospital January 29, 1936. He went on to become one of the most competitive rodeo contestants produced on the Blood reserve. Levi Sr. was a dedicated IRCA Region #1 member from the birth of the association. As an All Around rodeo cowboy contestant he competed in the Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Bull Riding and Team Roping. He was one of the first rodeo competitors to represent IRCA Region #1 in the Calf Roping at the very first INFR held at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT, in 1976. He also qualified for INFR in Albuquerque, NM, in 1977 and up to the year 1989. 10
BLOOD TRIBE VOTERS ELECT FORMER CHIEF
The results of the recent Blood Tribe Elections 2016 may have surprised many, but all indications are the members of the tribe wanted former Chief Roy Fox back at the helm. He won by a landslide victory, garnering over 1300 votes that was approximately double the nearest contender who had over 600 votes. This was a clear sign as to whom the people wanted as their Chief.
Blood Tribe Police WALK IN HER SHOES CAMPAIGN Creates Awareness Of Violence Toward Women
There’s a saying that’s been around for quite a while that refers to putting one’s self in another’s situation: ‘Walk a mile in their shoes.’ The Blood Tribe Police are using a similar slogan in helping people understand this in another situation. The ‘Walk In Her Shoes’ campaign is designed to make men understand and stop violent behavior toward women. Blood Tribe Police Constable C. R. Chiasson said this campaign is part of a month-long effort in the prevention of violence.
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
Kainai Warriors and Lady Warriors
Go all out at annual Native American Classic
The Kainai Lady Warriors were hard-pressed during the Havre tournament despite having an undefeated season on their home court.
During the holiday season, both the Kainai Warriors and Lady Warriors travelled to Havre, Mont., where they participated in the annual Native American Classic played in the Armory Gymnasium on the campus of MSU-Northern University.
Tyreese Weasel Head in action.
The Lady Warriors came to the tournament undefeated in the southern Alberta Basketball league having won their first tournament in Strathmore, AB., in convincing fashion, however, they played outstanding talent during the tournament. In their opening contest the Lady Warriors hooked up against the Poplar Lady Indians and put up a strong first half before falling to a 61-30 score at the final buzzer. The Warriors didn’t fare so well in their opening match against the Poplar Indians boy’s squad as they couldn’t get any offense going during the game. After the final buzzer, the Poplar team decimated Kainai by a score of 72-8. The following day, the Lady Warriors met up with a team from Harlem, Mont., and again played head-to-head until halftime when the Harlem team caught fire and lead to the final buzzer in defeating a game 11
Kainai Lady Warriors squad by a score of 63-27. The Kainai Warriors boy’s team played against a steady team from Heart Butte, Mont., and put up a gritty effort but still came up short losing the game 82-36. For many of the current players on both Kainai teams, this year will be their last trip to the Native American Classic as they will play out their final year before graduating. The tournament in Havre is an excellent opportunity for the Kainai teams as it allows them to understand and develop the areas they need to compete in their own league divisions in Canada. Both Charlton Weasel Head and Warren Twigg acknowledged the organizers of the tournament and were proud of their team’s efforts.
Story by Tom Russell
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
--These Collective Stories have been submitted by the following authors from Red Crow College Satellite Campus, 2016.
CHRISTMAS SCRUFF There was a mild snowstorm going on that morning when she got up, stretching and rubbing her eyes. She heard something at the door like a scratching sound. When she looked out she yelled for the rest of the family to come. There was a dog at the door with a Christmas decoration around his neck. His eyes were shiny as if they were lit up, and so was the decoration. She rushed with excitement to meet the dog all decorated like a gift. “I want to keep him and call him Scruff. We will be best friends,” she said. The reason for the name was because the poor thing’s fur was in knots, and he was all muddy due to the snow and dirt. Scruff was still a happy go lucky pup. Scruff was sitting there wagging his tail looking up at the family, with what looked like he had a smile on his puppy face. He even had a little white beard. The puppy was so cute and silly. Every now and then Scruff would chase his own tail or put both hind legs up by his sides and walk with his front paws. He looked like he was itching his butt and was so funny to watch. He always made all the kids laugh with delight. Puppies are always a nice gift. Scruff being the puppy he was he got into everything. He got into a big bag of chips, turning his beard orange. The family adored him and they thought he was the animal Santa. They wanted to keep him forever and ever until Scruff, with his fluffy white coat, ran away. Someone left him out all night and when they awoke the next day, they couldn’t find him. They spent the rest of the day looking for him, making lost posters and putting them all over the block. They were so sad they had to spend Christmas without their newly found puppy present. Months had gone by and just as they were losing faith in ever finding their dear Scruff again, one of them turned on the TV, and there before them was SCRUFF. He was on Animal Planet. He was famous now and they could see that he was living happily, and most likely happily ever after. Everyone had a wonderful time watching dear little Scruff as an actor in a movie. They were so happy to know where Scruff was, that they had a happy celebration and a good time was had by all. By Akuma Black Plume
CHRISTMAS VACATION Once upon a Christmas, friends and I decided to take a Christmas vacation instead of the same old fashion festive season with the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers. After the craziness of spring, summer and the fall, it was a much-needed break. I convinced them it would be an exciting vacation getaway to Las Vegas with all the nightlights and the city that never sleeps. My friend Astella was so excited but her husband Tex, was not a big hit on flying and instead wanted to drive to Las Vegas. There was no way I was going to drive on long, stretchy, winding roads and mountain ranges. I wanted to sit back, relax and enjoy the comfort of a luxurious hotel with room service. He silently protested, but no way was he going to have his way and the other women were having none of it traveling by car. On my list of friends was Tammy; she is a very independent woman and has a heart of gold and no one ever stole her heart. She would rant about how men wanted a nurse or purse for security and had an eye for excitement, and gambling was her favorite past time -- anything for Vegas. Glamorous Lammie is so not your regular Walmart shopper, but more like the Victoria Secret shopper. Her eyes were almost the same shade as her hair. She carried herself with poise and carried her confidence in her suitcase wherever she went. I made all the flight arrangements for our trip to Vegas by searching different airlines. Once the flight arrangements were done, we were set for our exciting trip. The travel plan was a direct flight from Calgary to Las Vegas. We made arrangements to meet at the Calgary airport for our morning flight. We all made it on time as per arranged and in one hour we would be on our way. I was nervous, not that I have never been on a plane before, but it has been some time since I had flown. Before we went on board, Stella made Tex take a deep breath and count up to one hundred. He crinkled his face and swallowed hard and made strange noises from his throat. No words can describe Tex’s reaction before boarding the plane. Trying not to laugh, Stella gave me that look, give the guy a break, he’s made it this far. Stella has wavy, long hair and always has it pulled back in a ponytail, and she wears glasses from the 70s. She is a darling little lady because she always has a positive outlook on life. On the other hand, Tex is medium height, slim and has long black hair and wears round glasses. Tex is a very up tight individual and always wants order in his life. Crossing Customs was a long wait and just when Tex was about to cross Customs, the alarm activated and he threw his hands in the air like he was being arrested. He had a worried look like he was frozen and was shaking like a leaf. The officer had a grin and told Tex, “You can put your hands down and proceed.” Once we arrived in Las Vegas, we were all exhausted from our flight. Vegas was truly a magical city that comes to life with 12
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
glimmering lights that jump out at you like Christmas lights, sparkling your reflection in so many different directions. We checked in at the hotel and relaxed until we decided what our night was going to be for our first night in Vegas. The night went well at a huge casino hotel where Freddy Fender was the entertainer for the evening. It was an exciting night to see Freddy Fender live because he was an old time favorite. It was how I remembered him, handsome as ever, with dark curly hair with a tint of gray and his voice echoed throughout the building, singing, “I will be there when the first teardrop falls.” This brought back memories of my late brother Fred. He admired Freddy Fender and had all his latest hits. He always had his recorder full blast while drinking his favorite wine and listening to Freddy’s music. Meanwhile, Stella was getting worked up about Tex not returning and missing out on the entertainer. She decided to go for a walk and find her husband. She would always say, ‘He is out gambling without me’. It was a delightful evening with good company and fine wine, back dropped with the exquisite décor of the building. It was so fascinating and charming to see all the people coming and going with holiday cheer. They were all draped with holiday spirit as they walked through the streets of Las Vegas with glamorous attire with sparkling, colorful fake cosmetic jewelry. I was thinking what it was like for some of the people. If they were here for the same reason as I was, or were they trying to capture a dream come true by sailing through the ocean with the glamor and glitter of possible found love. Love is like a breath of fresh air like no other love, like the ocean with no ending. But in reality, it was a much-needed vacation. On our way to the hotel we passed an alley and the scenery of an old brick building with a dungeon door and the smell of a greasy kitchen. It brought back memories of the movie, ‘The Ghost of Christmas’. The presents and the trace of shadows in the windows and the flickering of Christmas lights made me think of whether I was being selfish trying to escape the family traditional Christmas. The ladies were in high spirit and went out for the night in fancy heels and a strong perfume of night magic and the rest of the story is, ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’. It was an amazing Christmas vacation! By Pookitsuaki
CHRISTMAS TIME FOR ME Christmas is a very special time for me, just because it is a celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love the reading of the nativity story because it is filled with love, warmth and with some magical touches to the story. During our Christmas years, we have family get together every Christmas. Sometimes,I would organize a get together with my sisters in-law, nieces, my mother and whoever wanted to come. Pick a day, maybe a week before Christmas and have a wrapping day. I would provide snacks and drinks and have Christmas songs. It would get us in the mood for Christmas and then our wrapping would be done. Doing that instead of last minute wrapping helps ease the stress. We usually pick names for Christmas gifts and that way we can tell our family that they do not have to buy for every one, especially because we have a very large family. The best gift I ever got was a leather jacket from my brother. I was so surprised, and filled with emotion, that I started to cry. And then my husband got me a camera. I’m sure that was the best Christmas for me. Our Christmas means that all the family comes over to my mom and dad’s house around 6 p.m. We have all the presents under the tree and the younger children would get so excited seeing all the presents under the tree. They would keep asking, ‘When is Santa coming?’ We would tell them, ‘very soon, and he is looking at you right now’. So they would be at their best behavior. At 8 p.m., we would start to prepare snacks. We would have cheese, crackers, chips, dips, fruit cake, drinks, mandarin oranges, jello with whipped cream, mixed candy, nuts and assorted sliced meats, cheese and crackers. We would play Christmas carols on the CD player. What a beautiful feeling having all the family get together. The spirit of joy and peace prevailed. At 11:30, we would volunteer one of the family members to dress up as Santa Claus. Just minutes before midnight, we would tell the children to sing, ‘Here Comes Santa Claus.” Then all of a sudden a loud knock at the door is heard and all the kids run and see, and of course, who is there? Santa Claus. Santa would sit at the tree and start handing out the presents and candy bags. The children would sit on Santa’s lap and he would ask them if they have been good or bad. Of course the children would say, ’Good.’ Some of the younger children would be scared of Santa and they would start to cry, of course. Christmas is very special, and then again, very stressful, but if we organize Christmas, it becomes fun. On Christmas Day, we get up early and start to prepare our dinner. Of course, we have to clean up all the left over wrappings and make room. The family dinner would take place about 3 p.m. My dad would invite some of his brothers and friends. So, this is how we spend Christmas with my family. By Lorraine Chief Moon 13
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
Blood Tribe Rancher Seeks out Members Wanting to be Involved in Blood 4 H Club
Blood rancher Mike Day Chief is shown here with one of his prized Angus bulls. He wants to motivate the youth to join the 4-H club.
One local individual who has been in the ranching business for the past fifteen years is pursuing a venture in the hopes of involving the youth on the Blood reserve to develop skills and work ethics vital in their development. Mike Day Chief, owner and operator of Iron Pipe Angus, a business he and his wife Chrystal and family developed over the years, is trying to once again introduce a 4-H club on the reserve to motivate the youth to participate. Day Chief says those who want to become active members of the club will learn skills beneficial to their own growth and development. “With my work in the ranching industry, I feel I have enough knowledge to share with our youth who may want to learn and develop their own skills in this area,” he says. “I want to help them to make better use of their time and to help the youth so that they don’t get themselves into the drug use that is so prevalent in our communities.” The 4-H is a global network of youth organizations whose mission is “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development”. Its name is a reference to the occurrence of the initial letter H four times in the organization’s original motto
‘head, heart, hands, and health’ which was later incorporated into the fuller pledge officially adopted in 1927. The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach. Though typically thought of as an agriculturally focused organization as a result of its history, 4-H today focuses on citizenship, healthy living, science, engineering and technology programs. The 4-H motto is “To make the best better”, while its slogan is “Learn by doing” (sometimes written as “Learn to do by doing”). Day Chief was invited to the 100-year celebration where 4-H clubs from across southern Alberta celebrated the club’s provincial centennial anniversary on Saturday, January 7, 2017, and met many high-ranking officials from within the 4-H organizations who offered their assistance and guidance to help establish a 4-H club on the reserve. “I met some of the executives of the 4-H program in Alberta and they really want to support what we’re doing here on the reserve,” he says. “But, it’s really up to us to initiate this program. And once we get going, the Alberta 4-H organization 14
want to help us as we progress.” The proposed 4-H program will mainly focus on livestock, but will have the capacity to venture out into other interests in teaching the participants useful skills toward their personal development. “Once we can establish the 4-H program, we can then have people volunteer their expertise in other areas such as woodworking, photography and other interesting skills,” says Day Chief. “But, for now, I am requesting if the Blood Band Ranch can supply our children with a few calves as a starting point. The kids will groom the calves, feed them, clean stalls and then sell or auction them or process them. We can also compete with other 4-H clubs in Alberta. I think this is a real world learning experience for our children.” Day Chief is seeking volunteers and interested participants in organizing the Kainai 4-H program and can be contacted at 403.737.3313.
Story by Tom Russell
TSINIKSSINI January 2017
Local rap group Blood Rez Crew awarded AFA Project Grant Rap group, Blood Rez Crew has been awarded an Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) project grant going towards the creation of a new full-length studio album, to be released sometime in 2017. After previously being unsuccessful in the initial grant application for the Aboriginal Individual Project Grant early in 2016, a second revised submission proved necessary in the AFA’s decision. This project is the creation of a fulllength studio recording of original music by Alberta First Nations rap artists Jarett “JPB” Panther Bone and Carl “Tukk” Brave Rock, collectively known as Blood Rez Crew. The project will include recording, mixing, mastering, manufacturing, and marketing a brand new 12-track recording. Producing and overseeing each step of the project is Sean Beaver aka DJ Hooligan – winner of the Best Instrumental CD at the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards and a rising talent among producers and DJs of hip-hop and dance music.
influenced by the hard realities of growing up in poverty, surrounded by violence and alcohol and by generally growing up First Nations in today’s world. Raw lyrics shed light on the stories of First Nations youth with a reservation perspective and an emphasis on Native pride. JPB and Tukk’s Ying and Yang rap styles compliment on the record and have the rare ability to both rile the listener and create inner harmony at the same time. Rounding out their sound, Blood Rez Crew invite guest artists and collaborators such as powerful vocalist and female hand drummer Jessie Blackwater. Building on the work of previous Alberta trailblazers such as ReddNation, and Warparty and along with the recent success of First Nation artists such as A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq, and Iskwe, right now is fertile time for Alberta’s First Nations
artists to take a big step in their careers. Blood Rez Crew is ready to take theirs. A special thanks goes out to musician, singer/songwriter John Wort Hannam for all his assistance and encouragement in the application process; as well as former Chief Charles Weasel Head for sending a letter of support.
Blood Rez Crew Social Media The new release will also be promoted through all of Blood Rez Crew’s social media sites. Facebook @ www.facebook.com/ bloodrezcrew Twitter @ www.twitter.com/bloodrezcrew ReverbNation @ www.reverbnation.com/ bloodrezcrew Soundcloud @ www.soundcloud.com/ blood-rez-crew
“As Blood Rez Crew we want to create art that represents both our traditional and modern day culture. We are rap artists, but first and foremost we are storytellers,” says Brave Rock. “The songs of this project reflect the strong relationship we feel for, and have fostered with, our community and our reserve.” More importantly Blood Rez Crew wants to create the kind of art that speaks to Native youth, especially those young band members who struggle to find their own voice and put words to their lives. Their commitment to this is seen in Blood Rez Crew’s past work with the Kainai Youth Council (KYC) and performances at youth conferences, such as Dreamcatchers in Edmonton, Alberta. Carl “Tukk” Brave Rock and Jarett “JPB” Panther Bone, collectively known as Blood Rez Crew, are modern-day First Nations storytellers from Blackfoot country. The duo, both members of the Kainai Nation, formed in 2002. Their gritty sound is 15
Story by Tom Russell