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TSINIKSSINI June/July 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.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 This is a busy time for many as graduation ceremonies mark the end of an era, and the beginning of another journey for those who have just completed high school or post-secondary studies. For some, thoughts of college or university life is in their minds; for others, taking a break is first and foremost, while those students who have secured a diploma or degree, sharing what they have learned in their particular field of study in the employment environment is oftentimes scary. During the many stages of one’s life, the concept of change is always nearby; most times it is expected, but, sometimes change comes by unexpectedly. For graduating high school students, change begins when the notion of moving out on your own suddenly dawns upon you. For post-secondary graduates, seeking employment is a motivating factor in walking toward independence. Change, whether one accepts it or not, or looks forward to it, is necessary and vital for growth. Good luck and fortune to all those who are continuing on in this vein of change. This year, at the Calgary Stampede, the Chiefs of Treaty 7 were the parade marshalls. Kainai Chief Roy Fox (Makiinima) will join Piikani Chief Stan Grier and Siksika Chief Joe Weasel Child and the other chiefs from the Tsuu T’ina and Stoney tribes rode along the parade route through downtown Calgary. The time was ripe to honor the real people of this nation. The 4th annual Kainai Ecological Protection Agency summit gathered many of the top environmentalists who talked of ways and ideas on how to protect our lands and the environment will all share. Each year, the KEPA conference continues to define its role in promoting the First Nations people who sincerely care for the protection and sustenance of the lands that have long attributed to our survival. We, the Blackfoot, protected our lands – we must continue to preserve the land and territory in realizing our role as leaders in maintaining our land. 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 Tsinikssini, or visit us at ‘Til next time…

Printed by Minuteman Press (Calgary) 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...

cover photo The Kainai Ecological Protection Association flag was presented to the KEPA committee during the teepee raising demonstration at the Weasel Fat Flats during the first day of the summit. Holding the flag are elders Mike Bruised Head and Charlie Crow Chief. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Tracy Weasel Fat. Additional Photos: Blaire Russell Sandra Delaney 2


TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017

Alberta Health Fires Employees Over Racial Slur

Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School Principal Ramona Big Head speaks out against text from former Alberta Health Services employee.

Alberta Health Services has fired two employees after a racial insult was used to describe the Kainai Middle School principal in a text message. On June 19, 2017, an AHS employee complained about being yelled at by “a rabid squaw” while delivering training on program evaluation. The AHS employee intended to send it to a colleague but instead accidentally texted a member of the Kainai Board of Education. Ramona Big Head said the KBE Wellness Coordinator was appalled and very hurt, especially since she invited them to Kainai. “My initial reaction was that I didn’t yell at her. Where did this come from? I simply questioned the ethics of her evaluation method and felt she should have used a more appropriate example in her design. I guess she is not used to being challenged by a Blackfoot woman. And to send such a shocking message to one of our very prominent Blackfoot women is sad. But really, to be called “a rabid squaw?” This is not a reflection of who I am, they are simply a reflection of her.” The KBE Principal says at first she was indifferent because racism is so commonplace, and she is used to it. But she felt she had to do something. “We were shocked, there was no animosity and there were several witnesses, we don’t know

where this was coming from, there was no conflict. I was with this person all day and really enjoyed the seminar and looking forward to the second day. It was eerie. It’s not like it’s the local pub. It was in a professional setting. You just don’t expect that.” On June 26, AHS released a statement from president and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu. “Two Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) employees have been terminated as a result of this incident. We will take this opportunity to reiterate that this incident is not representative of who AHS is or what AHS stands for.” In media reports, Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman expressed her displeasure. “I am angry and disappointed that a public employee would use such hateful and racist language. This is totally unacceptable and there will be consequences,” adding that Chief Roy Fox has agreed to speak to her and Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan about the matter.

“I am very grateful for the KBE and Chief and Council. I appreciate them so much for their leadership and support,” says Big Head. “I got a call from the Dr. Yiu and AHS’s Renee Martin who expressed how sad and concerned they were for me and my family and offered their support. I just told them to help pave the way for other government agencies and departments.” “I don’t know who the intended recipient was, but I really believe Natoi’iitaapiiks, our ancestors, interceded. Things happen for a reason. And you can’t say this is the first time she ever said anything like that, maybe it was just the first time she got caught? “We have a very proud history and should hold our heads up. We are Kainai and come from a strong warrior nation. My message is, remember who you are, if you don’t, go find out. That will give you your strength. I really believe our ancestors exposed this person for who she was and used this as a catalyst to move forward. We have a long history of racism. When the “Cowboys and Indians” themed party at Chinook high school happened, and the Carriage House theatre portrayal of indigenous girls as very provocative and stereotypical, I didn’t say anything. But I couldn’t be silent anymore.”

Big Head addresses media.


Story by Brent Scout

TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017


Bank of Canada introduces new Bill into circulation Recognizing Aboriginal Senator

Descendants of Senator James Gladstone received the new Bank of Canada $10 note at a ceremony in Calgary when currency was put into circulation.

James Gladstone (or Akay-na-muka, meaning “Many guns”) (May 21, 1887 – September 4, 1971) was the first Aboriginal Senator to be appointed to the Canadian Senate. Gladstone was a Cree by birth but was adopted by the Blood Reserve on which he was born; He attended St. Paul’s Indian Residential School, an Anglican Mission school on his reserve, until 1903, when he moved to an “Indian Industrial School” in Calgary and apprenticed as a printer, interning at The Calgary Herald. After leaving school in 1905, Gladstone returned to his reserve where he worked as an interpreter. He also found work on ranches wrangling cattle. In 1911, he found work with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a scout and interpreter and also worked as a mail carrier on his reserve. Eventually, Gladstone established himself as a farmer and rancher and worked with

his sons to assemble 400 head of cattle introducing modern farming practices to the reserve. In 1949, Gladstone was elected president of the Indian Association of Alberta and was sent to Ottawa three times to press for improvements to the Indian Act. His acceptance by both Blackfoot and Cree assisted him in bringing the different groups together in one political organization. He was nominated to the Senate by Progressive Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in January 1958, two years before Status Indians won the right to vote in Canada and pressed for Aboriginals to be enfranchised. He sat as an “Independent Conservative” until he retired from the Upper House in March 1971. A biography of Senator Jim Gladstone, written by Alberta historian Hugh Dempsey, is entitled “The Gentle Persuader”. 4

In 2017, the Bank of Canada unveiled a commemorative $10 banknote in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, featuring Gladstone’s portrait alongside Sir John A Macdonald, Sir George-Etienne Cartier, and Agnes Macphail. On June 1, 2017, the Bank of Canada put into circulation the $10 bank note. In a commemorative ceremony at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the descendants of Senator Gladstone were the first to receive the bank note.

Story by Rick Tailfeathers

TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017

Treaty 7

TREATY SEVEN CHIEFS NAMED PARADE MARSHALS AT CALGARY STAMPEDE’S GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH Calgary – The Calgary Stampede is honoured that this year’s Parade Marshals were the seven chiefs of the Treaty 7 Nations. The Treaty 7 Nations are comprised of three Blackfoot Confederacy Nations three Stoney Nakoda Nations and the Tsuu T’ina Nation, whose territories are in southern Alberta. Our 2017 Parade Marshals included:

Blackfoot Confederacy Nations: Chief Roy Fox – Kainai/Blood Tribe, Chief Stanley (Stan) C. Grier – Piikani Nation, Chief Joseph Weasel Child – Siksika Nation. Stoney Nakoda Nations: Chief Darcy Dixon – Bearspaw First Nation, Chief Ernest Wesley – Wesley First Nation, Chief Aaron Young – Chiniki First Nation. Tsuu T’ina Nation: Chief Lee Crowchild. The origins of the relationship that exists between the nations of Treaty 7 and the Calgary Stampede dates all the way back

to 1912 when Guy Weadick, creator and organizer of the very first Stampede, requested that First Nations be a part of the celebration. “We have had a strong relationship since the beginning of this great festival, and we would like to build on that relationship going forward, making our connection even stronger,” says David Sibbald, president and chairman of the board at the Calgary Stampede. “The Stampede is a community gathering place and it is important that we preserve, protect and grow the home fires of our western heritage.” In 1912, 1,800 First Nations people participated in the Calgary Stampede, leading the parade, competing in the rodeo and camping in the first informal Indian Village. 105 years later, the Calgary Stampede is honoured to have the seven chiefs of Treaty 7 Territory continue the relationship as our special guests for the 2017 Calgary Stampede Parade. “This means a great deal to me personally as well as to the Calgary Stampede,” says Sibbald. Please join us as we share our history, celebrate the future and kick off The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

We have reversed the Parade route. Marching bands, floats and horses will be

travelling in the opposite direction in 2017. This means easier access to Stampede Park following the Parade. To celebrate, the Calgary Stampede is offering free gate admission until 1:30 p.m. on July 7. Each year the Parade showcases more than 150 western-themed entries, including 30 marching bands, 40 floats, 750 horses and 4,000 people. It’s not just a Parade marching down an avenue; it’s a march through tradition, history and local Calgary culture. While our western roots are strong, we’ve also got multi-cultural flair with many people travelling from all over the globe to walk and ride in our Parade. The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our worldrenowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme -- We’re Greatest Together -- we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

Stock photo of First Nation’s riders in traditional regalia on the parade route at the Calgary Stampede.


Story by Tom Russell

TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017

Local Events


The 4th annual Kainai Ecological Protection Association summit provided an array of topics designed to inform the public of current and past initiatives from a Blackfoot and holistic perspective. Kansie Fox, manager, KEPA, her staff and committee members brought together guest speakers from a range of professions to share their expertise and thoughts regarding the environment, especially at a time when the land and ecology is at the focal point around the world. After the grand entry and blessings from elder Peter Weasel Moccasin, emcee Travis Plaited Hair introduced elder Charlie Crow Chief who then unveiled the new flag he designed for KEPA. “I came up with the design to represent the stars,” he explained. “I designed the flag for them for their recognition in fighting and working for our environment across the nation. They can have their own flag and maybe more people can help in protecting our environment.” Kainai Chief Roy Fox encouraged the tremendous work being performed on the efforts of protecting Blood lands. “They (KEPA) have devoted much time to ensure that the gathering is a success and that we hear from our traditional knowledge keepers

Top: Chief Roy Fox acknowledged after speech. Bottom: Elder Charlie Crow Chief designed KEPA flag. Page 7 - Left Piikani traditionalist Stan Knowlton. Page 7 - Right Land Management staff Clo Ann Wells, Marsha Heavy Head and Kansie Fox.


TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017

Story by Tom Russell

in regard to the scientific and spiritual ways our people have used over the centuries, and the importance of retaining those important ways to continue to be strong in the work we do,” he said. “I want to ensure we continue to be involved, to ensure that we are heard at the table before any new laws are made, or any laws are amended with respect to the protection of our lands, water and air. Thank you for the good work you have done and welcome to our visitors.” Among the guest speakers during the conference included: William Singer – Food Sovereignty, Mike Bruised Head – My Backyard, Stan Knowlton – Old Man River, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman, Dr. Leroy Little Bear, Greg Cajete, Author -- Native Science, Wes Olsen, Author -- Bison 101, Cristina Eisenberg -- Restoring Wolves, Fire & Bison to Waterton Park & the Blood Timber Limit and Elder Mike Bruised Head who wrapped up discussion at the end of day two in Lethbridge. On the third day, the participants then had the opportunity to travel to destinations locally to see first-hand some of the sites within the Blackfoot territory: Winston Bruised Head: Sundial & Majorville sites – Carmangay, Alberta; Travis Plaited Hair: Blackfoot Significant Sites & Ceremony – Writing-On-Stone; Elliot Fox & Cristina Eisenberg: Restoring Wolves, Fire & Bison to Waterton Park & the Blood Timber Limit – Waterton Park & Kainai Timber Limit, Alberta; Karen Shouting & Dan McGinnis: Thunderbird Farms – Blood reserve, Alberta, Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump – Piikani Nation, Alberta.


TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017



Brave Rock, pictured here, poses with the cast of the blockbuster movie of the summer Wonder Woman. Brave Rock designed his clothing for the movie.

The Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School, Kainai High School and the Kainai Alternate Academy attended a private screening of the blockbuster movie, Wonder Woman, at the Galaxy Movie Theatre in Lethbridge. One of the stars of the movie, Eugene Brave Rock, who plays Chief (Napi), was also in the audience for the screening. Afterwards he shook hands, talked and posed for photographs with all the excited students, family and staff who were in attendance. The young actor, whose parents are Wanda Brave Rock and Mike Weasel Head, grew up on the on Blood reserve where his late grandmother, Florence Brave Rock, raised him. He wanted to express to the younger generation about growing up on the reserve, riding horses, powwow dancing and that he was just like them. And it was with these traditional cultural values that enabled him to break into the film industry. “It’s been great to share my cultural values with the world. It is these cultural values, my language, my singing and dancing, that I acknowledge and respect,” he said, and explained that these cultural values are often taken for granted and should be recognized for his success. “These cultural values have literally taken me around the world. Be yourself because ‘nobody is you’er than you’”. Brave Rock’s horsemanship allowed him to begin performing stunts as part of Buffalo

Bill’s Wild West Show at the Disneyland Park in Paris, France. He learned bareback stunt riding and participated in war reenactments and buffalo chases. Upon returning to Calgary, he became an indemand stuntman and actor, landing stunt work and roles on Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007), Heartland (2007), Blackstone (2009), Hell on Wheels (2011), Klondike (2014), and The Revenant (2015) where these skills allowed him to work in Hollywood and star in such blockbuster movies like Wonder Woman. The movie plotline, according to IMDB, describes the Wonder Woman storyline as such: Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when a pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny. Afterwards, Brave Rock was invited to share inspirational words of encouragement to the Blood Tribe Schools: Saipoyi Elementary School, Kainai High School and the Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School. During his visit to Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School he was gifted with a headdress in a 8

traditional Blackfoot ceremony. Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School student Felix Many Bears was proud and inspired that a member from the Blood Tribe was able to become a success and who was also from his hometown. “The movie was awesome and Gene was awesome too in the movie.”

Hollywood star Eugene Brave Rock

Dressed in traditional outfit. Story by Tracy Weasel Fat

Elder Feature

TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017


Blood elder Pete Standing Alone shares history and stories during Headdress Transfer Ceremony with long-time Kainai Chieftain supporter Charlie Fox.

A man whose life has been documented in a series of documentaries, and who has followed the traditional path of our ancestors, was bestowed a great honor from his people in receiving a headdress in a ceremony performed by a Blackfoot elder. Dr. Pete Standing Alone, whose reputation and contribution to the Blackfoot way of life, received a headdress from elder Charlie Fox in an observance witnessed by Chief Roy Fox, members of council, Kainai Chieftains and community members. “I didn’t know I was going to receive this headdress,” said Standing Alone who then listened to Blood elder Wilton Goodstriker as he shared Pete’s life story as it was displayed with pictographs on the tubular carrying case which housed the new headdress he received. “This is the case Charlie (Fox) repaired for my father Pete, it has his name here Nii’takaksimakowan. This design is his personal beadwork, you’ll see it on his beaded outfit, his headdresses, and then it begins to talk about his life, beginning as a youngster and his rodeo life,” he described. “He worked in the oil industry all the way from Texas to Alberta; some of the lodges

he was involved with, and here is a picture of him on his black horse. He was one of the leaders of the sacred society. What his name means is The Only Person That Took Many Coups is what his name means. This will be his 10th headdress, seven of them he was given the official transfer rights and three he gave away. He owns several lodges and he raises livestock. He owns a number of cattle and at one time was the owner of the largest herd of the original American pony in the world; he raised bucking stock and many have seen him in movie productions. He’s been involved in the Kainai Chieftainship for many years and he’s a former council member. He’s an accomplished man and this case represents his entire life.”

Colin Low hired two artist from Europe, and before I went to Montreal, the artists finished it in one day. That robe had my life story, some of my biggest achievements on it.” Jonothan Fox performed the capture ceremony while Newton Bull Shields sang the ceremonial songs. Elder Charlie Fox, whose father and brothers, the late Stephen Fox, Lambert and Dan, have been actively involved in traditional ceremonies and with the Kainai Chieftainship. Fox also designed the carrying case holding Standing Alone’s headdress.

Standing Alone shared a couple of stories he was proud to speak about to the people in attendance. “I trained a horse for steer roping and that was one of my biggest accomplishments. That’s when you rope a full-grown steer and you flip the steer right around and if you do it right the steer will face you. I also had people prepare a buffalo robe with all my accomplishments,” he said. “The late 9

Blood Elder Wilton Goodstriker. Story by Tom Russell

TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017


Local Musicians Pay Tribute to ‘Oly Rose’ There was something magical as the local music scene came together at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod on May 25, 2017, to celebrate the generous spirit of former Kainai Board of Education (KBE) teacher, mentor and inspiration, Olivia Tailfeathers.

Carl for organizing this wonderful concert and to Sheryl (Seweegahaanan) for the initial inspiration. I also want to pay tribute to those generations of Grasslands Singers who couldn’t make it but were there in heart and spirit. “

Singers, songwriters and dancers from Kainai, Siksika and Piikani hit the historic stage to perform and mark the retirement of Olivia, who stepped down last year due to illness.

Many tributes poured in for Olivia, who has had a positive, lasting impact on our young people, their families and our community. She has dedicated her life to teaching the Blackfoot language through word and song.

“Music is the Universal Language of Healing and I am so humbled and grateful to the KBE for honoring me with the power of music,” said Olivia. “Music has the power to heal, to bring joy and unite us all. Thank you friends, family and community for coming out to celebrate the gift of music. I am so grateful to the KBE, Ramona and

Photo by Blaire Russellt

For many Kainai students and the young and older, she has inspired and mentored through song and wisdom as teacher and an artist who raised the bar for so many young people. She is the reason many have found their voice -- their song. “We wanted to honor our friend and colleague Olivia (who taught at KBE for


about 30 years) through the power of music, instead of just a dinner or speeches,” says Ramona Big Head, who was instrumental in organizing the gala with her son Carl Brave Rock, local musicians, the KBE and Empress Theatre, who have reached out to the Indigenous community in support of local talent. Big Head says the concert was of great personal and professional significance, especially since her late daughter once performed with Olivia and the Grasslands Singers. “We thought it would be fitting to honor her for all her contributions, not only as a teacher, but as an artist. It was so beautiful to hear her voice again and I especially felt my daughter’s spirit in Olivia’s song, ‘Soul Sisters.’ There was just overwhelming support as many musicians wanted to be a part of this celebration.” Big Head thanks the KBE, Superintendent Richard Fox, former principal Mike Bruised Head, the community and artists for all their support and enthusiasm in

TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017

creating this event and for the opportunity for students and artists to get involved in the gala. The concert featured many friends and family kicking out Blues, Rock, Rap, Country, and a Chicken Dancer. Kiitokii (Trevor Prairie Chicken) opened up the magical evening with a ‘hypnotic’ original blues instrumental and held the near capacity audience captive with his entertaining brand of humor and generosity. Other notables included headlining act Olivia and the Grassland Dancers in a soul filling, mesmerizing performance featuring Alumni and a younger generation, Wendy Walker, Blood Rez Crew, Johnny Rains, Kirby Smith and daughter Zahara Curly Rider, Stoneboy and Son (Slade B. Good), Tyson Goodstriker & Truman Big Swallow, Chuckbones, Carl Brave Rock, White Elk Smith, sons Lonnie, Donovan and Julian Tailfeathers, brother Lance Tailfeathers, Troy Delaney with chicken dancer Trezman Day Chief, Mandy Fox and KBE teacher and pianist, Cam Clark. It was a real family affair. “It was very emotional and an honor for me to help with this very special concert’” says Ramona. “I salute the students and musicians who dedicated their time to make it happen. Thank you. I was so impressed. I didn’t realize how much talent we have. There’s already talk of staging another festival featuring our talent.” On a positive note, Olivia says she’s doing much better these days, and is getting stronger each day and acknowledges everyone for all their blessings and prayers. And, she’s looking forward to upcoming performances such as next month’s event in Ottawa for a new exhibit called “By Invitation Only; Dance, Confederation, and Reconciliation,” which examines the exploitation of women and Indigenous people during official talks in the making of Canada. Troy Emery Twigg of Kainai is co-curator of the exhibit that also features a reproduction of a (late) Joan Cardinal painting of a real life event, featuring Olivia and her group of young female Kainai Grasslands Singers, looking at a Blackfoot traditional women’s dress. Tailfeathers’ buckskin dress and moccasins are also on display with some of her music playing in the background. For more information visit the Dance Collections Dance website at or check out Troy’s Facebook page.


Story by Brent Scout

TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017


POST-SECONDARY AND HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES FULFILL AND ACCOMPLISH EDUCATION PURSUITS A growing number of Blood Tribe post-secondary students recently had the opportunity to stand proud and to receive diplomas and certificates in recognition of their educational pursuits and achievements. Many graduates from the Kainai High School, Red Crow Community College, Lethbridge Community College, University of Lethbridge and other institutions of higher learning, hosted graduation ceremonies in recognizing the efforts of our people. Following is a list of the graduates:

Patrick Twigg University of Lethbridge Masters of Education Theron Black University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Bailey Bruised Head University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Diandra Bruised Head University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Ian Bruised Head Simon Fraser University Executive MBA Josie Cochrane Montana State University Bachelor of Science Kristian Creighton Athabasca University Bachelor of Arts IpIsowaahs Crop Eared Wolf University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Star Crop Eared Wolf University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Calvin Crow Chief University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Constance Day Chief University of Lethbridge Nursing Aaron Devine University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Janna Eagle Speaker Lethbridge College Business Administration Mackenzie First Rider University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Health Kristen Healy University of Lethbridge Bachelor Management Andrew Heavy Runner University of Montana Bachelor of Education Vada Hoof University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Cultural Naomi Iron Shirt Lethbridge College Criminal Justice Jennifer Many Bears University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Management Crystal Mountain Horse University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Management Charlene Oka University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Lane Oka No Institution given Business Anastasia Plume Lethbridge College Business Administration Kendra Quinton Arizona State University Bachelor of Arts Montana Shade Lethbridge College Agricultural Studies Marshall Vielle University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts Beth Weasel Fat University of Lethbridge Nursing Nicholas White Quills University of Lethbridge Management & Admin. Latasha Calf Robe Mount Royal University Bachelor of Arts


TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017

Kainai High School Graduating Class 2017 Michel Baptiste Brandt Beebe Brittany Big Swallow Wyatt Buckskin Drake Chief Body Trey Creighton-Wells Landon Crow Chief Brittany Crying Head Quincy Davis Drexler Day Chief Dalton Eagle Bear Chenoa Eagle Tail Feathers Kristen Fair Austin Fox Ryan Fox Tasha Gros Ventre Boy Cera Healy Kaleb Many Fingers Kailey Mistaken Chief Ryan Mills Myria Mistaken Chief Maggie Mountain Horse Albertine Panther Bone Nellie Panther Bone Shane Ramsey Jaidii Russell Kayla Scout Mason Scout/Panther Bone Landon Strikes With A Gun Ryan Wadsworth Katelyn Weasel Fat Ariel Weasel Head Madison Weasel Head Vernon Young Pine Red Crow College

Indigenous Health Care Aide Program #3

Tommy Bare Shin Bone Tanya Buckskin Krissy Chief Moon Whitney Goodstriker – Hunt Adeline Grier Charlene Gros Ventre Boy Lesley Left Hand Wesley Morrissette Bradford Red Crow Dustin Red Crow Rayel Smith Jocelyn Taypotat Gabrielle Young Pine 2017 Red Crow College

Adult Upgrading – Graduates MAIN CAMPUS STANDOFF

Toby Bottle Connie Calling Last Kelli Day Chief Cory Fox Jamaal Fox Anthony Hind Bull Kyra Little Bear Shanai Mountain Horse Ray Mountain Horse Stacey Plume Lucynda Russell-Rabbit Kaitlyn Schulberg Tristan Shade Nancy Weasel Fat Wilma White Man Left SATELLITE CAMPUS – LETHBRIDGE Ronn Across The Mountain Jonathon Bastein Aryson Black Plume Kristy Bruised Head Ferguson Calf Robe Cody Fox Larry Fox Billy Heavy Runner Tara Heavy Runner Denver Provost Kansas Provost Darrell Right Hand Charmayne Scout Rochelle Shouting Cody Wells Tyler Young Pine NECHI GRADUATES Doris Sweet Grass Dorothy Weasel Fat Lorraine Healy Serena Crow Chief Garrett Weasel Moccasin


TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017



Day Chief acknowledging everyone.

We all have dreams at some time in our lives, whether they are of the extravagant variety, or even of those most simplistic in nature; and we can only hope that one day, one of these dreams may come true. For Ayrianna, daughter of Shamrock and Crystal Day Chief, one of her dreams answered her and shared its gifts in the most wonderful of ways – she finally had the opportunity to be under the spotlight at a Hollywood-themed party in her honor. The Make A Wish Foundations’ 500th wish since it began in 1995 was a dream that embraced Ayrianna much like the sequined outfit she wore at her Hollywood party. For the young star that day, Ayrianna had originally wanted to visit the real Hollywood in California, but realized that, because of the related costs, that she could take away from someone else’s chance to experience one of their wishes. In a sense, she has become a dream-maker herself through her selflessness and empathy for others. Ayrianna suffers from neurofibromatosis, an incurable disease that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue. However, she leads her life as normal as possible and has the same wishes and dreams as everyone. During her Hollywood-themed party, there were approximately 160 people who came out to celebrate with Ayrianna at the fourhour event which featured six performers: Jase Nelson, Denny Eddy, Maskcorp, Frank Boltz Hip Hop, Michael King and Kacey

Ayrianna poses with siblings and her dad Shamrock.

Fifield -- and a performance by Ayrianna herself. Her party had paparazzi and the guests were treated to food and snacks. Special guests included: Angel Berry, Althea Carol Clarke, Dave Boddy and the BU hero community, Prab Gill, MLA, Clint Hardman, Floyd Bighead (Blood Tribe Chief & Council), Tamara Pearson and several cast members representing Heartland. There were special video messages of support and were given by Jared Fuller, Ali Lunblad and the cast of ARThouse7 films, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Julian Black Antelope. When Ayrianna was asked who her favorite star was, she repeatedly mentioned ‘Jase Nelson’ and even said ‘he was her boyfriend’.

Crystal Day Chief was truly grateful to The Make A Wish Foundation and to everyone who offered their well-wishes in making it a dream-come-true moment for her daughter. “It was a truly amazing day that showed Ayrianna has a community of people behind her, supporting her throughout her illness one hundred percent of the way,” said the proud and extremely happy mother. “I can not thank people enough for coming out to show their support for this amazing girl.” It was the 500th wish granted to children for The Make A Wish Foundation and it certainly made a huge difference for Ayrianna Day Chief who knows now that wishes do come true.

Some of the performers on stage.

Ayrianna and family in limo.


Story by Tom Russell

TSINIKSSINI June/July 2017


BLACKFOOT CONFEDERACY EDUCATORS SHARE CONCERNS WITH STUDENTS INVOLVED IN DEROGATORY THEME PARTY acquiring ceremonial and other items are earned through exploits and carry great honor by the owners of these articles. He told the students the Blackfoot culture and traditions were not to be exploited or demeaned in any manner, and that there was still hope for a positive future. “Let us change this together,” he asked. “Let’s put Lethbridge on the map in a good way.” Professor Many Guns, a member of the Siksika First Nation, shared some of her university teachings with the students.

U of L professor Linda Many Guns in speaks to students of cultural acceptance and history.

An elder and an educator, both members of the Blackfoot Confederacy, spoke to the students of the Chinook High School in Lethbridge, AB., from a First Nations’ perspective concerning a group of students donning outfits imitating traditional attire at a graduation party which made national headlines. Blood elder and former member of council Mike Bruised Head and Linda Many Guns, professor, University of Lethbridge, shared their thoughts and concerns with the over 1000 students and administrators in attendance.

“The most important message I’d like to bring across to you is to bring forth the facts and the knowledge that existed prior to contact,” she began. “Our communities were very structured, we had gigantic social systems. All of the things you are going to study here: social work, education, employment, economics, all of those were a part of our society as well.

We are connected to this land through our spirits. We’re asking you to live a good life with us,” Linda Many Guns Kevin Wood, Principal, Chinook High School, thanked both Bruised Head and Many Guns for sharing their knowledge and advice with the students and looked forward to a vision of mutual respect and acceptance. “Our graduating students felt they let the school down with the theme party and today was the opportunity to meet with Mr. Bruised Head and Dr. Many Guns and to listen. It was a learning experience,” he said. “The foundation of our school is growth, and so we look at everything as an opportunity for growth and to provide a safe place to do that. What we want is to grow our community and to build bridges. There is an opportunity to work together.”

“Don’t do it again,” was a message spoken loud enough by Bruised Head to the students planning any future graduation parties featuring derogatory themes. “I am here to help you change that image; the people of southern Alberta and the world are laughing at you. I brought my headdress here today, and what you see here is something I had to earn. We have to earn the right to own a headdress. I am respectfully telling you don’t do that again.” Bruised Head explained to the students the significance of outfits worn by the Blackfoot people on the traditional land the city of Lethbridge is situated. He further explained how certain aspects of

Blood Elder Mike Bruised Head shares his message.


Story by Tom Russell

Tsinikssini June 2017  
Tsinikssini June 2017