“My sister, Donna, sadly passed away on May 11th, 2018 in Edmonton where she lived for the last 40+ years with her husband. Her Blackfoot name is Natoo sipitaki or Holy Owl Woman in English.”
I humbly dedicate this blog to my grandfather, Bill, who I never met but wish I did. Sunday,
February 4 th , 2018 was the anniversary of his death. Some people think that Indigenous names have no significance or irrelevance. However, such is not the case, as they do have significance and they are relevant to Indigenous people’s identity as they carry the name proudly. The story behind the Blackfoot name, “kya yiina” or “Bear
Chief” was told to me by my older brother.
The 140th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 7 – Innaihtsookakihtsimaan (making a treaty), has come and gone. The dust has settled; the singing and sounds of drums have quieted to a steady beat as we move into the agreement’s 141st year. Much like the above story when The elders say, “Education is the buffalo of today.” Tribal elders consider education as the new economic hub on which our quality of life centers. This is the time for Indigenous people to start entering the institutional halls of learning and begin their educational journey so that the Elders’ words of wisdom – education is the buffalo of today – will manifest.
In this blog, Roy Bear Chief will chronicle his time as Elder in Residence at the Bissett School of Business and the School of Communication. This is Roy's first year as Elder in Residence, and the first year for the position generally, which is funded through the Apaat tsi kani takiiks project. In this blog, Roy will share his insights and experiences working in this new role, in and out of the classroom.