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Nestled in the coulees along the banks of the Oldman River, the University of Lethbridge is located in the heart of Blackfoot territory. We are Iniskim, meaning Sacred Buffalo Stone, and are committed to creating a welcoming environment that enhances the University’s unique relationship to Indigenous people – past, present and future.  

Join us for Indigenous Awareness Week as we celebrate the rich cultural heritage, beliefs and aspirations of Indigenous people everywhere.

Territorial Acknowledgement



A message from Iikaisskini (Low Horn) Dr. Leroy Little Bear

Oki, and welcome to Indigenous Awareness Week at the University of Lethbridge.

We recognize this week as one of great importance at ULethbridge as it focuses on bringing people together, facilitating cooperation and building relationships.

This year’s events, which begin Monday morning with a traditional pipe offering ceremony, are especially meaningful as we recognize some individuals who have helped our community make great strides in the reconciliation process.

I urge everyone to take notice of the events around Indigenous Awareness Week and to find some time to engage with the content and with one another. Let us come together in celebration of our shared campus and the valuable relationships we have cultivated over the years.

One of the key events I want to highlight includes Monday’s opening ceremony at which four members of our community will receive their Blackfoot names. As well, on Wednesday, ULethbridge will become the first post-secondary school to sign the historic Buffalo Treaty.

I want to thank the contributions of two very important individuals, President and Vice-Chancellor Iipisowaahsiiyi (Morning Star) Dr. Mike Mahon and Chancellor Taatsiikiipoyii (Talks in the Middle) Charles Weaselhead, who will be participating in the final Indigenous Awareness Week of their respective terms.

I have great appreciation for the work the University has undertaken over the course of President Mahon’s tenure. As president, his commitment to relationship building has been essential to the advances we have made, and I want to personally thank him and recognize the impact of that work.

The same can be said for Charlie, a man who has always been such a great figure in terms of bringing people together. It is often said that it doesn’t cost any money to have relationships, but what they need is time and nurturing and Charlie is one of the most skillful people I’ve seen in bringing people together and then cultivating those relationships. He too deserves special recognition for his work as chancellor.

Read more about all the events taking place this week in the information below. I look forward to seeing you there.

Iikaisskini (Low Horn) Dr. Leroy Little Bear (BASc (BA) ’72, DASc ’04)
Vice-Provost, Iniskim Indigenous Relations




Schedule of events

Monday, March 6

Join Elder In-Residence Francis First Charger for a blessing with the pipe to kick off Indigenous Awareness Week. Everyone is welcome to attend.

In-Person event occurring in Iikaisskini Gathering Centre (W650)

Join Iikaisskini Indigenous Services for the Opening Ceremony to kick-off Indigenous Awareness Week. This includes a traditional Blackfoot Naming Ceremony for four members of the ULethbridge community, round dance and honour dance for Dr. Mike Mahon, President & Vice-Chancellor, and Chancellor Charles Weaselhead.

In-Person event occurring in University Hall Atrium

Served to the first 300 attendees.

In-Person event occurring in Theatre Lobby

Join the Department of Indigenous Studies for a viewing and discussion of this feature film from executive producer Taika Watiti (Māori) and writer/director/producer Danis Goulet (Cree-Métis).

2043 - in a dystopian future a military occupation controls disenfranchised cities in post-war North America. Children are considered property of the regime which trains them to fight. A desperate Cree woman joins an underground band of vigilantes to infiltrate a State children’s academy and get her daughter back.

Rated 14A (Action, Sci-Fi, Young Adult). Free of charge and open to everyone.

In-Person event occurring in PE261


Tuesday, March 7

The School of Graduate Studies, in partnership with Iikaisskini Indigenous Services, invites you to a presentation from Indigenous Graduates Students. Students will showcase their work and talk about firsthand experience as Graduate Students. Refreshments will be provided. Everyone welcome.

In-Person event occurring in Iikaisskini Gathering Centre (W650)


Drop into the Innovation Zone to participate in the “Oki” sticker, button and T-shirt making event.  All supplies will be provided. Everyone is welcome to attend.

In-Person event occurring in Science Commons - Agility Innovation Zone (SA6304)

A workshop with storytelling by Blackfoot Elders and creative activities with Making Treaty Seven Cultural Society. Presented by the Department of Drama as part of Indigenous Awareness Week.
Open to everyone. Please pre-register here.

In-Person event occurring in W480

Join the Dept of Indigenous Studies for a viewing and discussion of this feature film directorial debut from Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk). 

When Maika and her ragtag friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny arctic hamlet, it's up to them to save the day. Utilizing their makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge, the aliens realize you don't mess with girls from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. 

Rated 14A (Horror, Sci-Fi, Young Adult). Free of charge and open to everyone.

In-Person event occurring in L1060 (Library Building).

Wednesday, March 8

Join special guests Wes Olson and Johane Janelle for a talk on the Ecological Buffalo. Based on Wes Olson’s thirty-five years of working intimately with bison – and featuring Johane Janelle’s stunning photography – The Ecological Buffalo takes journey through the myriad of connections this keystone species has with the Great Plains.

In-Person event occurring in Science Commons Atrium

Join us for the Buffalo Treaty signing. Witness the University of Lethbridge sign the Buffalo Treaty.

In-Person event occurring in Science Commons Atrium

Thursday, March 9

Join Dhillon School of Business Faculty, Don McIntyre, for a talk on Reconciling Truth in a Post-truth Era.

In-Person event occurring in Turcotte Hall (TH277)


Mootookakio’ssin’s Duck Moon event includes making small clay sculptures and 3D printing. Materials and attendance are free and open to the campus community and the public.

RSVP: https://info.mootookakiossin.ca/events/event/saaiki-somm-duck-moon/

In-Person event occurring in Iikaisskini Gathering Centre (W650)

Join the newly ratified Indigenous Student Club for an evening of fun. The evening includes refreshments, live music, open mic, games and prizes. Come out to meet and socialize with other Indigenous Students. Event is open to all ages, families and the community. Everyone welcome.

In-Person event occurring in Students' Union Ballroom


Part of ULethbridge Art Gallery’s series of free, one-hour long storytelling sessions about the weather from diverse perspectives. The online storytelling events, titled Weather Stories, is organized by Lisa Hirmer and will bring together scientists, Indigenous Elders, artists, poets, gardeners, and activists from diverse backgrounds to tell tales about their experiences of weather. https://artgallery.uleth.ca/weather-collection/

Virtual event will be hosted on Zoom. Join here:  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82172074616


Friday, March 10

Join ULeth student Chataya Holy Singer, and Santanita Oka (Indigenous Mental Health Outreach Worker) as they guide us through a painting tutorial. Learn about Blackfoot cosmology, star stories, and how to paint the night sky using some of the Blackfoot cosmo symbols. Refreshments and supplies will be available. Two sessions will be held.

In-Person event occurring in Iikaisskini Gathering Centre (W650)


Opening Tuesday, March 7 at 10 a.m., the ULethbridge Art Gallery will have a special display of artworks by Indigenous artists from its collection. It is a blend of historical and contemporary works from across Canada.

This exhibition is free to view all week from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Hess Gallery (W600).

All are welcome!

Make a donation to the Iikaisskini Student Initiatives Fund, which supports programming for Indigenous ULethbridge students.