U of L dignitaries honoured with traditional Blackfoot names

One of the more iconic events of Homecoming Weekend was the traditional Blackfoot Naming ceremony that saw five esteemed members of the University of Lethbridge community receive Blackfoot names.

Those honoured with Blacfoot names at the recent Homecoming Weekend included (from left) Dr. Van Christou, Dr. Dennis Connolly, Dr. Andy Hakin, Kurt Schalchter and Janice Varzari. U of L President Dr. Mike Mahon, far right, was previously honoured by the Blackfoot Nation.

A decades-long custom, the naming ceremony recognizes and celebrates the relationship between the University of Lethbridge and the Blackfoot Nation. Located in Treaty 7, the heart of traditional Blackfoot Territory, the U of L has enjoyed a deep and meaningful relationship with the Blackfoot people since its inception in 1967.

The latest memers of the U of L community to be honoured with traditional Blackfoot names are: Chancellor Janice Varzari (BN ’90, MEd ’02), Board of Governors Chair Kurt Schlachter (BSc ’00), longest-serving faculty member Dr. Dennis Connolly (LLD '17), Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Van Christou (LLD '84) and Provost & Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Andy Hakin.

Following are the traditional Blackfoot names bestowed upon the honorees.

Andrew Hakin, Provost & Vice-President (Academic) - Iinniowmoowakima – Herding the Buffalo

Kurt Schlachter, Chair, Board of Governors - Stamiksiiitoohkitapoyii- Bull Buffalo Standing on the Hill

Janice Varzari, Chancellor - Oohskwiikkitstakaakii – Blue Offering Woman

Dennis Connolly, Professor - Itiiomaahkaa – Long Journey

Van Christou, Chancellor Emeritus - Iinniowdoomoowa– Buffalo Leader