Oki, “Sipistapinaki” (Owl Eyed Woman) is my Blackfoot name. My parents are June Spotted Eagle and the late Cecil Many Fires. My maternal grandparents are Jack and Maggie (Bear Chief) Spotted Eagle and my paternal grandparents are Steve and Mary Ann (Bear Hat) Many Fires. Traditional Siksika Clans: White Pup and Eagle Rib, respectively. I am a strong believer of “Apistotoki”, our Creator, who is central to our traditional culture, values and beliefs. I am a Blackfoot speaker and I believe in preserving our Language and Culture. I also believe in giving our young people the opportunity to have access to post-secondary education. The gifts of Knowledge and Our Way of Life are available and obtainable to all.
I received my elementary and secondary education in Strathmore, Alberta and graduated High School in 1982. Inspired by my work as a guidance counsellor at Crowfoot School I made the decision to become a teacher. I obtained my Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Calgary in 1995. The Siksika Nation High School opened in the fall of 1996 where I taught junior and senior high school students for many years. My professional career includes my work with Alberta Justice and Solicitor General as a Probation Officer here on Siksika Nation. I also managed the Siksika Head Start Program and I was a consultant and researcher for Siksika Chief and Council. I am working towards a certificate in Child Mental Health, online from Mount Royal University. And I am currently involved in the MMIWG Calls for Justice initiative.
In working with the Siksika Community, I saw great potential and creativity in our young people. We must continue to encourage and support higher education. We are spiritual and resilient people and our future depends on us as a community and as First Nations People. Old Sun Community College was where I began my post-secondary educational journey. As a member of the OSCC Board of Governors, we are committed “to provide all students innovative, collaborative and accredited academic programs and educational services that supports the Siksika Way of Life.”
Kimmapiipitssin, Istto’tsspommoksi, Aatsimma’pi