Siksika Knowledge Course List


Siksika Knowledge Courses

Courses Transferable to Other Institutions

SK 200: Siksikaitsitaapi (U of C, Junior First Year Option; and AU)

Introduction to the Siksika People

Credit hours: 3.0

This introduction to Siksika people will give an overview of who the Siksika people are, to ad-dress the critical need for the integration of Siksika knowledge, pedagogy and philosophy into Siksika lifelong learning studies. Colonialist and assimilationist policies and approaches have dominated the formal educational experiences of all Siksika students contributing to a severe loss of identity. This course will introduce a range of key topics through the lens of Siksika knowledge keepers. It will provide an exploration of Siksika Spirituality, Siksika Societies, the clan systems, language and history before and after colonization. The topics covered will provide an introduction to content that can be studied in greater depth in subsequent courses.

Pre-Requisite: None


SK 300: Iihtsipaitapiiyiopi (U of C, Senior Level Upper Year Option; and AU)

Introduction to Siksika Spirituality

Credit hours: 3.0

The goal of this course is for students to under-stand Siksika origins. Spirituality was the Siksika way of life and without it Siksika people do not have 100% identity. The information presented will be knowledge that was common to all; rituals that are sacred to ceremonial members will not be covered. Through the concepts presented, the students will better understand the Siksika Way of Life and those values and code of ethics that guide that Life. The Siksika Society was an oral society thus lessons were learned from Iitsini’ksin (stories). The approach to this course will be done though the presentation of the origin stories.

Pre-Requisite: Siksikaitsitaapi SK 200 is rec-ommended.


SK 312: Iihkana’ka’atsiiks (U of C, Senior Level Upper Year Option; and AU)

Introduction to Siksika Societies

Credit hours: 3.0

The goal of this course is for the students to understand: the history of the Siksika societies from their origin to today, who the past and current society members are, what the purpose of each society is and how they all fit together for the good of the people. The key role for the social order of the tribe and holistic health, body, mind and spirit will be covered. What information is appropriate to share with the general public will be guided by Society mem-bers.

Pre-requisite: Siksikaitsitaapi SK 200 – Introduction the Siksika People is recommended.


SK 316: Siksika Bundles (U of C, INDG 313; and AU)

Introduction to the Significance of Bundles and Ownership

Credit hours: 3.0

The course will introduce the many different kinds of bundles that exist, who the past and current owners of bundles are and the significance of these to the Siksika Way of Life. The students will also be introduced to the role of bundle holders for prayers and contributions to community well-being. The intent of this course is to rejuvenate an understanding of and respect for the Siksika Way of Life and the values and traditions embedded in this.

Pre-Requisite: SK 200 Recommended


SK 220: Niistawatsimaani (U of C, Indige-nous Studies 397- Special Topics in Indigenous Studies; AU, INST 2XX)

Introduction to Siksika Child Rearing Practices

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will bring about an understanding of the whole philosophy of Niistawatsimaani, Siksika traditional child rearing practices, and compare to present day practices. Niistawatsimaani is the foundation of Siksika life. The course will examine age old practices and compare to current practices. Through this analysis, students will come to understand how these changes have come about and how they have impacted the Siksika people. The intent is to regain those important practices that created a holistic context and healthy foundation for child rearing.

Prerequisites: None


SK 240: Inaistsiiyi (U of C, Indigenous Studies 397- Special Topics in Indigenous Studies; AU, INST 2XX)

Spirit and Intent of the Blackfoot Treaty

Credit hours; 3.0

The course will examine the process of treaty making in the past; and then examine the negotiations and the spirit and intent of the Treaty No.7, known as a Blackfoot Treaty. It is important for students to understand the significance of the use of the pipe in this peace agreement; the treaty is sacred and is forever. This course is important for people to under-stand the history of the agreement, to learn from the past, to protect the rights for future generations and to be knowledgeable about treaty implementation. Students will learn key Siksika terminology related to the treaty.

Prerequisites: none


SK 252: Residential Schools at Siksika (U of C, Indigenous Studies 397- Special Topics in Indigenous Studies; AU, INST 2XX)

A Review of the Legacy of Residential Schools

Credit hours: 3.0

This course looks at the purpose of residential schools and the role that they played in the colonization process. Students will become familiar with the impacts of the residential schools. The course will trace the chronology of the residential school movement from the implementation of the policy to the Prime Minister’s apology, compensation and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Prerequisites: none


SK 260: Cultural Immersion Field Course (U of C, Indigenous Studies 312 Cultural Immersion Field Course; AU, INST 2XX)

Introduction to Experience of Ceremonial and Cultural Activities

Credit hours: 3.0

This experiential course will be offered in a block with a focus on specific activities such as Ii’kokaanists – Painted Tipi Design, Protocol and Construction. Through a specific topic, the students will understand the significance of cultural events/practices such as the significance of the teepee to Siksika people. The focus of each activity is on living values; spirituality; health and healing; and roles, responsibilities, and respect. The cultural immersion activity will involve an understanding of environmental factors and natural materials used so activities may involve experiences in rugged field conditions and varying weather for which students must be prepared and equipped. Pre-session study may be required.

Prerequisites: None


SK 294: Learning From Place (U of C, Indigenous Studies 397- Special Topics in Indigenous Studies; AU, INST 2XX)

Traditional Blackfoot Territory

Credit hours: 3.0

This course explores the relationships between identity, knowledge and place. The learners will travel Kitaowahsinnoon (what feeds us), our Blackfoot Territory. This will include visiting historical sites, engaging in dialogue with sacred places and conducting traditional hunt-ing and gathering activities.

Throughout these activities, participants will reflect on core questions, such as: What is our relationship to these places? What are our responsibilities in living these relationships? How might engagements with place shape one’s lifelong learning experiences?

Prerequisites: none


SK 328: Siksika’kiiks (U of C, Indigenous Studies 397- Special Topics in Indigenous Studies; AU, INST 3XX)

Siksika Female Rites of Passage

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will study about the rites of pas-sage of young girls to womanhood. Topics will include Siksika women’s roles, involvement in ceremonies, looking after bundles, construction of teepees, and so on. The core values related to each topic will be studied. The changing roles of women overtime will be traced. Contemporary issues, challenges and legislation that impact on women will be among the key topics to be discussed. The importance of understanding the roles of women will contribute to understanding some practices and values that contribute to a healthy com-munity in the present day.

Prerequisites: 200 Level Siksika Knowledge course


SK 332: Clan Systems (U of C, INDG 303, Indigenous Ways of Knowing I; AU, INST 3XX)

Siksika Genealogy

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will introduce students to the Siksika Clan System and the significance for teaching values and how to become a leader, e.g. Clan Chief or a Chief Woman. Students will become familiar with different clans, their histories, connections to geography and migration patterns. They will research the Tribal groupings to understand how the tribe is inter-connected and also look at intertribal genealogy, that is, how the Nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy are interconnected.

Prerequisites: SK 200 Level Course


SK 344: Kitaowahsinnooni (U of C, Indigenous Studies 397- Special Topics in Indige-nous Studies; AU, INST 3XX)

Siksika Traditional Lands, Historic Sites and Land Claims Processes

Credit hours: 3.0

The students will research the boundaries of the vast Blackfoot Confederacy traditional ter-ritory, the land designated to Siksika as per Treaty 7 and the reasons for the reduction to the current land base. This will include an overview of the land claims that Siksika has launched and the processes involved. This will cover those claims that have been settled and those still underway. The national picture on other claims and settlements will be explored for their impacts on claims in general.

Prerequisites: SK 240, SK 294 or Equivalent


SK 348: Aakakihtsimaani) (U of C, INDG 311- Indigenous Governance; AU, INST 3XX)

The Evolution of Siksika Governance Structures

Credit hours: 3.0

The focus of the course will be on the traditional and contemporary Siksika governance structure and practices. Topics will include underlying political values and beliefs and decision making structures and processes; the traditional philosophy based on survival, ceremonies and rituals. It will review the laws and by-laws that governed and governs the Siksika people. It will also review other acts and legislation that impact on the Siksika Nation, such as: the Indian Act and Amendments, White Papers, Constitutional Reform (Elijah Harper), effects of Bill-C31, Bill C-3, Bill C45 and Bill C27.

Prerequisites: TBA


SK360: Aakoka’tsin (U of C, INDG 305- Indigenous Ways of Knowing II; AU, INST 3XX)

Siksika Cultural/Circle Camp 360

Credit hours: 3.0

The purpose of the cultural camp is to immerse the students in a traditional setting where they experience traditional daily routines in a holistic manner. The activities will include rituals, everyday chores, story-telling and cultural activities. The students will experience first-hand the protocol involved in gathering plants for offerings; making items for utilitarian use (e.g. teepee backrests) and the picking, preparation and storage of edible plants.

Prerequisites: SK 200 or equivalent


SK 374: Siksika Traditional Use of Plants (U of C, INDG 317 – Indigenous Perspec-tives on Holistic Science; AU, INST 3XX)

Siksika Use of Plants (Location & Related Protocol)

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will explore the traditional use of plants by Siksika for ceremony, healing, sustenance and other uses. The course will include a study of where these plants are gathered, pre-pared for use, or stored. The study of any protocol or associated rites will also be covered.

Prerequisite: None


Courses Still Being Prepared for Transfer Request

SK 256: Siksika Archives and Museum Studies

Introduction to Siksika Ceremonial Objects/ Artifacts/Photographs

Credit hours: 3.0

This course is designed to review where Siksika ceremonial objects/artifacts/ photographs

Traditional plant and other items are, how they were acquired, how they are maintained and how they are ac-cessed. This will include the process of repatriation. The course will look at the role that these ceremonial objects, artifacts, photo-graphs and other objects played in history.

Prerequisites: None


SK 264: Iihksini ki Paskaani

The Significance and Evolution of Siksika Songs and Dances

Credit hours: 3.0

This course is designed to look at the role and evolution of songs and dances to Siksika people. Songs and dances are highly significant to Siksika life and the course will present about related protocol and rites; and as is common for Siksika practices, many transfers are involved to participate in the traditional dances. The students will understand what dances are traditional to Siksika and what dances have been adopted from other tribes. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the many types of songs and actually learn some songs. Drumming and related protocol will also be included in this course.

Prerequisites: None


SK 270: Astotohsaatsiists

Traditional Siksika Dress/Clothing

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will introduce the significance of transfers for certain outfits, accessories and adornments. The styles of clothing amongst the Siksika and the evolution of materials used will also be covered. Distinctive Siksika de-signs and colors will also be explored.

Prerequisites: None


SK 278: Siksika Traditional Arts

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will examine the use of geometry or patterns from nature and their application to Siksika arts and crafts. Included in this exploration will be the use of materials from the natural environment and the preparation of traditional pigments. An important part of this course is to gain an understanding of any related transfers of rites to create objects or to use designs or colors.

Prerequisites: None


Traditional Arts

SK 282: Aowahsini

Siksika Traditional Foods

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will help students to understand why Siksika people were healthy because of what they ate, for example, what the buffalo ate gave us healthy nutrients. The course will examine what other Siksika traditional foods were and what the nutritional value was of these foods. The course will include a study of how foods were prepared, stored and what utensils were used. The course will also examine the changes in diet and the impact on health trends.

Prerequisites: None


SK 286: Siksika Traditional Games

Credit hours: 3.0

Traditional games were almost lost after colonization and the efforts to resurrect tribal cultural games as a means to promote the cultural values, native language, and well-being of the families will be explored. There will be consultation with elders to re-establish Siksika

traditional games. The benefits of re-introducing traditional games include helping to reconnect indigenous people to their culture and to encourage community members to be-come involved in physical activity in a cultural nurturing way.

Prerequisites: None


SK 288: Siksika Literature

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will look at what has been written about Siksika history from the past to the pre-sent. This includes studying about who is writing about Siksika. Furthermore, it will look at the First Nation writers that are publishing and what are they writing about to add to the larger knowledge base of society. The course is intended to encourage students to write and share their stories; everyone has a story to tell.

Prerequisites: None


SK 292: Siksika Hunting Practices

Animals and their Relationship to Siksika People

Credit hours: 3.0

The course will cover the importance of the hunt, the Siksika relationship to animals and the natural world, the techniques and tools used and the protocol involved. The importance of different animals and their various parts and their influence on Siksika life will be covered in this course.

Prerequisites: None


SK 390: Siksika Economy

Evolution of Tribal Enterprises and Entrepreneurs

Credit hours: 3.0

The Siksika people were self sufficient until their land base was reduced and the buffalo, “their supermarket,” disappeared. Students will explore the changes from the traditional economy of the Siksika to current individual and collective enterprises. Included will be an analysis of the traditional core values and practices that may not always fit with a modern day materialistic world.

Prerequisites: SK 200 or Equivalent



Siksika language courses

Courses Transferable to Other Institutions

SL 200: Siksikai’tsii’powahsin 1 (U of C, INDG 205; and AU)

Introduction to Siksika Language

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will present an introduction of the Siksika sound system and the orthography adopted by the Blackfoot speaking Nations to standardize the writing system. There will be an introduction to basic grammatical structures. The course will emphasize conversational skills and vocabulary development and the inseparable link between language and Siksika life (history, traditions and ways of knowing). The course will begin with a dialogue on the status of the Siksika language ac-cording to research findings and the importance of language revitalization.

Pre-Requisite: None


SL 204: Siksikai’tsii’powahsin 2 (U of C, INDG 207; and AU)

Conversational Siksika

Credit hours: 3.0

This course will reinforce the use of the orthography adopted by the Blackfoot speaking Nations to standardize the writing system. Grammatical structures and verbal categories will also be presented. The course will continue to emphasize conversational skills and vocabulary development presented through themes and Siksika experiences.

Prerequisite: Siksikai’tsii’powahsin SL 200 or equivalent.


Courses Still Being Prepared for Transfer Request

SL 220: Siksikai’tsii’powahsin

Introduction to use of Language Tools for Language Preservation

Credit hours: 3.0

This course is an introduction to the use of technology to develop language modules. While the ability to speak the Siksika language will be an asset, anyone is eligible to take the course because students will be recording speakers of the language. The focus will be on acquiring the technical expertise to facilitate the development of teaching materials.

Prerequisites: Knowledge about computers will be an asset.


SL 308: Siksikai’tsii’powahsin

Siksika Grammar

Credit hours: 3.0

The course will introduce more complex grammatical structures such as transitive and intransitive verbs and their paradigms; and possessive noun formations and animate and inanimate nouns. Students will have more opportunities for translation to and from Siksika.

Prerequisites: SL 200 or SL 204


SL 324: A’pstaksini

Introduction to Indigenous Sign Language

Credit hours: 3.0

Sign language is universally understood amongst many indigenous peoples. Those who have the skill of using sign language will be used to teach this medium of communication.


Prerequisites: SL 200 or equivalent


SL 416: Siksikai’tsii’powahsin

Introduction to Ceremonial Language

Credit hours: 3.0

Under the direction of traditional knowledge keepers and ceremonial members, opportunities will be provided to teach the target language of ceremony for specific societies. As appropriate language tools will be used to record target language to provide independent study for appropriate individuals. Prerequisites: As determined by Siksika Knowledge Keepers


Programs Still in Development



The aim of this program is to immerse students in the Siksika language five days a week from 9:00 to 4:00. Fluent speakers will be a key resource for the program to give students an opportunity to hear and converse in the language. Language tools, such as archival recordings, will also be used to reinforce the hearing of the language. Different themes will be presented and relate to community events and seasonal cycles.

Niitsitapi Education Assistant Diploma

 More information to come.

Indigenous Business Administration Management Certificate

This certificate combines the principles of accounting, management, marketing and general business practices with four Siksika Knowledge courses relating to culture, language, governance and the Blackfoot Treaty.