Siksika Knowledge

Overview

Immerse yourself in the Siksika Knowledge courses and be swept away by the language, history, culture, art, traditions and ways of knowing of the Siksika people in the traditional Blackfoot territory and the changes of the last century and a half.

Siksika Knowledge courses are not your typical history classes. You experience the entire culture, the joys and heartbreaks of the day-to-day living of your ancestors, the deep spiritual connection to the land, animals and each other. You will gain an understanding of the Siksika Way of Life and the values and code of ethics that guide that Life.

Imagine a way to know what it was like to raise children in the traditional ways of Niistawatsimaani. To gather around the campfire at the end of the day to play games and listen to the stories passed down by the Elders. To fully understand the language of your ancestors. To have ceremonies and understand the government of the people. To understand the transfer ceremony required to dance or use designs and colours in arts and crafts. To ride with the hunters, to acquire the skills to hunt and trap to provide for your family. To understand the societies and be honoured to receive ancient traditional knowledge and carry on the traditions yourself.

Siksika Knowledge courses examine the Blackfoot Treaty, the legacy of Residential Schools, the changes in traditional business practices and much more and the impact those changes brought to individuals, families and community.

The Creation of Siksika Knowledge Courses

In the 1990’s The Nation and Old Sun Community College recognized that the Siksika Way of Life was seeping away from the people and saw the need for a way to educate students.

As part of the college’s Vision and Belief Statement, it was only natural that the creation and development of the Siksika Knowledge courses happened on the campus of Old Sun Community College, a former residential school.

In 2010 a group of dedicated Elders, knowledge keepers, educators and concerned members of the Siksika Nation were invited to create a program that would pass down the knowledge that our ancestors intended us to know. Since then, 37 courses have been developed to pass on the Siksika traditional way of life. Through the hard work and commitment of this group, 17 courses have been accredited as university transfer courses.

Siksika Knowledge courses are taught in the evening or in a block throughout the school year at Old Sun Community College. These courses are not your typical classroom experiences. You may go on field trips to historical sites; engage in dialogue with sacred places; discover where your clan fits in the territory of the Great Blackfoot Confederacy or play traditional games.

Please contact the Registrar or the Research and Program Development Office to register or for more information about the Siksika Knowledge courses.

Key Contributors to Curriculum Development

Siksika Traditional Knowledge Keepers

  • Spomiikaa’pi (Chris McHugh)
  • Katao’pi (Larry Leather)
  • Kayiihtsipimiohkitopi (Kent Ayoungman)
  • Naatowohkitopi (Fred Breaker)
  • Siksika’kiiks – Siksika Women’s Advisory Committee
  • Naapiinaamaya’ki (Florence Back Fat)
  • Aapoya’ki (Emily Three Suns)
  • Ksista’paaki (Betty Poor Eagle)
  • Sakoisaokaasim (Joan Poor Eagle)
  • Otahkoiksiskstakia’ki (Maureena Pretty Youngman)

Principal Researcher and Developer

  • Siipiisai’pia’ki (Vivian Ayoungman), B.Ed., M.Ed., M.A.Ed., Ed.D.
Courses Transferable to Other Institutions

Click the title of each course to learn more.

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

Introduction to the Siksika People
Credit hours: 3.0

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

Introduction to Siksika Spirituality
Credit hours: 3.0
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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Prerequisites: none

In the 1990’s The Nation and Old Sun Community College recognized that the Siksika Way of Life was seeping away from the people and saw the need for a way to educate students.

As part of the college’s Vision and Belief Statement, it was only natural that the creation and development of the Siksika Knowledge courses happened on the campus of Old Sun Community College, a former residential school.

In 2010 a group of dedicated Elders, knowledge keepers, educators and concerned members of the Siksika Nation were invited to create a program that would pass down the knowledge that our ancestors intended us to know. Since then, 37 courses have been developed to pass on the Siksika traditional way of life. Through the hard work and commitment of this group, 17 courses have been accredited as university transfer courses.

Siksika Knowledge courses are taught in the evening or in a block throughout the school year at Old Sun Community College. These courses are not your typical classroom experiences. You may go on field trips to historical sites; engage in dialogue with sacred places; discover where your clan fits in the territory of the Great Blackfoot Confederacy or play traditional games.

Please contact the Registrar or the Research and Program Development Office to register or for more information about the Siksika Knowledge courses.

Siksika Traditional Knowledge Keepers

  • Spomiikaa’pi (Chris McHugh)
  • Katao’pi (Larry Leather)
  • Kayiihtsipimiohkitopi (Kent Ayoungman)
  • Naatowohkitopi (Fred Breaker)
  • Siksika’kiiks – Siksika Women’s Advisory Committee
  • Naapiinaamaya’ki (Florence Back Fat)
  • Aapoya’ki (Emily Three Suns)
  • Ksista’paaki (Betty Poor Eagle)
  • Sakoisaokaasim (Joan Poor Eagle)
  • Otahkoiksiskstakia’ki (Maureena Pretty Youngman)

Principal Researcher and Developer

  • Siipiisai’pia’ki (Vivian Ayoungman), B.Ed., M.Ed., M.A.Ed., Ed.D.

The following courses are transferable to other institutions. Click here for a comprehensive list of Siksika courses and their descriptions.

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

Introduction to the Siksika People
Credit hours: 3.0

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

Introduction to Siksika Spirituality
Credit hours: 3.0
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Siksika Genealogy
Credit hours: 3.0

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

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

The Evolution of Siksika Governance Structures
Credit hours: 3.0

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

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