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Kitaowahsinnoon Ayaaksimmoki

This video is part of a larger permanent exhibit, Kitaowahsinnoon Ayaaksimmoki, Our Territory Shapes Who We Are, which is on display at the Nature Centre. The exhibit was developed collaboratively with the Kainai Studies program of Red Crow College and Helen Schuler Nature Centre staff. We would additionally like to thank Klane King and Angela White Grass for their contributions to this video and the project.

Lethbridge is located on traditional Blackfoot territory. The area now referred to as Lethbridge was used extensively by the Blackfoot peoples in their seasonal movements as part of their wintering areas. It is known as Sik Ooh Kotoki, referring to the exposed coal seams (“black rock”) in the river valley.  Sik Ooh Kotoki is pronounced “sick-oh-ki-toe-key”.

Within the overall permanent exhibit, the Blackfoot Ecology section provides an important example of how Place means many things to many people. It also serves as an excellent reminder that there are many perspectives of how the world is, or should be, classified and ordered.

The exhibition shows a way of living that emerged from, evolved in and is rooted in this Place. There is no split or differentiation between nature and humans in Blackfoot traditional culture. Inter-relationships are strongly emphasized and reciprocity is a fundamental pillar in transactions with the environment - taking and giving are inherent. This sense of connection in being rooted in a place reinforces the community or eco-centric concept of self.  

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"Oki is the Blackfoot word for greetings or hello - it is the official greeting of the City of Lethbridge!"
Oki
The City of Lethbridge acknowledges that we are gathered on the lands of the Blackfoot people of the Canadian Plains and pays respect to the Blackfoot people past, present and future while recognizing and respecting their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship to the land. The City of Lethbridge is also home to the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III.