Niitsitapiisinni: Real Peoples' Way of Life

Program/Degree

Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma (4 course program)

Delivery

Off Campus

Duration

Four course topic delivered over Summer, Fall, and Winter terms

Contacts

Graduate Program Administrator:
Brenda Tschanz
Email 

Academic Coordinator:
Sandra Manyfeathers
Email

Program Overview

Niitsitapiisinni: Real Peoples' Way of Life is a topic area (4-courses, 12 units) offered as part of the Interdisciplinary Master of Education (MEd) program. Centered in Niitsitapii ways of knowing, being, and doing in relation to aistomatoominniki (coming to know your heart, Blackfoot epistemology; Bastien, 2004), these courses involve in-depth exploration of Niitsi'tapiipohsinni (Blackfoot language), kiipatahpiisinoon (our way of life), and aakahtapiiyiitsiniksiin (old stories) through Niitistapii art and storytelling. This four-course topic area is designed for educators, school leaders, health care professionals, service providers and other community members who are currently working with or planning to work with Indigenous communities. 

This offering is a direct response to identified community needs among the local Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot/Blackfeet) communities. This offering presents an important step in both language and cultural revitalization and preservation among the Siksikaitsitapi, which is critical given that the Blackfoot language is currently threatened. Further, this topic area addresses the recommendations of The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP; 1995) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC; 2015). Of note, the four courses in this topic address several of the TRC calls to action, with an emphasis on those falling under Education, and Language and Culture. Importantly, the courses within this topic area further respond to Alberta Education’s (2016) forthcoming Teaching and Leadership Quality Standards. Specifically, these courses address foundational knowledge in First Nations ways of knowing, being, and doing, that will build competence in areas including: treaties and agreements, residential schools and their legacy, engaging in community-based approaches to First Nations education, using and creating resources that highlight the strengths and diversity of Indigenous people and communities, and in-depth education and engagement with First Nations worldviews, cultural beliefs, languages and values, such that teachers and leaders will develop confidence in their abilities to work with Elders, knowledge holders, community members, cultural advisors, and families to incorporate culturally relevant, community-based curricula and pedagogies as appropriate. This program reflects a working collaboration between the University of Calgary, Red Crow Community College, and Blackfeet Community College. This topic is unique in its focus on Niitsitapii knowledges across the Canada-United States border, drawing upon strengths across tribes within the Blackfoot Confederacy, which was divided with the creation of the current colonial nation-states.

The place-based learning experiences in this MEd Interdisciplinary topic are scheduled to take place face-to-face off-campus at Red Crow College, in Standoff, Alberta with online zoom learning.

Program Details

The Summer course in this topic will take place face-to-face off-campus at Red Crow College, in Standoff, Alberta. Learning experiences will take place both outside on the land and in classroom space in Standoff, Alberta.

Fall and Winter courses will take place face-to-face off-campus at Red Crow College, in Standoff, Alberta. Learning experiences will take place on selected Fridays and Saturdays throughout the Fall and Winter terms both outside on the land and in classroom space. 

A registration package will be sent to new students after they have been admitted. Registration for the summer term will be available in late winter. Fall and Winter registration opens in the spring. Your Graduate Program Administrator will send more information about registration to you.

Fee details are available through the University Calendar. An explanation of fees is available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies' website.

The University of Calgary offers multiple ways to meet the cost of your education. Please refer to the Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries page to learn more about options available to students. For additional information, please contact Student Financial Support.

Please refer to the MEd Interdisciplinary page for the latest Admission Requirements and Transcripts information.


Program Schedule & Course Descriptions

  • Program begins each Summer term (refer to the Academic Schedule for specific dates)
  • Outlines are normally available 1-2 weeks prior to the start of term in D2L
  • 3 units per course

Term 1 - Summer

Niitsi'tapiipohsinni: Blackfoot Language I

A general introduction to Niitsitapi grammar and vocabulary, with a focus on both oral and written language acquisition. Importantly, course assignments will focus on applied student projects that aim to contribute directly and immediately to language revitalization and preservation among the Siksikaitsitapi through creative and innovative methods, including new media. The course will be delivered using traditional Niitsitapii pedagogical practices of experiential learning, oral knowledge sharing, and cultural mentorship, in addition to conventional language instruction.

Registration info:
EDER 669.24 L04 (50382)

Term 2 - Fall

Kiipatahpiisinoon: Niitsitapi History & Politics

This course will focus on kiipatahpiisinoon (our ways of life) through understanding history, politics, and traditional governance systems among the Siksikaitsitapi. Students will learn through creation stories, Napi stories, how the Niitsitapii got their bundles and their helpers, Niitsitapii heros and historical figures, and will span from the creation days to litotasimahpi limitaiks (the dog days), to Ao'ta'sao'si Ponokaomita (the era of the horse), to Ao'maopao'si (from when we settled in one place) to today.

Registration info:
EDER 659.01 L02 (75391)

Term 2 - Fall

Niitsi'tapiipohsinni: Blackfoot Language II   (1.5 units)

Students will continue to advance their learning in Niitsitapi grammar and vocabulary. Niitsitapi language concepts will be connected with and reinforced by land-based and cultural activities. Importantly, course assignments will focus on applied student projects that aim to contribute directly and immediately to language revitalization and preservation among the Siksikaitsitapi through creative and innovative methods, including new media.

Registration info:
EDER 669.25A  L01 (75401)

Term 3 - Winter

Aakahtapiiyiitsiniksiin: Niitsitapi Art and Storytelling

This course will focus on aakahtapiiyiitsiniksiin (old stories) through Niitistapii art and storytelling. Students will learn about traditional forms of art, including petroglyphs, painted lodges, winter counts, war counts, ceremonial clothing and regalia, and designs such as beadwork and quillwork through to contemporary art. Students will learn how art and stories convey and promote Niitsitapi value systems, ontological responsibilities, and understanding themselves in-relation to ohtsitappspii (the purpose of their Niitsitapii existence) through the generations.

Registration info:
EDER 655.02 L03 (15103)


Niitsi'tapiipohsinni: Blackfoot Language II (1.5 units)

Registration info:
EDER 669.25B L01 (15115)

Notice re: Summer Residency 2021

Details on our 2021 summer residency will be shared as soon as we are able to do so. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we are unable to share confirmed details due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation. Please do not make any travel plans (such as booking flights or accommodations) until further information is available.

Have Questions? Connect with Us

GPA

Graduate Program Administrator

Brenda Tschanz

Sandra Manyfeathers

Academic Program Coordinator

Sandra Manyfeathers

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