Downtown community project celebrates Blackfoot language
September 12, 2019
A community project has been unveiled and is set to tour the Downtown in celebration of Indigenous language and Reconciliation Week.
The three-dimensional word “Oki”, the traditional Blackfoot greeting, has been created in celebration of the United Nations year of Indigenous Language.
The unique collaboration between the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee (RLAC) and the Heart of Our City Committee (HOCC) can currently be seen on the grounds outside the Galt Museum and Archives. The project, which was designed and manufactured in Lethbridge, is made to be mobile and will be moved around the downtown for different events and celebrations.
Heart of Our City Committee member and Blackfoot Knowledge Keeper, Jordan Head, says the funding provided by HOCC was a natural step for the committee as it aligns with one of the committee’s key values.
“The Heart of Our City Committee hopes to celebrate and bring greater awareness to the fact that Downtown, like the rest of Lethbridge, is located on traditional Blackfoot territory,” says Head. “We want to continue demonstrating that the Downtown is an open and welcoming environment for a diversity of uses, users, and cultures.”
“We know that language plays a huge part in building community, in the transferal of knowledge and in the empowerment of Indigenous people,” says RLAC Co-Chair, Amanda Scout. “The Oki project is a creative and visual way to celebrate our Blackfoot culture in the city and we hope it starts more conversation around Indigenous culture and language.”
The Oki project can be seen on the grounds of the Galt Museum and Archives until Friday this week. It will then move to City Hall for the start of Reconciliation Week for the raising of the Reconciliation Week flag on Monday, September 16 at 10:30 a.m.
For more information about the events and celebrations scheduled for Reconciliation Week head to www.lethbridge.ca/reconciliation.
City of Lethbridge