a man stands in front of a tipi
Lowell Yellowhorn, Indigenous Services manager, stands beside the college tipi.

In the spirit of learning and togetherness, Lethbridge College will celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day Tuesday with a full slate of events on campus.

Taking place each year on June 21 – the summer solstice – National Indigenous Peoples Day recognizes the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

Celebrations over the past two years have been predominately held online.

“We are excited for the return of an in-person celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day at Lethbridge College,” says Dr. Samantha Lenci, interim President and CEO. “We are located on the traditional territory of the Blackfoot Confederacy, which is home to several Indigenous communities. Let’s take this opportunity to learn more about, and show appreciation for, their rich cultures and vast contributions.”

Tuesday’s activities begin with an Iissksiniip (Coming to Know and Learn) Coulee Walk facilitated by William Singer III (Api’soomaahka – Running Coyote). A traditional Blackfoot plant knowledge keeper and artist, Singer created the Coulee Walk in conjunction with Lethbridge College’s Indigenous Services team.

Details on Lethbridge College’s new Aiitsi’poyoip Blackfoot Speaking Award will be unveiled at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday along the coulee edge west of the Garden Court Restaurant, weather permitting. The award stems from the college’s participation in the McConnell Foundation’s Social Innovation Lab on Reconciliation in the Postsecondary Sector. The lab, which launched last fall, aims to support small regional teams as they tackle a specific opportunity facing them in their efforts for reconciliation.

Afternoon activities in The Cave include a beading workshop led by Laryette Collete, a Lethbridge College Business Administration student; Blackfoot Ambassadors powwow dancers; Métis jigging; and an Indigenous Peoples showcase featuring berry soup and frybread and information booths on various Indigenous cultures including Blackfoot, Métis and Ojibway.

“A key part of celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day at Lethbridge College is highlighting our very diverse Indigenous community,” says Lowell Yellowhorn (Spiitawakasi – Tall Deer), Indigenous Services manager. “We’ve done a great job with sharing the Blackfoot culture and history over the years, but we also want to take the opportunity to celebrate the other Indigenous communities we have here on campus.”

Lethbridge College’s National Indigenous Peoples Day events are open to the public and everyone is welcome. For more information and a full agenda, visit the college’s National Indigenous Peoples Day event page.