Wider Horizons

What feels like home is different for every one of us. It could be the smell of coffee, pine trees or the prairie grasses; the sight of mountains, skylines or rolling country roads; the feeling of wind, freshly caught fish or sand under the feet; the sound of a piano, cicadas or equipment in a workplace; and the taste of a million different delicious foods.

But what feels like home is also the same for many of us. Home is the people who make the coffee, who drive with us on the country roads, who embrace us in hugs, who play the piano, and who make or share those favourite meals. When we are with our people, we are home.

Wider Horizons asked soon-to-be and new grads what says home to them. Keep reading to savour their diverse, description (and often delicious) responses.

 

 

One food that says home to me is fried potatoes, because growing up we spent a lot of time with our grandmother Siisiinakii and she always made two big pans of fried potatoes to feed all her many grandchildren in the mornings and it always fed everyone. It just brings me back home to the community of Moses Lake. One view that says home to me is the view of Chief Mountain. It’s always had significant meaning to me as I remember the story my father shared with me as a child. As someone who was not supposed to make it through birth, my dad always shares the story of his journey to Chief Mountain with offerings and his best shirt to ask for strength for myself and how he made an offering to Creator to keep me around for a long time so that I may grow up to become someone great. Laughter says home to me, because when we grew up around our cousins and relatives, we heard laughter and it’s only right in Indigenous communities that the humour is captured through the walls of each home. We are people of humour, you will always see Indigenous people laughing their humorous auntie laughs, is what we call it. When I see the many Pendleton print tables around the college, it reminds me of home because we as Indigenous people always have a Pendleton up on our walls or draped over the backs of a sofa. To this day, I have one draped over my sofa. One smell that says home to me is the smell of coffee through the halls, because growing up, that was the one scent that we smelled waking up every morning for school. It’s a scent that reminds me of my mother, and to me my mother is home. She is my safe place.

Megan Gros Ventre Boy
(Iinakii/Buffalo Woman)
Criminal Justice – Policing 2024; Will start Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree program in Fall 2024

 

“I am originally from Ukraine, but Lethbridge has become my home over the past year and a half. Lethbridge feels like home because it shares similarities with my hometown—it’s small and cozy. The parks and coulees here evoke a sense of familiarity and comfort.”

Anna Zarubina
Exercise Science 2024

 

 

If home has a taste and a scent, it would be the coffee. It reminds me to be grateful for a good night sleep, and waking up to live a new day. Coffee feels even more like home if i am drinking it while watching the sunrise by the beach or lakeside, since i grew up on an island where i spent a lot of mornings watching the sun rise from the horizon.

Ayrton Tabuno
Business Administration – Accounting 2024

 

I was born in Lethbridge but I was raised on my reservation. Kainai is my home and always will be.

Brandon Cash Singer (Imitoiyii/Dog Eater)
Massage Therapy 2025

Pan fried elk or deer steaks say home to me because it is a family-honoured tradition after a successful hunting trip! The southern Alberta landscape says home to me – lakes, rivers, coulees and mountains. This is a unique place and it will always be my home. The sound of our air compressor at the shop says home to me. We use it all the time, so the sound is comforting. A big hug from my fiancé feels like home because I feel safe and protected. And the smell of community lunches that we have at work say home to me! There’s nothing like having a group lunch after working hard all morning! I consider my workplace home. I am surrounded by a work crew who are respectful, easy to work with and happy to help. I trust all of the people I work with fully. We have to work closely together a lot of the time since we are a small crew. The people are what make it feel like home.

Bree Beer
Heavy Equipment Technician Apprentice 2024

 

I would consider the prairies and coulees to be my home. To me, you really can’t beat seeing rolling hills stretching all the way out to the Rockies. The food that says home to me most is elk cutlets. My grandparents have a farm in the area and my dad would always go out hunting on weekends. I would sometimes get to help out with cutting meat, which was always great bonding time for my family. It’s also breaded, fried meat so you can’t go wrong. The Oldman River winding through coulee trenches is one of my favourite views of “home.” It reminds me of camping with family, as well as many good times floating down it with friends. A sound that says home to me is the constant chatter of cicadas and other bugs in the long grass along the coulees. Young me used to be terrified thinking that their chirps were the sound of a rattlesnake, but now they are a comforting buzz. A touch that says home to me is the prickly sting of trying to de-burr your pants after walking through the wrong patch of long grass. It brings me back to memories of camping and playing in fields. A smell that says home to me is the smell of ozone before it rains. I love to look out at distant storm clouds as they roll in, and this smell always lets me know when it’s time to be on the lookout.

Nic Yagos
Bachelor of Nursing 2026

 

One touch that says home to me and why is a good hug. I have always been the type of person who enjoys a nice, friendly hug. My grandma raised me, and her hugs made me feel like you were always safe and warm at home. The smell that says home to me is the smell of smudge: as soon as I smell burning sweetgrass, sage, sweet pine and cedar, it grounds me and reminds me that no matter where I may be, Mother Earth will always be my home. One food that says home to me is dry meat because growing up, I always went hunting with my late dad and my grandma: we hunted deer, elk and moose. In my house, we would always have dry meat hanging up to dry, dry meat cooking in the oven or boiling to make a soup. Whenever I eat it, I get nothing but good memories that come to mind about the good old days. When I see Ninastako (Chief Mountain), no matter which direction I am coming from: the North, the South, the East or the West, I know I am home when I see that mountain. In the morning, I look out my dining room window to a beautiful view of the Chief. My family and I have had a connection with the beautiful sacred mountain as long as I can remember. One sound that says home to me is the beat of the drum. I hear the beat of the drum: it reminds me of the connection I will always have with my late mother, Ralna Crow Eagle, and Mother Earth. Hearing the beat also reminds me of my late father, Vernon Bob Brave Rock: he taught me how to dance to the different drum beats at pow-wows.

Stephanie Crow Eagle/Brave Rock
(Natoyi Ksisskataki/Holy Beaver)
Culinary Careers 2011; General Arts and Science 2024

 

“My first home is Ghana, and i have come to consider Lethbridge as my home as well. The food that takes me home is called fufu (a doughy staple food) and peanut soup with goat meat. Why fufu? Because aside that it is so tasty, it is a food that traditionally requires community and collaboration to make.”

Stephen Adu
Criminal Justice – Corrections 2024

“Anywhere I am with my children and husband feels like home to me. Rice and beans say home to me – it is the most traditional food in Brazil. The view of my children say home to me, as does hearing my first language, Portuguese. The heat of the sun is a touch that says home to me, and so does the smell of beans being cooked.”

Luciana ferreira
Child and Youth Care 2024

“Back home in the Northwest Territories will always be known as home, but wherever I feel I am most happy and surrounded by people I love is where I consider home – and I consider Lethbridge to be one of those places. Down here in Lethbridge, the view of the landscape is a sight that feels like home to me.”

Cole Loutit
Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies 2024

 

I consider the Kainai reserve and the Rocky Mountains to be home. The food that says home to me are Indian tacos. When my family would make them, we each had a part. Some of us made the frybread, while some of us cut up the veggies, and someone made the chili. Sometimes we’d even forget the salsa and sour cream, so someone had to go buy them. So, every time I have an Indian taco I think of my family. Nothing says I am home more than seeing Chief Mountain. When I moved into Lethbridge to go to school, I missed the beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains. I feel lucky on the days that it is clear enough to see Chief Mountain from Scenic Drive. The smell of sweetgrass and coffee will always be the smell of home to me. Growing up I was lucky to see my parents’ routine. They would wake up, make a pot of coffee, and smudge with sweetgrass before they did anything else. The smells would dance around the house until we all left for the day.

Kariza Manychief
(Siipikitstakii/Night Offering)
Business Administration – Management 2024

 

Lasagne tastes like home to me – my mother-in-law makes a great lasagne. We have made Lethbridge our home now! That may change depending on what career options I am lucky enough to have but we do really love Lethbridge now. Home is when you crest the hill on Highway 3 eastbound and start heading downhill before you are struck by the view of the world’s longest and tallest metal trestle bridge so picturesquely on the right! But a view that reminds me of my first home is right when Highway 2 northbound finally splits into Macleod Trail and Deerfoot Trail and you are hit with the many kilometres-wide glow of the city that suddenly appears. It means we are almost home to see family. The sound to me that says, “I am home now” is when I come home and am greeted by the excitement and yelling of my kids!! They aren’t too cool for me yet! But a sound that reminds me of my first home is the sound of the clanging and jangling of horse racing and the many sketchy carnival rides of the Calgary Stampede. I love the touch of a worldclass Bow River rainbow trout – there is no more superior fish than the trout and if the trout from the Bow could tell stories.... A smell that reminds me of my first home is the smell of the crisp mountain streams and air, being lucky enough to have world-class mountains minutes from my home for most of my life!

Bradley Knibbs
Natural Resource Compliance 2024

Wider Horizons
Story by Lisa Kozleski | Photos by Rob Olson and submitted
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