City of Lethbridge adopts Blackfoot word “Oki” as city’s official greeting

Photo: Terry Vogt, CTV Lethbridge

Blackfoot is the most widely spoken Indigenous language in Lethbridge, according to the city.


The traditional Blackfoot greeting "Oki" has now been adopted as the official greeting of the City of Lethbridge.

City Council voted 9-0 in favour of passing the official business resolution brought forward by Mayor Chris Spearman.

Spearman said the adoption of the greeting is an important step towards honouring the original peoples of the land the city is built on.

"What better way to kick-off Reconciliation Week in Lethbridge than by recognizing the traditional Blackfoot greeting as our city welcome,  "As we move towards deepening reconciliation in our own community, it is important to acknowledge how big of a role language plays in continuing the Blackfoot culture in our city."

In addition, City Council has also instructed administration to prepare a submission to the next Capital Improvement Program to identify opportunities to incorporate Blackfoot and where appropriate other Indigenous languages within City facilities, parks and neighbourhoods for Council's consideration.

The United Nations declared 2019 the Year of Indigenous Language and acknowledges there are more than 70 Indigenous languages across 12 language groups currently spoken in Canada.



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