Indigenous Awareness Week returns to Lethbridge College

"it is important to showcase the Indigenous cultures here at the University because it is a destination university, there are students coming in from all areas, not only Canada, but internationally. It is important that we provide them with the factual and correct information on our cultures. Let the public know how diverse and varied we are as peoples.” - Leroy Little Bear


The University of Lethbridge held an opening ceremony on Monday to kick off its Indigenous Awareness Week.

The UofL will be hosting a week of educational seminars on campus promoting the history and culture of the Indigenous community. The university is committed to creating a welcoming environment, using the week to highlight its unique relationship to Indigenous people and showcase their culture on its campus.

“Indigenous Awareness Week has been going on since 1976,” said Leroy Little Bear, Vice-Provost, Iniskim Indigenous Relations.

“It is a huge celebration about Indigenous culture being brought to the university. We have said, in regards to organizing students to have a club, that it makes (the university) feel much more like a home, students are at ease. But it is also a cause for educating and showing our culture, how we do things, and so forth.”

Among events, the university will be celebrating the ratification of its newest Indigenous Student Club, All My Relations “Nikso’kowaisi”.

Included in the opening ceremony was a naming ceremony for four members of the university community. Martha Mathurin-Moe, Executive Director for Equity Diversity and Inclusion, Erasmus Okine, Provost and Vice-President Academic, Mike Whipple, Executive Director of President and Provost Offices, and Kerry Godfrey, Dean of the Dhillon School of Business, all received a traditional Blackfoot name for their work in the Indigenous community.

“It is a deep honour to be given a Blackfoot name. It comes with a degree of responsibility, you have to steward the land upon which you live and work. When I was given my Blackfoot name (Akaisamo’too), which means one who came a long time ago, it means that you have an opportunity to be responsible to the community that you work in,” said Mathurin-Moe.

Check out the event schedule at

More from Calgary