Oct. 12, 2021

Mark your calendar: Elders' Teaching Series kicks off Oct. 14

Three-part series promotes sharing of traditional knowledge, world view and language
Elders' Teaching Series

Produced by the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the Elders’ Teaching Series is a public learning program that provides a platform for sharing traditional knowledge and knowledge systems as part of our path forward toward transformative reconciliation. The series is focused on building good relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

The three-part series will take place over the 2021-2022 school year, highlighting topics on traditional knowledge, world view and language. It will also spotlight approaches to healing with respect to cultural well-being, intergenerational trauma, and Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being.

The three sessions will be led by:

Alice Kaquitts, BSW’98

Alice Kaquitts’ Iethka Nakoda name is Yumotata Mani, which translates closely to Grizzly Walker in the English language. She is a member of the Wesley band within the Stoney Nakoda Nation where she lives and practises the teachings of traditional Nakoda life. She holds a social work diploma from Mount Royal University and a Bachelor of Social Work from UCalgary.

Kaquitts works within the Stoney Nakoda Nation and elsewhere to support traditional leadership, mentorship and parenting practices through her kindness and guidance as a respected Elder. She is a mother, grandmother, knowledge keeper and interpreter/translator of the Iethka Nakoda language and is one of few language-speakers who can also write the Stoney Nakoda language.

Oct. 14, 2021 | 12 – 1:30 p.m. | Online

Dr. Betty Bastien, BSW’80, MSW’86, PhD

Betty Bastien is a member of the Piikani First Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy and an associate professor emeritus with UCalgary’s Faculty of Social Work, She is presently with Yellowhead Tribal College in Edmonton, developing an Indigenous Master of Social Work program. She received her PhD from the California Institute of Integral Studies and her Master of Social Work from UCalgary.

Her work in developing an Indigenous MSW program is a culmination of more than 25 years of consulting with Elders in research, ceremony, and language revitalization. Subsequently, her work maintains attention toward the holistic orientation to health, well-being and environmental sustainability — core responsibilities of an Indigenous paradigm.

A recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from UCalgary’s Alumni Association, Betty has been celebrated for her research on Blackfoot child development theories, Indigenous research methodologies, child welfare and intergenerational trauma. She is an amazing example of leadership in women, a scholar in her field, and a source of support and inspiration for many.

Jan. 27, 2022 | 12 – 1:30 p.m. | Online

Bruce Starlight

Bruce Starlight is from Tsuut’ina First Nation, where he attended St. Barnabas Day School. He later attended Henry Wise Wood high school in Calgary, but had to quit in Grade 11 to help care for his family when his father passed away. In 2019, Henry Wise Wood awarded him with an honorary high school diploma.

Starlight’s career has had many achievements, including being the Tsuut'ina Language Commissioner, tasked with guarding the integrity of the Tsuut'ina language. He has taught about Tsuut'ina culture, history and language at UCalgary, the University of Alberta, Mount Royal University and Alberta University of the Arts, and he was the first Aboriginal chairman of the Calgary Stampede’s Indian Village (now Elbow River Camp) and the first elected Indigenous director on the Stampede board. What makes Starlight most proud to be Tsuut’ina is the tenacity of the people. 

Feb. 10, 2022 | 12 – 1:30 p.m. | Online

“This series will help to inform our campus and wider Calgary community of ii’ taa’poh’to’p and its initiatives by showcasing Indigenous Elders and traditional knowledge systems as part of our path forward towards transformative reconciliation,” says Elissa Twoyoungmen, BA’15, UCalgary’s Indigenous cultural engagement and protocol specialist.

Learn more about the Elders Teaching Series.