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Indigenous Community Fundraiser

Every Child Matters

All Canadians have a responsibility to learn about the history of colonization in Canada, its harmful and ongoing impacts, and the ways we can support Indigenous people and communities rebuilding their languages and cultures.

This list of resources is far from complete. It is meant to provide a starting point for learning, and it will continue to evolve over time. It is shaped by the perspectives and experiences of its author, Heather Bliss. We welcome your input. Please feel free to share resources you have found useful in your own learning.

Learn more about the history of colonization and residential schools in Canada

Learn more about Indigenous rights and reconciliation

Learn more about Indigenous languages in Canada

Learn more about Blackfoot

  • Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth
    • This is the charity organization our fundraiser is supporting!
  • Blackfoot Language Resources
    • Digital hub including dictionary, oral stories, conversational phrases, learning resources, academic articles and more
  • Niitsitapi Virtual Exhibit
    • An online exhibit that includes stories and histories of the Blackfoot people. Niitsitapi roughly translates to “authentic/original people” in Blackfoot, and it is the name the Blackfoot people use to refer to themselves

Learn more about the name of our initiative

Aawatsspommootsiiyio’p is the name of our project. It was given to us by Ikino’motstaan Noreen Breaker, a Siksika Elder. It is a Blackfoot word that translates to “we are stepping up to help each other.”

Here is a of Heather pronouncing the word. (Be gentle! Heather is just learning, and a fluent Elder like Noreen would do a much better job!)

In the Blackfoot language, one word often corresponds to a complete sentence, and each word consists of many smaller pieces that have important meanings. Aawatsspommootsiiyio’p is no different. Here is a breakdown of the word into pieces:

Aawat-sspommo-otsiiyi-o’p

  • aawat = taking initiative; stepping up
  • sspommo = to help
  • otsiiyi = reciprocal, each other
  • o’p = inclusive, we all do it together

Learn more about Indigenous communities in B.C.

Learn more about charities to support

Still looking for more?

You are welcome to get in touch with Heather Bliss, either through the dojo or via hbliss@sfu.ca. Heather is a non-Indigenous linguist with long-standing collaborative relationships with members of the Blackfoot-speaking Siksika and Kainai communities of Southern Alberta. She is a Lecturer at SFU, and holds Adjunct Professor positions at UBC, UVic, and the University of Calgary. She works with Indigenous communities and organizations throughout Western Canada to support revitalization initiatives.