Our Gifts

We are grateful to work with Traditional Knowledge Keepers from different nations across Southern Alberta, who have gifted the institution with key cultural items. 

These gifts will allow us to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and doing into teaching, learning and events on campus.

The Name

ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the Blackfoot name of the Indigenous strategy, was bestowed and transferred in ceremony by Kainai Elder, Andy Black Water on June 21, 2017. 

The name signifies a place to rejuvenate and re-energize during a journey. 

Traditionally, these places are recognized as safe, caring, restful - and offer renewed energy for an impending journey. In a traditional naming ceremony, transitioning into the new name is a journey of transformation towards self-actualization.

Cultural Symbols

The cultural symbols, which are an essential part of our parallel journey, were gifted to us in 2017 by Piikani Elder, Reg Crowshoe. 

The symbols are reflective of Indigenous pictographs and petroglyphs from sacred archeological sites in the prairie provinces, and are understood from within a specific Indigenous cultural context that is distinct from contemporary or post-colonial interpretations.


To further its goal of Indigenization on campus, UCalgary owns two teepees for pedagogy and ceremony.

The teepee designs were gifted by Piikuni Elder Reg Crowshoe, and were painted on to the teepees by students, faculty, staff, volunteers and community members at Campfire Chats, on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, 2018.

Interested in using a teepee for teaching, learning or ceremony? Contact Pamela Beebe, Indigenous Cultural Education and Protocol Specialist.

Honour Song

In 2018, Bearspaw Elder Rod Hunter gifted UCalgary with an honour song called Honour our Elders, which was recorded with his drum group Eya-Hey Nakoda. The honour song is preformed or played at all at major institutional events and at convocation

Upon request, the Indigenous Engagement team is able to organize workshops with Rod Hunter, or another one of the traditional knowledge keepers or affiliates, to teach the honour song to members of the campus community.

Contact Elissa Twoyoungmen, Indigenous Cultural Education and Protocol Specialist.