Lethbridge College was given a Blackfoot name Tuesday morning at a ceremony to kick off the school’s annual Indigenous Celebration Day.
Elder Peter Weasel Moccasin gave the college the name Ohkotoki’aahkkoiyiiniimaan, which means stone pipe. He said the offering of a stone pipe is a peace bond made with honesty and integrity and everyone involved must keep the promises made.
“We believe that the pipe brings us peace,” Weasel Moccasin said.
“It brings us harmony. It brings us to be able to work together and be able to function together.”
The stone from the pipe can be found in areas across Alberta, including the coulees in Lethbridge.
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The pipe stem, which is made from ashwood, comes from Crow territory in Montana.
Lethbeidge College President Paula Burns described the Blackfoot name a huge honour.
“Knowing that we are on traditional Blackfoot territory and to be given a name really solidifies that for us,” she said. “It really makes a very public commitment to who we are as a college.”
Indigenous student Chelsea Low Horn said she has been waiting for this day for a while.
“It just means that we are a lot more closer with one another,” she said. “We are joining so many cultures together. We are making that peace bond and it’s incredible.”