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Indigenous languages have long been underrepresented in literature — especially in children’s books. The Calgary Public Library worked with aspiring Treaty 7 writers to start changing that. In the Indigenous Writers Workshop, participants worked with author Richard Van Camp to create children’s books in their traditional languages. Sheena Potts, one of the participants will read her book and discuss how this project has influence her to continue.
A recording of this event is currently available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ICCnYtTrs0&list=PLwxD1mhfh1qZ_JNq3GNkBu3CA-Y98BB7i&index=19
A beautiful illustration of the many ways love is alive in Blackfoot traditions and culture. A soft, gentle, and pure reflection of Siksikaitsitapi values.
Oki Niksookowaa, I am from the Piikani Nation where I was born and raised. My parents are Vera and the Late Henry Potts. I am the youngest of three siblings. I have two sons Byron (Iitaamiyapii – Looking from Above) and Lawrence (Awaowa’mahka – Running Back and Forth) and two Daughter in laws, Jennifer (Aahkyaa poohta – Already Flying) and Tara (No name yet). We are all very proud of my one and only granddaughter Sophie (Aahkya paahkwiinamaaki – Coming Home Pipe Woman)
Sophie is the reason I wrote my book. I wanted her to know that when she came in to this world that she was loved. I want her to understand that love comes in all forms starting from prayer to the simple blessings Creator gives each day. More important, love is not gained through material possessions, but it comes from the traditional teachings each day. Through love it creates character, resilience and confidence to become the best you can be in life.
I have been an educator over 30 years. I was inspired to be a teacher from my Grandmother Maggie Provost who taught me to read at the age of 5 just before I entered the school system. It was through her kind and loving teachings that instilled confidence in me to obtain my Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education Degrees from the University of Lethbridge.
My education has brought me many places starting from a teacher assistant, teacher, school counsellor, principal and the Director of Education for the Treaty 7 First Nations. My experience in the education field is comprehensive and I am thankful for the experiences that have come my way. Presently, I am teaching in the classroom again at Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School on the Blood Reserve.
Next on my bucket list is create Blackfoot conversational programs to revitalize and restore the Blackfoot language. Which means that there will be more books to come in the near future.