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Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples’ Day by learning a new word

In celebration of National Indigenous Peoples' Day, the City of Lethbridge marked the day by encouraging the community to add a Blackfoot word into their vocabulary.

Sikoohkotoki (Sik-ooh-kotoki) is the Blackfoot word for the land Lethbridge is located on. By bringing attention to the word and working to incorporate it in every day conversation, it helps to recognize Blackfoot culture throughout the city and beyond.

"We're working to foster the path forward to Reconciliation not only as an organization but as a community," says Indigenous Relations Advisor, Charlene Bruised Head-Mountain Horse. "Putting a spotlight on one word helps to elevate the wider conversation around recognizing and acknowledging the language, culture and heritage of not only Blackfoot but all Indigenous peoples."

The City of Lethbridge has made a number of commitments to Truth and Reconciliation, including adopting Oki in 2019 as the official greeting of the City of Lethbridge. This coincided with the year of the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages. The greeting was made official to celebrate that year and to promote greater use and respect for the Blackfoot language and the lands we're located on.

Other Reconciliation initiatives include the recently installed flagpoles outside City Hall permanently fly the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) flag. Lethbridge City Council approved the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Recommendations and Work Plan in 2021, which follows a 2017 commitment to the address the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

"Part of moving toward Reconciliation is learning and celebrating the role Indigenous culture plays in our community," says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. "We're fortunate to be located in the heart of Blackfoot territory and are home to the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III, so we have lots of opportunities to learn from the Indigenous peoples who have called Sikoohkitoki home for hundreds of years."

There are several community events and activities planned to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples' Day throughout the week. You can find them by heading to

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