OKI Sign Expressions of Interest - Organizations - December 2023
The City of Lethbridge acknowledges that we are gathered on the lands of the Niitsitapi | Blackfoot peoples and respects the contributions of Blackfoot and all Indigenous peoples people past, present and future, while recognizing and respecting their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship to the land. The City of Lethbridge is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.
In 2019, the City of Lethbridge Heart of Our City Committee and the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee partnered to develop an OKI Sign as part of the celebration of 2019 as the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages and the adoption of Oki as the official greeting of the City of Lethbridge. Since 2019, the City’s two OKI Signs have been seen throughout the community at special events and celebrations.
In 2022, community partners came forward and expressed interest in having their own OKI Signs. The City of Lethbridge, through Opportunity Lethbridge, the Indigenous Relations Office and the Public Art Program partnered with an amazing group of community organizations to seek Indigenous artists to design artwork for a series of OKI Signs. The six (6) selected designs were installed as vinyl wraps on pre-fabricated OKI Signs. Each of the community partners were then host to their very own OKI Sign. The community partners include: Primaris (Park Place Mall), the Galt Museum & Archives, the Lethbridge Public Library, the University of Lethbridge, the Lethbridge Agri-Food Hub & Trade Centre (Lethbridge and District Exhibition Society) and the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge.
The purpose of this initiative is to celebrate Blackfoot culture and language across the community and to celebrate the important role that OKI has come to play in our community as a symbol of respect, understanding and reconciliation – and the hallmark of Sikóóhkotok (Lethbridge).
How do organizations register their interest in being an OKI Sign host?
Interested organizations are asked to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Indigenous Relations Office at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2024 at 4 p.m. (MST).
The EOI should include:
- Name of organization;
- Registered not-for-profit number (if applicable);
- Proposed location of the OKI Sign;
- Contact details for the person responsible for the submission of the EOI and project moving forward if selected;
- A letter outlining how the organization is:
- Engaging with the Indigenous community through their work;
- How Indigenous culture and/or language is being incorporated within the organization; and
- How Reconciliation is being applied within the organization;
- Confirmation of ability to cost-share the expenses relating to the creation of one (1) Oki Sign. The estimated budget required to create one (1) OKI Sign is approximately $5,250.00, based on historical expenses. See below for historical OKI Sign costs. There are provisions for registered not-for-profit organizations to ensure hosting an OKI Sign is not cost-prohibitive. The Indigenous Relations Office will work with the City’s Public Art Program to select as many organizations as funding will allow.
The City will then work with Public Art to select successful organizations. These organizations will be matched with an artist’s design following the artist's EOI process. Each sign will have an individual design, specific to where it will be located.
Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for Organizations – January 15, 2024 by 4 p.m. (MST).
Project completion and installation of OKI Sign - September 2024 (timeline may vary depending on supplier)
Project Budget (based on 2022 calculations)
Fabrication of OKI Sign $7,500.00
Vinyl wraps of sign $3,000.00.
*pricing may vary slightly depending on the supplier.
As stated above, there may be opportunities for cost-sharing in some circumstances. Please include the registered not-for-profit status of your organization and the location of where the OKI Sign will be hosted.
Each OKI Sign will be fabricated of the same materials (aluminum) and will be the same size. When fully assembled each OKI Sign will be approximately 5’ tall, 12’6” wide and 3” deep. Each letter is attached to a base and the “O” features a removable insert that can be placed within the middle of the “O” with your logo. The image below illustrates the design.