Niitsitapii heritage education: a poomiikapii approach

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Weasel Moccasin, Camina N.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Anthropology
This is a critical study of the current heritage management practices in southern Alberta, especially as they relate to Niitsitapii (Blackfoot) heritage sites. Two sites in particular, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and Writing-on-Stone / Aisinai’pi, are used as case studies for this research. Both of these sites have provincial, federal, and global designations resulting in layers of colonial policy focussed on how to best manage the heritage sites. Current heritage management directives and policies are discussed and dissected in order to understand the cultural values they represent and protect. These are compared and contrasted to Niitsitapii cultural values at the core of Niitsitapiiysinni (our way of life). Opinions from the Niitsitapii communities of Kainai and Piikanii were gathered and analyzed. From the responses / engagement received, themes began to emerge highlighting what is of importance, and value, for Niitsitapii people when it comes to managing Niitsitapii heritage. The document ends with discussing and presenting best practices that would benefit and support Indigenous led heritage management policy making.
heritage site management , Niitsitapii heritage sites , Blackfoot heritage sites , Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump , Writing-on-Stone/Aisinai'pi , Niitsitapii cultural values