Blackfoot Language Initiative

Old Sun Community College (OSCC) is focused on creating and delivering culturally enriched programming rooted in our traditional ways of life and reflective of our traditions, culture, and our language. The college is dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich heritage of the Siksika Nation by incorporating traditional knowledge and practices into its curriculum. OSCC has a history of offering a range of culture and language courses that are designed to provide students with a deep understanding of their cultural roots. In addition to formal coursework, the college organizes a variety of community-based cultural events and language immersion activities that create opportunities for students and community members to engage with their heritage in meaningful ways. These activities are not only educational but also foster a sense of community and pride in our shared cultural identity.

Funding and Grants

To deliver its programming, OSCC annually pursues both Federal and Provincial grants to offset the costs of program delivery and culturally related initiatives. Securing funding is a critical aspect of the college’s operations, enabling it to offer high-quality educational and cultural programs. Over the years, OSCC has been successful in obtaining several grants, including Provincial Language Initiatives, Land Based Learning projects, and initiatives focused on the Coining of New Words. In the 2022-2023 academic year, the college applied for and received a Canadian Heritage Language grant. This grant was utilized to enhance the range of student and community activities offered, such as cultural activities, Owl dance gatherings enriched by the sharing of language, the completion of hardcopy language resources, and immersive community gatherings. These grants have been instrumental in supporting the college’s mission to preserve and promote the Siksika language and culture.

Old Sun Community College

Future Strategies and Initiatives

Moving forward, OSCC has assessed the percentage of new Blackfoot language speakers within the community and recognized the need for innovative strategies to engage the community further. The college plans to utilize modern technology to facilitate real-time translation and make the language more accessible to younger generations. By integrating technology with traditional learning methods, OSCC aims to create a dynamic and interactive language learning environment. Additionally, OSCC, through the Siksika Nation grant advisor, submitted a comprehensive multi-year proposal under the Canada Heritage Initiative. This proposal outlines a series of initiatives designed to increase the number of Blackfoot language speakers and enhance cultural engagement within the community. As a result, OSCC received a two-year grant amounting to XXX over a two-year period. This funding will support the development and implementation of new programs and resources, ensuring the continued preservation and revitalization of the Blackfoot language and culture for future generations.