Iikaisskini & Indigenous Student Center

SUPPORT SERVICES FOR INDIGENOUS STUDENTS

Oki! Welome!

Our University’s Blackfoot name is Iniskim, meaning Sacred Buffalo Stone, and was gifted to us by Elder Bruce Wolf Child in 2002. The University of Lethbridge acknowledges and deeply appreciates the Siksikaitsitapii peoples’ connection to their traditional territory. We, as people living and benefiting from Blackfoot Confederacy traditional territory, honour the traditions of people who have cared for this land since time immemorial. We recognize the diverse population of Aboriginal peoples who attend the University of Lethbridge and the contributions these Aboriginal peoples have made in shaping and strengthening the University community in the past, present, and in the future.

Keep up to date with news and events facebook logo@iikaisskini

General Inquiries

Lindi Shade | Manager of Iikaisskini

403-317-2812     

lindi.shade@uleth.ca


Charlene Bruised Head-Mountain Horse | Indigenous Student Advisor

403-329-2492      

charlene.mhorse@uleth.ca


Jodie Flamand | Indigenous Student Advisor

403-332-4455

jodie.flamand@uleth.ca

Check out our Indigenous focused programs!

The University of Lethbridge is proud to have a wide selection of majors that focus on Indigenous history, art, culture and way of life. Click the links below for more information on these programs. 

Indigenous students

Indigenous Student Success Cohort

The Indigenous Student Success Cohort (ISSC) is a first-year credit program offered by the Faculty of Arts and Science. By providing a solid foundation of core skills in a supportive cohort environment that focuses on Indigenous ways of knowing and learning, it provides First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) students, who are not fully admissible to the University of Lethbridge, an opportunity to be admitted and succeed at the university level.

Iikaisskini Student Center

Iikaisskini (ee-GUS-ganee) is Blackfoot meaning “low horn “ named in honour of Leroy Little Bear - BA,  JD, HON. DAS, HON. LL.D. In recognition of his services to the University of Lethbridge. A modern day warrior for aboriginal higher education, aboriginal rights, treaties, blackfoot traditional knowledge and culture.

Low Horn - representing the stance of the charging buffalo, its head down and horns low to the ground.

Our gathering place is about an invitation to come share our stories, teachings, and wisdom.  It’s about relationships, a safe place to explore new knowledge and engage in community dialogue.  It’s about igniting pride and inspiring leadership. 

Learn more

Meet our staff!

 

Lindi Shade | BA ‘06, BSW ‘06, MSW ‘11
Iikaisskini Indigenous Student Centre
Manager

Oki my name is Lindi Shade I am a Kainai Nation (Blackfoot) member and I’m currently the Manager of Iikaisskini Indigenous Student Centre at the University of Lethbridge. As an Alumni of the U of L, it is my greatest pleasure to be in the role as Manager of Iikaisskini Indigenous Student Centre. At Iikaisskini, it is our mission to support our Indigenous Students at the U of L to be successful at completing their educational journey.  We will continue to ensure that our Indigenous Students are provided with the most positive experiences at the U of L as we are here to continue to support your success as a student and congratulate and welcome you as our future Alumni of the U of L

Jodie Flamand-Tailfeathers | BA ‘14
Iikaisskini Indigenous Student Centre
Indigenous Student Advisor

Oki Niikso’kowaiksi (all my relations) my name is Jodie Flamand-Tailfeathers, and I am member of Kainai First Nation otherwise known as the Blood Tribe. I am an Indigenous Advisor in Iikaisskini Indigenous Student Centre. I am an Alumni of the University of Lethbridge and have been employed by the U of L for the past 6 years in various roles. My main role is to provide support, guidance, and resource share with students. I also organize and plan special events offered by our Centre. These include the Welcome Back BBQ, Indigenous Graduation Celebration and Indigenous Awareness Week to name a few. Along with my colleagues we work as a team to support and guide all Indigenous students. I look forward to meeting you, growing with you and supporting your Academic Journey.

Charlene Bruised Head - Mountain Horse I'kitstakiaakii – (Sacred Offering Woman) | BSW '03
Iikaisskini Indigenous Student Centre
Indigenous Student Advisor

My primary role is to provide mental health and wellness support for Indigenous students through one-to-one support, while advocating and connecting students to Uleth resources. Additional, at Iikaisskini we promote an environment for Indigenous students to thrive and succeed at the U of L, through diversifying the learning environment in unique and creative ways! Welcome!

Rhonda Crow; BMgt ‘99
Dhillon School of Business
Indigenous Learning & Program Coordinator

Oki my name is Rhonda Crow and I'm the Indigenous Learning & Program Coordinator in the Dhillon School of Business (DSB).  I'm Blackfoot from Kainai and have called Lethbridge home for the past 28 years.  I'm proud to be a part of the University of Lethbridge; both as an alumna, obtaining my Bachelor of Management here and as an employee, having worked at the University for 14 years as of April 2021. I'm pleased to provide support to Indigenous students in DSB as well as assist with the program development for Indigenous Governance and Business Management (IGBM), which is offered as a major, either 40-course degree, double degree, second degree and post-diploma degree.  We also offer a 6-course minor and 10-course certificate in IGBM.  In addition to the work I do in the Dhillon School of Business, I also oversee our Elders in Residence, Tutoring and Youth Mentorship programs which are open to all Indigenous students regardless of program or major.  It's a pleasure working alongside the other Indigenous staff, as we all have the common goal of helping students to succeed. The University of Lethbridge is great place to be! I encourage all students to get involved and utilize the various program and services at the university, as they will enhance your experience and provide you with long lasting connections.

Tara Froehlich | BA ‘11
Faculty of Health Sciences
Academic Advisor

Tansi, Oki, Hello my name is Tara Froehlich (Johnson) I am a proud member of The Metis Nation of Alberta. I have lived in the Lethbridge area for over 15 years minus a short stay in the Yukon after graduating from the BA. Native American studies major in 2011. I am beyond grateful to live, work and be accepted on traditional Blackfoot territory. I have been an Academic Advisor at the University of Lethbridge in the Faculty of Health Sciences for over 6 years and worked at Lethbridge College as the FNMI Academic Advisor prior to that. The best part of my job is seeing students walk across the graduation stage and see them realize that all of the hard work, sacrifice and resilience was worth it! I am here to help students navigate curriculum, policy and all other aspects of their academics when they are unsure what to do, what classes to take or how to proceed when life throws a curveball. I am proud to be an Indigenous Alumna and staff member of the University of Lethbridge and I look forward to meeting with you! 

Marni Hope | BA 
Enrolment Services
Indigenous Student Recruitment Officer

Oki, my name is Marni Hope, I am a proud member of Kainai Nation where I was given my Blackfoot name Tso waa’p’si meaning Valued One. I am honored and excited to be part of the amazing team here at the University of Lethbridge. As the Indigenous Recruitment Officer, I am committed to ensuring our Indigenous students are supported academically, physically, emotionally and spiritually. University can be an overwhelming experience as we learn to navigate and balance western institutional settings while maintaining and honoring our Indigenous Knowledge and traditions. I am always available to answer questions, provide guidance or simply to chat! I’m a passionate believer in the strengths-based approach by seeing, focusing and growing one’s individual strengths into opportunities that will lead to great success. I firmly trust in education and the doors it will open to countless opportunities. I will be here to support our Indigenous students from the beginning of their education journey to watching and congratulating them on their graduation day.

Wilma Spear Chief | BA, MA
Counselling & Career Services
Indigenous Counsellor

Oki, niita’nikko, Ookaki (Sleeping Woman). I am Wilma Spear Chief a member of the Blood Tribe/Kainai First Nation.  I am a Registered Psychologist hired through the Master Card Foundation at the University of Lethbridge to provide counselling to the Indigenous students. This unique position was identified as a need through the Iikaisskini Centre to help with student retention and support in the academic success of the Indigenous student population. I currently work part time within the Counselling Department and started my job in December 2020.

I have been a Registered Psychologist for over 32 years and over the course of my career I have worked for Alberta Health Services, and several First Nations in Alberta including the Blood Tribe, Siksika and Piikani Nation, to name a few and spent over 15 years in private practice. I am an alumni of the university and received an undergraduate degree in psychology.

On a personal note, I am married and a mother of two adult children. I recently became a grandmother to a beautiful granddaughter. In my free time I enjoy quilting, hiking, and photography.

Mike Frank; BA’09
Office of the Provost & Vice President Academic
Director of Indigenous Education & Communications

This is a new position created as a result of the Mastercard Foundation Project Agreement. The Director of Indigenous Education and Communications role is to build pathways and enhance access to post-secondary education for Indigenous students, develop new and enhance existing supports to increase Indigenous student success at the University of Lethbridge. This role is an integral part of the University of Lethbridge Indigenous leadership and governance team.

Dr. Leroy Little Bear
Special Assistant to the President

Leroy Little Bear is a member of the Small Robes Band of the Blood Indian Tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy; born and raised on the Blood Indian Reserve; attended and graduated from St. Mary's School on the Blood Indian Reserve; attended and graduated from the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta with a B.A. Degree in 1971; attended and graduated from the College of Law, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah with a Juris Doctor Degree in 1975. From 1975 to the end of 1996, Mr. Little Bear was a professor in the Native American Studies Dept. at the University of Lethbridge. In January of 1997, Mr. Little Bear retired from the University of Lethbridge. From January 1998 to June 1999, Mr. Little Bear was the Director of the Harvard University Native American Program. Mr. Little Bear has served in a legal and consultant capacity to many Indian Tribes, and organizations including the Blood Tribe, Indian Association of Alberta, and the Assembly of First Nations of Canada. He has served on many different committees, commissions, and boards including the Task Force on the Criminal Justice and Its Impact on the Indian and Metis Peoples of Alberta in 1990-91. Mr. Little Bear has authored many articles including "A concept of Native Title" which has been cited in a Canadian Supreme Court decision. He has co-authored books including "Pathways to Self-Determination", "Quest For Justice", and "Governments in Conflict" with Dr. Menno Boldt and Dr. Anthony Long. In 2003, Mr. Little Bear was the recipient of a Canadian National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Education. In June of 2004, Mr. Little Bear was the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree in Arts and Science from the University of Lethbridge and the University of Northern British Columbia in 2016. Mr. Little Bear received the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2016, and most recently was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2018. Mr. Little Bear, with his wife, Amethyst First Rider, were major movers of the historic Buffalo Treaty signed by First Nations on both sides of the USA-Canada border. Both dedicate a large amount of their time to buffalo restorationLeroy Little Bear is a member of the Small Robes Band of the Blood Indian Tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy; born and raised on the Blood Indian Reserve; attended and graduated from St. Mary's School on the Blood Indian Reserve; attended and graduated from the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta with a B.A. Degree in 1971; attended and graduated from the College of Law, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah with a Juris Doctor Degree in 1975. From 1975 to the end of 1996, Mr. Little Bear was a professor in the Native American Studies Dept. at the University of Lethbridge. In January of 1997, Mr. Little Bear retired from the University of Lethbridge. From January 1998 to June 1999, Mr. Little Bear was the Director of the Harvard University Native American Program.

Mr. Little Bear has served in a legal and consultant capacity to many Indian Tribes, and organizations including the Blood Tribe, Indian Association of Alberta, and the Assembly of First Nations of Canada. He has served on many different committees, commissions, and boards including the Task Force on the Criminal Justice and Its Impact on the Indian and Metis Peoples of Alberta in 1990-91. Mr. Little Bear has authored many articles including "A concept of Native Title" which has been cited in a Canadian Supreme Court decision. He has co-authored books including "Pathways to Self-Determination", "Quest For Justice", and "Governments in Conflict" with Dr. Menno Boldt and Dr. Anthony Long. In 2003, Mr. Little Bear was the recipient of a Canadian National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Education. In June of 2004, Mr. Little Bear was the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree in Arts and Science from the University of Lethbridge and the University of Northern British Columbia in 2016. Mr. Little Bear received the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2016, and most recently was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2018. Mr. Little Bear, with his wife, Amethyst First Rider, were major movers of the historic Buffalo Treaty signed by First Nations on both sides of the USA-Canada border. Both dedicate a large amount of their time to buffalo restoration

Jacinda Weiss | BA
Faculty of Arts & Science
Student Program Advisor

Abby Morning Bull; BA ‘14
Faculty of Arts & Science
Indigenous Student Success Cohort
Learning Facilitator

Michelle Hogue

Dr. Michelle Hogue
Faculty of Art & Science Associate
Associate Professor
Indigenous Student Success Cohort
Coordinator