The new name for the Indigenous Social Work Circle and Lodge in the Faculty of Social Work is Kiipitakyoyis (Grandmother's Lodge).
Blackfoot Elder Clarence Wolfleg, from Siksika Nation, led a special naming ceremony on Oct. 5 in which he presented the name given to the lodge by the creator. Métis Cree Elder Kerrie Moore, MSW, RSW, who serves as the Elder for the Lodge and Wellness Elder for the Faculty of Social Work, Deandra Neufeld, MSW, RSW, the Lodge Advisor and Dr. Ellen Perrault, PhD, RSW, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work received the name on behalf of the Lodge.
"The university is kind of like an encampment, this place where we teach and these students go, it's kind of like a lodge, where they go to ... just like the camp," explained Elder Wolfleg. "So, the thinking is that grandmothers are always there in the camp to provide guidance to their grandchildren, and it's not just their blood grandchildren. All the young people are their grandchildren. Even some of the adults are their grandchildren. So, the young people come to seek guidance in the camp for the way they are thinking, their feelings, or their behaviour.
"So, they go to get balance and to find what is what is missing. People call them the seven values, that they go to find, that they may have lost along the way. So, they come to this Kiipitakyoyis – the Grandmother's Lodge – to seek guidance outside from their studies, so they can get back on track. Something is causing that little gap of learning. So, the grandmothers use the ceremonies, use the things they need – the stories – to guide them. They won't tell them what to do, they just give them a direction. They say, 'Find that direction. We know you can do it.' So, it provides a holistic, you might say, strength to continue on your challenge. That's what it's about. So, the name is Kiipitakyoyis, Grandmother's Lodge." (Pronounced Kiip - i - toyis)