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A core principle of Otahpiaaki is the promotion and celebration of Indigenous Beauty. Otahpiaaki 2018 includes both our community-facing runways, workshops, performances, screenings and language projects and deeper academic research on decolonizing the runway, design in nature, and economic reconciliation based on creative practices and traditional teachings.



A Greeting From Our Elder

Niitsiikohtaahsitaak Ni no’ohk Ohko’tsitssspomissta’shs annohk aamo Otahpiaakii. Niitspomowiyaiamoksi aissksinima’tssa asitapiiks kii otaissksinima’stoki aaki. Anoom O’mahkitaissksima’tstahkio’p, iikstaiya mukko ostistapistimya Kaanai’sitapii o’paitapisinni.
Kimmooksi Ni’taispomowiya a’kohko’tsiik Itapso’kapi Ma Otapi’ssinni Assaiyaa’ak o’ttsisstapitsim Kaanaistitapi’ o’paitapisinni, a’kohko’tsiiinni’yimmokiyiwaa . Iiksoka’pii.
Pooksinawaakii (Little Chief Woman)
Piikani/ Aakainawa (Kainai)

Greetings to All.
This is (Little Chief Woman), Jeannie Smith-Davis. I am from the Lone Fighters Clan of the Piikani. I married my husband (Many Offerings) Wesley Davis, and through this transferred into the Fish Eaters Clan from Akainai.
I am very honored to have been asked to be part of the consultation with the Otahpiaaki Project. I consulted with the students and their teacher Patricia May-Derbyshire from Mount Royal University – the Bissett School of Business, on their desire to understand Indigenous ways so that they, in turn, would transfer this knowledge in a respectful way through the Otahpiaaki Project. It is good.
Jeannie Smith-Davis
Piikani/ Aakainawa (Kainai)
B.A., B. Ed., M. Ed. (Cultural Consultant)

Otahpiaaki Is A Gesture And Expression Of Reconciliation

The project was inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and their 94 Calls to Action to advance the process of reconciliation and redress the legacy of residential schools.

We thank Spirit River L. Striped Wolf for naming this project in 2016 when it was founded, and for sharing and leading our vision that the work of reconciliation is for neighbors. In his own words, “This is about Indigenous Artists becoming economic leaders in Canadian Society. This is about Indigenous Artists becoming their own and owning what’s theirs. This is about activism and reconciliation.”


We also acknowledge with gratitude our Elders Jeannie Smith Davis and Roy Bear Chief and honour Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson, Chief Wilton Littlechild from the TRC We are humbled by those impacted by residential schools and their legacy who gave testimony and who continue to share the truth of the legacies of colonization and oppression in Canada and their healing journeys.