The Crowfoot Public Library in Calgary received an Indigenous blessing May 2.
The library opened in 2003, and is one of the busiest in Calgary. It is named for Chief Crowfoot, an important leader of his people during the 1800s. (Read about his legacy here: https://windspeaker.com/news/footprints/chief-crowfoot-determined-leade… )
As part of the Library’s ongoing work to become more culturally aware and to honour Truth and Reconciliation, the Library acknowledged that it failed to ask the permission of the Siksika Nation or the Crowfoot family for the use of the Crowfoot name.
Calling the library the lodge of knowledge, Bert Crowfoot, on behalf of the Crowfoot family, said having the building named for their great, great grandfather was a great honour, and the name transfer was now completed in the right way, with the Elders’ blessings and a tobacco exchange.
“I couldn’t think of a higher show of appreciation. You’re sharing knowledge, you’re working against ignorance, you’re making the world a better place,” said Crowfoot.
The library will help bridge gaps between the different worlds and society, he said.
Calgary Public Library CEO Bill Ptacek said the city had taken for granted the name on the building.
“And realizing that it’s really difficult to do Truth and Reconciliation when you’re using names that you didn’t have permission to use… I think what we did today was we fixed that,” said Ptacek.
He hoped the ceremony will lead to further recognition of Indigenous names around the city.