June 15th, 2024

Lethbridge College’s Indigenization project receives national award

By Lethbridge Herald on June 8, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE COLLEGE PHOTO Lethbridge College won the Canadian College Athletic AssociationÕs Innovation Award for thier ÒWe are AikowaniaÓ video and facility reconciliation initiative.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge College was recognized with the  Innovation Award through Canadian College Athletic Association on Thursday.

LC was the recipient of the award for its “We are Aikowania” video and facility reconciliation initiative.

The award recognizes one of its member institutions that has demonstrated unique marketing, communication or technological advances in its athletic program.

The project was “a true reflection of the importance of telling the story of the land and all it encompasses,” says Lowell Yellow Horn, the college’s manager of Indigenous Services. “It captures both the natural beauty of the prairies with mountains in the distance, as well as the gym, shows how the new logo and design bring Blackfoot territory into the gym, and celebrates the body awareness and movement (Aikowania) that are part of the lives of anyone who learns, works or plays at Lethbridge College.”

The word Aikowania was included in the new  gym floor design and means body awareness and movement, and the strength, stamina and sharp mind needed to be able to spring into action at a moment’s notice.

“It is the essence of readiness, and something all Kodiaks (and Lethbridge College community members) can strive for,” as read in the release.

LC’s submission included a collaborative video and facility upgrades that all connected the college, sports community, Indigenous community and the land.

The short video was first shown last September when LC unveiled theor itutions new Indigenous logo on centre court and had been shown countless times since.

When the college started to make changes to the gym in 2022 as part of the floor resurfacing project, it was the first CCAA membered institution to incorporate Indigenous culture in the floor design.

If people  look at the gym floor now, the design includes the traditional fierce Kodiak bear on centre court and has meaningful indigenous images, designs and words.

“What an incredible recognition to receive from the CCAA,” says Todd Caughlin, director of Kodiaks Athletics. “The support from the entire community to make the whole initiative a reality is so appreciated. This isn’t just recognition for the college’s Indigenous Services, Athletics or Marketing and Communication teams. It’s an entire community recognition and only one of many steps to come as we work together to reconnect the land and its people.”

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