Ms. Jessica

Assistant Principal

Oki, Tansi, Tawnshi, Umba-wathtich, Danita ada, Aanii, and Hello,

April 2022 | Frog Moon, Matsiyikkapisaiki'somm

Welcome Back! We hope everyone had a resting break with their family and friends. Teachers benefit from the spring teachings of renewal that this time of year offers us. We are excited to welcome back students with smiles and our favourite time of learning where the connections happen, and great learning occurs!

Parent Evening

We are hoping to schedule by appointment an opportunity to visit the school and meet their child's teacher in person. Our parent advisory shared with us that they were missing the opporunity to come into the physical buidling. In response to these comments, we may adapt how we traditionally host conferences and allow for some opportunities to build greater connections with our parent community. 

Thursday April 14 from 4-7pm, we will welcome parents to sign up for a time to visit Niitsitapi Learning Centre using their MyCBEaccount and visit and attend our school for a short visit seeing our classrooms and our music, literacy and Indigenous programming. 

Upcoming Events

Some activities include:

  • April 4: Classes resume
  • April 6: CBE Elder's Advisory Council
  • April 8: Fire Drill AM
  • April 12: Shirley Hill Cultural Teachings
  • April 14: Chantal Chagnon Cultural Teachings
  • April 14: Parent Evening - Parents/Guardians schedule an appointment 
  • April 15: Good Friday - No School
  • April 18: System-wide Non-Instructional Day - No School 
  • April 20: Grade 1 Field Trip to Fish Creek Park 
  • April 25 - 28: Learning from the Land Artist Residency Part 1| Walter MacDonald White Bear & Samantha Whelan Kotkas
  • April 28: Celebration of Learning & Parent Advisory
  • April 29: Fireside Friday & Early Dismissal

Trustee Meeting March 29, 2022

The CBE's Indigenous Education Team recently presented the board's Holistic Lifelong Learning Framework, that is available for all schools as part of the Indigenous Strategy. See the public link below to learn more. 

Trustee Meeting

March 2022 | Duck Moon, Sa'aiki'somm

A beautiful season of change with the awakening of Mother Earth from her winter rest. The Duck Moon, Sa'iaiki'soom brings the returns of the geese and migratory birds signaling the nearness of the Spring Equinox. 

Covid-19 Update

The provincial government has annouced a change in health mandates, allowing choice in who would like to continue to wear a mask at school. We continue to welcome all comfort levels and will continue to have masks available for those who require more of them. 

Spring Equinox Ceremony

On Friday March 18, the full moon, Sa'aiki'soom, staff will welcome Blackfoot Elder Leonard Bastien and Herman Many Guns to support us in hosting a spring blessing ceremony. We are not advising this in person ceremony, however would welcome parents to inquire and join us for this sacred opportunity. 

Upcoming Events

Some activities include:

  • March 3: Chantal Chagnon Cultural Teachings
  • March 8: Fire Drill
  • March 15: Shirley Hill Cultural Teachings
  • March 18: Spring Blessing Ceremony
  • March 21-April 1: Spring Break - No School
  • April 4: Classes Resume

February 2022 | Eagle Moon, Piitaiki'soom

February’s full moon will be on Wednesday February 16, Eagle Moon, Piitaiki’soom. The beginning of February also marks the mid-way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. During this time the eagles are returning and beginning their mating season and building nests. Last year during this time we could even see Eagles flying over our school, all of these are spiritual signs to remind us that we are connected to something larger than ourselves, that we are on the path for new beginnings and ready for new challenges. This all aligns with the upcoming renewal that spring brings.  So when you are relating on and with the land, ensure to look up and watch for signs that supported the Blackfoot and Cree nations to name this time of year the Eagle Moon.

February is often associated with love, kindness and caring, and in the Seven Sacred Teachings Piita, Eagle teaches us the virtue of Love. Tough love. When eaglets are born the adults co-parent and bring sticks and down to create a soft cozy nest for their young. It is safe and comfortable having your fierce parents protect you, and having food brought to you daily. Eventually it is time to develop independence, leave the nest and learn to fly.  Cleverly, the parents start to bring rougher materials to the nest, making it less cozy and nudge the young to fly on their own. We are reminded this month to be kind and caring, while also encouraging boundaries with high expectations.


Kitsikakomimm is a Blackfoot word that means “spreading our love around you”. It is a song we sing throughout the year, however during February we are often reminded of Olivia Tailfeather’s Kitsikakomimm song, and how powerful it is to adapt it to include individual children’s names.  

Covid-19 Restrictions & Attendance

Thank you families for staying home if you are experiencing any symptoms on the Covid-19 checklist. Reminder to please call the school for any absences due to illness or medical appointments, and please know what we are open for in person learning. Knowing that not all families have access to wifi, technology or printers classroom teachers have sent home a winter learning package to support isolation periods or the potential event of online learning. 

Starting Monday February 14th, students will no longer be required to wear masks in school or on the bus, however masks will continue to be made available for those who want them. 

Story Telling

During the Winter Months, Na'a (Mother Earth) and many plants and animals are resting. It is during this time that we revisit and retell stories to remind us of life lessons and values. During the week of the first full moon in January, we were reminded of the story of Turtle (spoopii) and the 13 moons. Students will hear stories of Rabbit (Wapos) and how he adapts for winter as well. 

Upcoming Events

Some activities include:

  • February 3: Chantal Chagnon Cultural Teachings
  • February 7: Blackfoot Language Support Elder Jackie Bromley
  • February 8: Elder Shirley Hill Cultural Teachings
  • February 14: Elder Randy Bottle Cultural Teachings
  • February 10: Lockdown Drill Practice
  • February 14: Valentine's Day
  • February 17-18: Teacher's Convention  - No School 
  • February 21: Family Day - No School
  • February 23: CBE's Elder Advisory Council 
  • February 23: Pink Shirt Day - Stand up against Bullying!
  • February 24: Celebration of Learning

January 2022 | Causes Cold Weather, Aisstoyiimsstaa

Happy New Year! We hope everyone is staying warm and safe as we begin a new calendar year. 

We continue to work hard to keep our school safe for staff and students. Please remember to call into the school with any absences and keep us updated with any concerns you may have that may impact getting to school. 

Report Cards & IPPs

Teachers are working hard on writing report cards, they will be available online January 27, and hard copies are also available upon request. Conference appointments will be scheduled for children with Individual Program Plans (IPPs), and guardians are encouraged to sign and return these documents. 

Upcoming Events

Some activities include:

  • January 10: In person classes resume
  • January 11: Mount Royal University Nursing students begin
  • January 18: Cultural Teachings from Elder Shirley
  • January 19: Cultural Teachings from Elder Randy
  • January 25 - 26: Medicine Wheel Warriors for Grade 2 Students
  • January 27: Report Cards available online
  • January 31: Non-Instructional Day - No School 

December 2021 | Cold Month, Isstaato's

We are approaching the Winter Solstice, and staff are busy planning for our traditional celebration that takes place on Thursday December 16, 2021 before Winter Break. 

Upcoming Events

Some activities include:

  • November 29: Additional 1 FTE teacher joins our staff from Provinicial funding
  • December 7: Cultural Teachings from Elder Shirley
  • December 7 & 8: Filming for our online Winter Solstice video
  • December 10: Classes (in lieu of September 30)
  • December 13-17: Careboxes available for pick up
  • December 16: Winter Celebration
  • December 17: Last day of classes 
  • December 21 - Winter Solstice
  • January 6: Classes resume

November 2021 | When the Cold Weather Arrives

How blessed are we to have such a warm O'ko (autumn), that encouraged us to spend more time outdoors without having to bundle up yet. November's moon marks the change in weather, Iitaoi'tsstoyi, when the cold weather arrives, and we encourage students to dress accordingly at school. We have a few organizations that support us in finding winter coats and boots for children, so please reach out if you are requiring supports. 

Teachers have been busy gathering diagnostic assesments to meet students where they are in their learning, and now are prepared to target specific goals to ensure they are challenged in their academic learning.  As a school, we have been analyzing achievement, perception and attendance data to help us understand what the collective needs are in our school. We are continuing to notice that language and literacy skills are an area of improvement. Our school development plan will outline goals for both students and teachers in literacy, math and wellbeing. 

Upcoming Events

Some activities include:

  • November 1: Proclamation Day for Métis Settlements
  • November 2: Fire Drill 
  • November 1-5: Sound Kreations Hip Hop Dance Residency - Kaiti Perras’ Love of Dance Grant
  • November 4: Cultural Teachings from Chantal Chagnon
  • November 7: International Inuit Day
  • November 8: National Indigenous Veteran's Day
  • November 10: Remembrance Day Assembly
  • November 11: Remembrance Day - No School
  • November 15-21: National Métis Week
  • November 15: Cultural Teachings from Elder Kerrie
  • November 16: Louis Riel Day
  • November 17: Rock Your Mocs Day & Special Métis Lunch
  • November 18: Cultural Teachings from Ms. Chantal
  • November 24: Cultural Teachings from Elder Saa'kokoto
  • November 24: Grade 1 Field Trip to Fish Creek 

Honourable Mention

We are pleased to annouce that a student at Niitsitapi Learning Centre was nominated for the 2021 Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Students Award, and received an honourable mention certificate. Aiden Hicks is Métis, his family is related to the Fontaine's, Ritchots and Pellands from Manitoba. The selection committmee wrote that they were honoured to have read about his examples in leadership, honour, courage and committment. The past year has been challenging, and Aiden's consistent dedication to his values and culture presents as a role model at a young age for others.  We are so proud of this bright future leader, of course he dressed up as a community helper for Halloween.

October 2021 | When the Ducks/Geese Leave

The skys are full of changes with the Saa'aiksi itaomatooyi Moon, When the Ducks Leave.  Migrating birds are seen in the sky, telling hunters the hunting season has begun. The air has become crisp and cool and the falling leaves dispense a comforting aroma throughout the air. 

Upcoming Events

Some activities include:

  • October 4: Sisters in Spirit - Red Dress Project 
  • October 7: Special Thanksgiving Lunch
  • October 8: Mindcraft Launch with Saa'kokoto
  • October 11-15: Fall Break - No school 
  • October 18: No School - First System Wide Indigenous Education Focused Professional Learning for CBE
  • October 19: Classes Resume
  • October 20: Full Moon & Take Me Outside Day
  • October 17-22: Secret Path Week - Chanie Wenjack 
  • October 21: Lock Down Practice
  • October 26: Cultural Teachings by Elder Shirley
  • October 28: Halloween Celebration Day to include Preschool Students
  • October 28: Celebration of Learning & Parent Advisory
  • October 29: Fall Blessing Ceremony

Niitsitapi Represented at the City's Truth & Reconciliation Event 

We are so honoured to share that one of our grade one students, Phoenix performed at the Truth & Reconciliation Event that was put on by the City of Calgary, Calgary Board of Education and Catholic School Board. Occurring by the confluence in Calgary, Mohkinstsis. Speakers included Elder Clarence Wolfleg, Elder Kerrie Moore and Phil Fontaine, and performances by Women of Songs and students within CBE. It was a powerful and historic day for the City of Calgary with an orange banner waving containing the incomplete list of Indigenous children who never made it home from residential schools.

September 2021 | Deer Moon

Our lessons from Kainai call September’s full moon the Deer Moon, awakaasiiki’somm, when the deer begin transitioning for autumn’s changes.  Hardening their antlers and shedding the soft velvet layer that protects the growing bone and cartilage.  They are sleeping in the warm days, and are most active at dusk and dawn, protecting themselves from predators by finding food in the cold evenings. The Northern Saskatchewan Cree/Métis, Sakitawak know this moon, as the Rutting Moon, nōcihitowipīsim, when the bull moose’s call echoes across the lake. The cervidae family movement patterns, change as the seasons do.  The connection between land, water and sky for our hooved relatives, as o’ko (fall) approaches is that the change in day length, rainfall and temperature cause a chemical release of hormones sparking the beginning of their cyclical breeding activity.

Upcoming Events

Some activities include:

  • September 14: Cultural teachings from Ms. Shirley
  • September 22: Fall Equinox & Treaty 7 Day
  • September 23: Tentative date for Pohkaisksinimaatstsoh’taksist Backpack Campaign
  • September 29: Fire Drill 
  • September 29: Orange Shirt Day - Every Child Matters!
  • September 30: *NEW! No School - Truth & Reconciliation Day - Opportunity to engage with the community, family and acts of truth telling and reconciliation. 

Truth & Reconciliation Day:

This is a powerful month as more Canadians become knowledgeable in the importance of wearing orange on September 30th, and the days and weeks leading up to it. A symbol of awareness to recognize and reflect on the legacy of residential schools in Canada.  One that continues to impact our families and students today.  As individuals and communities engage in acts of healing, we hope to make positive change for future generations.  

This is big work that requires individual reflection and action for change. This extends beyond our walls, beyond our ‘jobs’ and into our roles as members of society and residents of Treaty 7. We have a duty to help educate our friends and families, and create equitable difference for future generations of Indigenous pokaiks, children.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation recently released the Survivor’s Flag. The flag is an expression of remembrance, meant to honour residential school Survivors and all the lives and communities impacted by the residential school system in Canada. Click on the blue link above to learn about the design that highlights the carefully constructed elements of the flag, carrying deep meaning.

With the importance of this week building up towards Truth & Reconciliation Day, we hope you take some time personally to understand what we need to unlearn, learn, and provide space for Indigenous voice in your educational journeys. We cannot hear it enough; engaging in this type of learning involves compassion and understanding, it is heart growing work.

CBE/CCBE/City of Calgary event on Thursday September 30, at Fort Calgary. One of our students will be performing at this event, I believe this is the live stream link for this event at NOON.   

As we engage in truth telling with our age group and vulnerable population, we often reflect on language and concepts that can be triggering to our young children.  As we hold space to make connections to survivors, students are encouraged to design their shirt around being special “I am special when I….”  “I am special because…”.  




August 2021 | When Choke Cherries Ripen Pakkii'pistsi otsitai'tssp

Welcome back students and families! We are excited to begin another school year with so many new and returning faces, staff and students alike. Reflecting on this past year, I am proud to say that we have the most incredible staff at Niitsitapi! We were able to accomplish so much throughout the year, including virtual field trips and art residencies, learning about medicine pouches, bee hives, boats and buoyancy, clay and fused glass. We participated in ceremony and safe gatherings in our cohorts. We continued to have celebrations of learning, fun in the sun and various Elders and Knowledge Keepers joining us from afar. We feel incredibly blessed and grateful on what we have been able to achieve, and know that the students transitioning onto a new school year with us this year will have an incredible experience. 

This is my sixth year at Niitsitapi Learning Centre and I feel very privileged to come to work everyday to such a beautiful place of learning.  As we continue to grow, I am excited to meet new students and their families and continue to develop existing relationships.

I am originally from Ontario, Ojibway territory. All of my family still lives back east and we visit often, however my husband and I have lived in Calgary for over twelve years now and have loved learning about the Blackfoot territory we are visiting.  We both miss the water, escarpment and trees of that part of the country but enjoy the trade of sunny days, beautiful skies and proximity to the mountains.

Commitment of Action| 2021-2022 School Year

All CBE schools have been given the challenge to commit to a call to action. We do so much already, and know that every year we continuously strive to improve. Cheers, to another year of improvement, action and commitment to our deserving students. We love you all so much!

Bus App

CBE Transportation is pleased to announce a bus route monitoring app called MyBusStop. You can use the new mobile and web application GPS tracking service to see real-time information such as the route stops, route schedule, route progress and possible route delays for your child’s yellow school bus. The app was created and will be maintained by Southland Transportation.  The school code is CBE54IAQJY for accessing Niitsitapi Learning Centre’s bus routes. 


Transportation updates will continue to take place, and Southland has asked us to kindly remind families to ensure that they are at their designated pick up spot 5 minutes before their scheduled pick up.  If you have any transportation questions, please call Southland at 403-726-5963

Pick Up/Drop Off

Our supervision begins at 8:25 AM, so if you arrive earlier than this, please wait with your child outside. We normally have parents wait in the lobby or family room until the bell, however due to Covid-19 re-entry plans we are limiting the number of visitors and guests into the school, and kindly ask parents and visitors to wait outdoors. 


We are pleased to have numerous sponsors to support a food program at school including Brown Bagging for Kids, Meals on Wheels, President Choice, and Hope Mission. Their generous donations allow students to receive breakfast and lunch daily that follow Canada's Food Guide with healthy options.  We encourage families to only pack low-sugar healthy snacks option to supplement our food program. 

Upcoming Events

We often have many events, ceremonies or gatherings throughout the year.  Please check the school calendar, your email for notifications, our Facebook page, school website for updates.

Some activities include:

  • August 17: First day of school for Kindergarten, Grade 1 & Grade 2 students
  • August 30: First day of school for Preschool children
  • August 31: Fire drill 
  • September 14: Cultural teachings from Ms. Shirley
  • September 22: Fall Equinox & Treaty 7 Day
  • September 23: Tentative date for Pohkaisksinimaatstsoh’taksist Backpack Campaign
  • September 29: Fire Drill 
  • September 30th: Orange Shirt Day - Every Child Matters!

Building relationships with both the students and families is very important to us, so feel free to introduce yourself and ask any questions you may have.

Love, Ms. Jessica

Last modified on

Is it back to school time already? Not quite, but modified calendar schools return on Aug 15 and traditional calendar schools on Sept 1. Here’s some information for anyone planning ahead: #WeAreCBE

There is still time to apply to be part of the 2022-23 Minister’s Parent & Teacher Advisory Councils. The deadline has been extended until Monday, Aug. 15 #yycbe

These new inclusive playgrounds look like fun for everyone! #WeAreCBE