Ms. Jessica

Assistant Principal

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

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

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Monday, Oct. 18 is a system-wide non-instructional day so there are no classes for students. It is also municipal election day – don’t forget to vote! Have a safe long weekend and please continue to follow all public health measures #WeAreCBE

RT @UsihChristopher: Looking forward to our system-wide PL Day on Indigenous Ed (Oct 18). #WeAreCBE staff will engage in learning to build our knowledge &understanding. Thank-you to Elders and Knowledge Keepers for their wisdom &guidance as we work together to improve outcomes for Indigenous students

Today’s Board of Trustees public meeting will be held virtually starting at noon. We invite you to stream the meeting online #yycbe

Over the next couple of months CBE students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will be reimaging spaces in #yyc. Schools will submit their designs and the City of Calgary is going to build the winning design IRL! Check it out! #WeAreCBE #CBEMinecraft

There are no classes for students on Friday, Oct 8 because it is a system-wide non-instructional day. All of our schools and offices are closed on Monday, Oct 11 for Thanksgiving. Have a safe long weekend and please continue to follow all public health measures #WeAreCBE

We’re excited to launch Level Up, Calgary! – the first K-12 Minecraft: Education Edition design challenge of its kind in Canada. Students will navigate through a virtual downtown #yyc & reimagine our public spaces. Watch for more tomorrow! #WeAreCBE #CBEMinecraft

Mahogany School is the name of the new K-4 elementary school under construction for the community of Mahogany. The Board of Trustees approved the name for this school, expected to open in September 2022.

With support from the Board of Trustees, the CBE has made the decision to require that all employees, volunteers and partners be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 17, 2021 #yycbe #WeAreCBE

Happy World Teachers' Day to all of our amazing teachers and educators! Thank you for your compassion and courage ensuring that all students can thrive in and outside of the classroom. #WeAreCBE

A message from our Chief Superintendent for World Teachers' Day #WeAreCBE