Ms. Jessica

Assistant Principal

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

February 2023 | Eagle Moon Piitaiki'soom

The days are much longer (light after 6pm)!  During this time of year the eagles return with the return of game and food after a long cold winter to begin their courtship during the month and find their mates. 

The Blackfoot Values of Kimmotsiisinii (Kindness) and Kimmapiiypitsinni (Compassion) continue to be the focus of February, and are central to all relationships. Teachers are being intentional in lessons to highlight these values as we stress individual uniqueness with gifts from Creator, social thinking, and encourage positive frienships and a sense of belonging.

In addition, we are having a Kindness Challenge to put a focus on actions for students. 

Week 1 – Say please and thank you 

Week 2 – Give someone a compliment

Week 3 – Give someone a kind picture, note or letter

Week 4 – Greet someone and say “how are you?” 

Upcoming Events Include:

  • February 1: Kindness Month Kicks Off
  • February 7: Ms. Shirley Cultural Teachings
  • February 14: Kitsikakomiim Day (Wrap our LOVE around you)
  • February 16 & 17: Teacher's Convention No School 
  • February 20: Family Day No School 
  • February 22: Pink Shirt Day - Anti-bullying
  • February 22: Chantal Cultural Teachings

January 2023 | Causes Cold Weather Aisstoyiimsstaa

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Niitsitapi on Monday January 16, 2022. Reminder that we are on a modified calendar which has a later start than traditional school calendars since we started back to school in August. 

Calendar Changes & Registration

An update from the Calgary Board of Education is that the 2023-2024 school year we will be moving to the traditional school calendar for next year. This calendar is available for viewing online to help prepare for next year. Starting in January we will begin Kindergarten registration, and hope to begin preschool registration in February/March. 

Report Cards & Conferences

Please note that this year Kindergarten children will not have a January report card, instead they will be implementing a Reading Readiness Screening Tool assessment.  Students in grade one and two will have a report card that will be available online Monday January 30, 2023. We hope that most parents engaged with their classroom teachers to get a learning update in November during conferences, these conferences will occur again in March.  At any point throughout the year feel free to reach out at any time via email or phone to make an appointment if you missed them or need further clarification on the learning update. 

Upcoming Events Include:

  • January 16: Classes resume
  • January 16: Kindergarten registration begins
  • January 17: Ms. Shirley for cultural teachings
  • January 30: Report Cards available online (paper copies available upon request)
  • January 31: Artist in Residency returns with processed clay from Na'a 

December 2022 | Cold Moon Isstaato’s

This month is filled with engaging learning, celebrations and gatherings. As we approach the Winter Solstice we are feeling the changes that Na'toosi the sun brings to the land, lowering in the sky and shorter days of sunlight. We have seen a number of sundogs as the sun rises in the morning in the east, telling us the cold days are coming. 

This year we are hosting a gathering on the winter solstice filled with blessings, ceremony, dance and song. We hope all families can make it. Look for regular school messenger emails for more details. 

Upcoming Events include:

  • December 1: Elf on the Shelf makes an appearance
  • December 7: Ms. Shirley in for cultural teachings and dance
  • December 9: Ms. Chantal in for cultural teachings and drumming
  • December 12-16: Hampers get sent home to families, including a $50 gift card
  • December 20: Santa visits Niitsitapi
  • December 21: Winter Solstice Traditional Gathering Celebration & Feast
  • December 22: Last day of classes

November 2022| When the Cold Weather Arrives, Iitao'tsstoi

The moon was named this way for a reason, and boy did it bring the cold weather with it. 

Upcoming Events include:

  • November 1: Prolamation Day for Métis Settlements
  • November 7: International Inuit Day
  • November 7-10: Powwow Dance Residency with Jackie
  • November 8: National Indigenous Veteran's Day
  • November 8: Cultural teachings with Ms. Shirley
  • November 10: Remembrance Day Ceremony
  • November 14-21: National Métis Week
  • November 22: Picture Retake Day
  • November 24 & 25: Parent - Teacher Conferences
  • November 29: Fall Blessing Ceremony
  • November 30: Elder's Advisory

October 2022 | When the Ducks Leave Sa'aiksi itaomatooyi

The warm weather always reminds us to be thankful for the land and the changes that the new season brings us. Reminder to families that since we started school in August we do have a fall break this month where there is no school. 

Students in Grade 1 & 2 were able to travel to the Okotok's Erractic and make connections to the popular Napi story of Napi and the Rock. Ayyyy, to Gitz for joining us on his trip and sharing the version of the story he was taught. 

Upcoming Events Some activities include:

  • October 4: Sisters in Spirit Red Dress Project Day
  • October 4: Grade 1 & 2 Field trip to Okotoks Erratic & Experience Napi Story
  • October 5: Artist Ewa teaching us how to pull clay from Na'a
  • October 6: Cultural teachings from Chantal 
  • October 6: Fall Feast for students
  • October 7: System Indigenous Focus Professional Learning Day - No School 
  • October 10-14: Fall Break - No School 
  • October 17-21: Secret Path | Walk for Wenjack
  • October 18: Cultural teachings from Shirley
  • October 20: Cultural teachings from Hal 
  • October 27: Celebration of Learning (First one in person in two years!)
  • October 31: Halloween Fun (please no weapons)


Thank you Shirley for gifting each class a beautiful moss bag so that they continue the teachings in their classrooms. Also, thank you to all the students who performed as we celebrated our first Celebration of Learning Assembly (in person, after two years!). 

Consider Volunteering

Please check in with the office if you want to start the clearance process to have you in the schools. 

September 2022 | Deer Moon Awakaasiiki'somm

 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 1: First Day of Preschool
  • September 5: Labour Day No School
  • September 6: Cultural Teachings from Shirley Hill
  • September 7: Pohkaisksinimaatstsoh'taksist Backpack Campaign
  • September 8: International Literacy Day
  • September 10: Deer Moon
  • September 12: Fire Drill
  • September 13: Mount Royal University Nursing Students Begin
  • September 15: Cultural Teachings from Chantal Chagnon
  • September 21: CBE's Elders Advisory
  • September 22: Fall Equinox and Treaty 7 Day
  • September 23: NID No School
  • September 26: National Week for Truth & Reconcilation 
  • September 29: Orange Shirt Day & Meet the Teacher Event
  • September 30: Truth and Reconciliation Day No School

August 2022 | 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. With fewer restrictions, while also considering the safety of staff and students we are looking forward to a year with opportunities to gather and connect with one another. 

I feel very privileged to come to work everyday to such a beautiful place of learning, that offers safety, love and support for your children. Not only is Niitsitapi Learning Centre a special place to learn and grow, it is also a place of learning for all including a hub for other educators in the Calgary Board of Education, and represents CBE's commitment to Truth and Reconcilation for a brighter future for next generations.   

I am originally from Ojibway territory in Ontario. All of my family still lives back east and we visit often, however my husband and I have lived in Calgary for close to fifteen years and have feel in love with Blackfoot territory.  We both miss the water, escarpment and trees of Ontario but enjoy the trade of sunny days, beautiful skies and proximity to the mountains.

Commitment of Action| 2022-2023 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. We are continuing the goal from 2021-2022, and anticipate it will be an ongoing challenge as we meet the diverse families in our school, and the continue to build our resources. Cheers, to another year of improvement, action and commitment to our deserving students. We love you all so much!

Transportation Changes

Dreams Transportation is the new service provider for the 2022-2023 school year. While they don't have a mobile app that tracks the bus, Dreams Transportation can be reached at 403-590-7433 for all your questions. We ask all parents to save this number into your phones should you have any questions pertaining to late buses, sub drivers, cold weather, stop locations and times etc. Drivers will be contacting families by email and phone to introduce themselves and ensure families are informed of new routes.  A kindly reminder to families to ensure that they are at their designated pick up spot 5 minutes before their scheduled pick up.  

Pick Up/Drop Off

Our supervision begins at 8:25 AM, so if you arrive earlier than this, please wait with your child outside, in the lobby or family room until the bell rings as teachers are busy preparing for the day. After school we kindly ask parents and visitors to wait outdoors as teachers walk their students to designated buses and to the pick up location by the main doors. 


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 15: First day of school for Kindergarten, Grade 1 & Grade 2 students
  • August 15: Pancake Breakfast
  • August 24: Story Stones with Chantal Chagnon
  • August 25: Story Stones with Chantal Chagnon
  • August 26: Walking trip to Valley View Park 
  • September 1: First day of school for Preschool children
  • September 1: Tentative date for Pohkaisksinimaatstsoh’taksist Backpack Campaign

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