Ikinainiahkii (Gently Singing), Camina Weasel Moccasin's (BA '13, MA '24) pursuit of graduate studies at the University of Lethbridge was driven by her dedication to Blackfoot culture. Reflected in her thesis focusing on Blackfoot sacred and significant sites, she aims to reform heritage management policy and procedure.

Before defending her thesis, Ikinainiahkii, Camina secured the prestigious role of Indigenous curator at the Galt Museum & Archives, becoming the first in its history. She also recently participated in a panel on Indigenization and Decolonization at the University of Oxford, initiating crucial conversations on artifact repatriation.

While successfully managing her academic commitments alongside a full-time profession, she finds inspiration from her two children, whose influence drives her relentless pursuit of personal growth.

Having a good solid support system can, and will, get you through any adversities.

Meet Ikinainiahkii, Camina | Resilient. Determined. Akainai.
Program: Master of Arts | Major: Anthropology

Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at ULethbridge?

The focus of my MA thesis was the Blackfoot culture. The University of Lethbridge has a strong connection to the Blackfoot people.

What does your research focus on? What do you hope your will accomplish?

My thesis focuses on the heritage management practices of Blackfoot sacred and significant sites. I hope my thesis work will encourage reform to heritage management policy and procedure especially as it relates to Blackfoot heritage sites.

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?

Having Elder-in-Residence, Ninnaisipistoo (Owl Chief), Francis First Charger as a member of my committee provided invaluable insight and guidance to my research.

Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?

I cannot single out one person for influencing my experience; my entire committee believed in me and my research and supported me through the entire process (and continue to even after). My children motivate me to be a better version of myself everyday. My family took on extra responsibilities to allow me to complete my degree, including helping to care for my children

Did you receive scholarships and awards?

I received the Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship (AGES) and the SGS Tuition Award. These allowed me to carry out my thesis research including travelling, honorarium payments, and gifts for research participants.

What are your hopes and plans for the future?

I hope the future sees policy change at all levels that allow Indigenous people to manage and control Indigenous heritage. Ancestors need to be cared for in ways that honor and respect the knowledge and power that they hold.

What advice would you like to give those who are about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?

Remember the lessons of the Buffalo, walk towards the storm in order to come out on the other side. Your journey is a long and arduous one, but keep stepping forward, it can be accomplished.

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