On May 2, the Calgary Public Library hosted a private ceremony at Crowfoot Library to formally receive permission from the Crowfoot family for the use of the Crowfoot name. Elder Herman Yellow Old Woman led the ceremony, which was attended by Bert Crowfoot on behalf of the Crowfoot Family, Library staff, and Blackfoot Elders who work closely with the Library.
“I would like to thank you for naming this lodge of knowledge in honour of our great-great-grandfather and Crowfoot ancestors,” said Bert Crowfoot, following the ceremony. “This morning we talked about how there are a lot of issues in the world right now due to ignorance, and places like this institution are going to help bridge that gap between different worlds and different societies.”
Crowfoot Library is one of the Calgary Public Library’s busiest locations, receiving nearly 500,000 visits annually. As part of the Library’s ongoing work to become more culturally aware and to honour Truth and Reconciliation, the Library acknowledges that it failed to ask the permission of the Siksika Nation or the Crowfoot family for the use of the Crowfoot name when the Library opened in 2003.
In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, the Calgary Public Library recognizes that traditional Blackfoot Protocol was not followed when the Crowfoot Library was named. Following consultation with the Crowfoot Family, the Library is honoured to have been given permission to use the name.
“On behalf of the Calgary Public Library, I am very happy to be a part of this beautiful celebration that is long overdue,” said Bill Ptacek, CEO for Calgary Public Library. “As one of the busiest libraries in all of Canada, it is important for us to honour the history behind the Crowfoot name and I can assure you that going forward we will always think of Chief Crowfoot and his legacy when we visit this Library.”
Learn more about Indigenous programs and services at the Calgary Public Library.