|One side of new Piitaapoyi billboard|
C. Davis photos/video
Velma Little Mustache/Chris Davis
On Saturday morning June 6 a ceremony was held and a number of dignitaries spoke to the crowd, including Mills Big Bull giving a prayer, Councillor Brian Jackson, Councillor Barnaby Provost, Marlin Strikes With A Gun, Fabian North Peigan, Pastor Mel Boerema, Alberta Foster Parent Association Director John Starkey, and MC Doug Iron Shirt. The speeches were followed by drumming and singing as the signs were unveiled.
"I've had three brothers that died, one sister, alcoholism. My sister's sons are the ones that drew that picture," he added, pointing to the detail shown below. "Niitsitapiksi. Real people."
"Greetings elders, especially the fellas that did all the hard work," said Piikani councillor Fabian North Peigan, after first speaking in Blackfoot to the crowd. "They're the ones that should be appreciated most."
"We need leaders here, we need leaders to see what's going on."
"It's good to see our younger people listening, and taking pride back and listening to our elders, and making an impact."
"On behalf of the Chief, and on behalf of council, on behalf of the former leaders, that are here with us... I just want to say on behalf of my family, keep each and every one of us in prayer. Listen to the elders, and don't get mad when you are told stern stuff. It's not personal, it's part of discipline."
Councillor Brian Jackson applauded the efforts of the many people who run AA groups, and the ones who are involved with the Piitaapoyi group. "Their work is always cut out for them, especially when you're on an Indian reserve."
"We try to endeavour to make the Piikani Nation a better place, and it's groups like this, the Piitaapoyi group, that helps us and makes us a strong community."
|Piikani Lighthouse Pastor Mel Boerema|