Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY 26:2 (Spring 2006). Copyright © 2006 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Betty Bastien's ambitious goal is no less than the decolonization of Blackfoot ways of knowing as a vehicle to regaining independence, promoting personal and cultural healing, and providing a basis fur a new educational system, It is a "transformational pedagogy" that she has undertaken, employing traditional methods of teaching that involve looking inwardly and using personal experience as a primary source of knowledge. She has worked closely in this project with a small number of elders or "grandparents," men and women who are ceremonial specialists and fluent in the Blackfoot language. Her primary audiences are fellow Siksikaitsitapi - Blackfoot-speakers - and other Niitsitaipi - Aboriginal people - but she also reaches out to a non-Aboriginal public.