A huge honour to receive a Blackfoot name

Post Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On Sunday, September 14, I had one of the most meaningful and memorable experiences of my life. At Making Treaty 7, I was given a Blackfoot name by elder Pete Standing Alone. The name is A'-BPE'S-TO'-TSEE-PSS-TSS or Clan Leader. I am completely overwhelmed by this great honour and will cherish this name. Here is the text from Mr. Standing Alone explaining why he chose this name for me:
A’-BPE’S-TO’-TSEE-PSS-TSS, Clan Leader
Translation: the one that moves camp with followers behind him
The people of Calgary are the Clan followers, the city is the Clan. People are still coming to Calgary from all over the world, and the Mayor has far surpassed one million for clan followers. 
Clan Leaders are given the authority by their clan members to support and protect them. The Clan Leader represents the Clan when all the Clans gather. Gatherings include Aakokatssin—Circle Encampment now referred to as the Sundance.
The Clan system existence was sources by the members; like Calgary, Mayor Nenshi is selected by the clan because he is a good man, kind, wise generous and brave. As of today, the Clan system is no longer used among our people, but people continue to identify themselves with various clans, such as the Fish Eaters, Old agency (Belly Butts area), and Lone Fighters.
No one has given the name A’-BPE’S-TO’-TSEE-PSS-TSS to an individual. A group of men are called A’-BPE’S-TO’-TSEE-PSS-TSS. In 2006, over one million people had come to Calgary, and, as Mayor, he continues to be recognized for all the members who have come under his leadership seeking a better life. These are the reasons I give him the name A’-BPE’S-TO’-TSEE-PSS-TSS.
During the evening I also received a Chief Joseph Pendleton blanket (pictured here) from the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee. Both honours are deeply humbling.


- Mayor Naheed Nenshi