Blackfoot Language Animation Project
Now you can finally learn Blackfoot Language in the comfort of your own home.
In 2020, CAOS began a two-phase Blackfoot Animation Project that combined the creative efforts of the Grade 9 students at F. P. walshe School and a selection of animation artists.
In Phase One, artistic director Xstine Cook and students worked with mentors Blackfoot Language teacher Celestine Twigg and CAOS artists Louise Johnson, Erin Saunders, Medina Dennie, Sean Dennie, Neil Evenson, and Gina Georgousis, to express and animate Blackfoot words.
Thanks to F.P. Walshe teachers Shanan Tynan, Graham MacBean, Randy Bohnet, and FNMI Success Coordinator Sandra Lamouche. Actor Troy Emery Twigg choreographed one of the animations!
Animation brings new way to Blackfoot language classes. – Pikani News
Grade 9s create animated videos – Fort Macleod Gazette
In Phase Two, 21 selected artists were tasked tasked with creating their own short animations after being assigned a phrase in Blackfoot. CAOS offered them online training and coaching to help support their processes.
After the animations were completed, voiceovers were recorded with Celestine Twigg and Harrison Red Crow.
Both phases of the Blackfoot Language Project were sponsored by Livingston’s Range.
This project was funded by the Government of Canada’s Canada Learning Bond Program, Indigenous Languages in Education from Alberta Education and the Alberta Media Arts Alliance.
In Phase One, you’ll be lead through 73 animated videos that teach words from each of the six topics.
Sponsored by the Government of Canada’s Canada Learning Bond program and Livingstone Range School Division, this in-school residency taught Grade 9 Students at W.P. Walshe the basics of animation.
In Phase Two, you'll be led through 29 animated videos that teach short phrases from each of the five topics
- Where Questions
Sponsored by the Government of Canada's Canada Learning Bond program and Livingstone Range School Division, this phase was extended to members of the community.
Meet the Mentors
Theresa Pinhey is an independent animator and illustrator. She graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a BFA in New Media in 2014, and worked as an Assistant Language Teacher in Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan from 2016 to 2019, before settling back in Calgary working for Quickdraw and Alberta University of the Arts as an instructor, Software Tutor, and Outreach and Education Coordinator. She loves to snowboard, crochet, knit and watch movies.
Celestine Twigg, a member of the Blackfoot Kainai Nation, is creating an animated short to share her culture and language with the next generation.
Meet the Student Animators of Phase 1
Meet the Animators of Phase 2
I am a 27-year-old artist, animator, and actor from Mohkínstsis (Calgary). In the past few years, I have begun to explore animation more seriously. I have experimented with different styles/forms, from stop-motion to hand drawn. I try to create work that is evocative and visually rich. I am slowly growing a small collection of shorts, while learning and growing with each one. I am honoured to be a part of this project.
Cat Rock (HOFN)
Cat Rock (House of Funny Noises) is an award winning puppeteer and creator who makes wonderfully weird puppetry pieces for the stage, film and beyond. Creating original pieces and working with other organisations Cat performs, builds and experiments with puppets of all shapes and sizes. Cat co-founded ‘The House of Funny Noises’ with Izzy B and Helena Houghton in 2020, a collective that focuses on puppet films that are short, sweet and sickening. Making films for The Little Angel Theatre, Culture Weston, Puppet Place and Beverley Puppet Festival, Cat is excited to see what films she can make next.
Kaja is a Winnipeg born dancer and artist who loves to explore movement and collaborations across art forms, including mask, puppetry, clown and character work, creating solo work as well as collaborating with Calgary jazz musicians developing improvised jazz pieces for the stage. Kaja is a company member with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks currently in her eighth season and also has an interest in costume design and styling and looks forward to developing that aspect of her work. She continues to enjoy finding new ways to express her creativity and play within her work.
Steph is on a mission to increase Calgary’s Wackadoo Levels while promoting ideas like social acceptance, body positivity, and living as kindly as possible. She wants all the Tough Chicks, Tough Chucks, Weird Beards, and Good Eggs out there to feel the love! She also likes birds.
Maedeh Mosaverzadeh is an Iranian visual storyteller based in Calgary, Canada. Through illustration and animation work, she unfolds entangled stories about life, people, and nature. Maedeh is passionate about bringing awareness to environmental issues such as plastic pollution through her artistic practice.
T. Erin Gruber
Erin is an artist working professionally as a visual storyteller and educator. She is currently an MFA Theatre Design student at the University of Alberta and living in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton). She collaborates with directors, builders, performers, students and technicians to bring experiences to audiences across Canada. She is committed to combining the powers of visual communication with the passion and emotion of live performance. The projects that excite her most connect her core values of human compassion, empathetic awakening and joyful experience with the audience- the community of people she strives to serve. In addition to her work as a designer Erin loves to paint, sew, draw, animate, and make things out of yarn.