In Memoriam - Narcisse Blood

Kanai First Nation ceremonialist, filmmaker and educator

Jack Ives - 12 February 2015

The Department of Anthropology mourns the loss of Narcisse Blood, noted Kanai First Nation ceremonialist, filmmaker, educator, friend and colleague, who passed awayin a car accident in Saskatchewan earlier this week. Narcisse provided enormous leadership in the repatriation of Blackfoot sacred ceremonial objects, and played an equally strong role in reconnecting Blackfoot people with their cultural landscape at significant places such as Onoka Katzee (Sundial Medicine Wheel), Majorville Medicine Wheel, A Ki Piskun (Women's Buffalo Jump), and Okotoks (The Big Rock). He had a tremendous capacity to bridge cultural divides, create understanding, and encourage the larger stewardship of cultural heritage amongst all Canadians.

A video Narcisse developed on Blackfoot cultural landscapes is a key teaching tool in ANTHR 256: Alberta Archaeology. Jack Ives had the privilege of working with and learning from Narcisse in the process leading to passage of the First Nations Sacred Ceremonial Objects Repatriation Act of Alberta. Narcisse provided welcome assistance in planning for the Institute of Prairie Archaeology, and worked with graduate and field school students during our 2012 activities. As with so many others, we will miss Narcisse terribly, but will always be grateful for our time with him. Our heartfelt condolences to Alvine and family, and to all Nitsitapii people.

*Photo cutline: Narcisse Blood, moments after presiding over a ceremony at Okotoks, in 2006.