ACAD Offers Free Dené Revitalization Language Course

For Immediate Release

Calgary, Alta. - The Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) and the Lodgepole Center, ACAD’s Indigenous resource space have partnered with the Tsuut’ina Nation to help revitalize the traditional Dené language. Taught by Tsuut’ina Language Commissioner Elder Bruce Starlight, the program is being supported with generous funding from the Government of Canada’s Department of Canadian Heritage.

“The foundation of Indigenous art has always been in individual thought. There are no two designs in the traditional beadwork. The creators of the designs often spend hours drawing and redrawing patterns. Understanding and appreciating yourself through language is a stepping stone to creativity.” said Elder Bruce Starlight.

The free 10-week course which will be held at the ACAD Lodgepole Center starts October 10 and runs through December 12, and is open to the general public. Demand for the course has been strong, demonstrating the public’s interest in Indigenous languages and teachings. 

All available participant places were filled before the registration cut-off date of September 17, and a waiting list for any additional spots that become available has been created.

“ACAD is proud that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations and our responsibility to them as a post-secondary institution are being demonstrated through the offering of this course. ACAD and the Lodgepole Center thank the Government of Canada for providing the funding for the Dené Language Revitalization program because they believe this course is valued and is relevant to Treaty 7 and its peoples,” said Tina Kinnee-Brown, Indigenous Coordinator, Lodgepole Center

Please visit for more information.



For media inquiries contact or more information about the event, please contact:

Steven Hodges
Community Engagement Strategist

About Alberta College of Art + Design

Founded in 1926, Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) has been a major contributor to Canada’s visual culture in the 20th century, with many of its graduates gaining significant national and international reputations as artists, designers and creative leaders. ACAD provides accredited degree standard education and learning opportunities to 1,200 students enrolled in full- and part-time studies in a wide range of art, craft and design studio disciplines. In addition to credentialed undergraduate degrees in a variety of program areas, the College offers a Masters of Fine Art in Craft Media, making it the only institution in the province to offer and confer university-level undergraduate and now, graduate degree programs in art, craft and design. ACAD achieved university status on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

About ACAD’s Lodgepole Center

ACAD, in the company of its esteemed Elder Council and invited guests, held a pipe ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Lodgepole Center on September 21, 2016. The name, Lodgepole Center, was given by ACAD's Elder Council to reflect the supportive nature of the lodgepole, traditionally placed at the center of the tipi to carry the weight of the covering. The gathering place facilitates Elder advising and support, traditional ceremonies and workshops, sharing circles and more. All members of ACAD are welcome to attend as the Lodgepole Center is a dedicated and all-inclusive space.