Manager of the Piikani Nation Consultation, Culture and Cultural Programming
Ira is Piikani from the Piikani First Nation, a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy, in Southern Alberta, Canada. Professionally, Ira is an advocate for his Nation as an intermediary between industry, government and his people through his work as a Manager of Piikani Consultation and Piikani Traditional Knowledge Services (PTKS) for the Piikani Nation. The role of Manager carries the mandate of creating meaningful relationships with proponents and building capacity within and for the protection of Piikani educational and historical resources.
Ira is also completing a graduate degree as he studies the Consultation industry as it relates to the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Ira was an Educator and Administrator of Cultural Programs within the Lethbridge School District for over a decade, where he taught and worked with all levels of the school environment – provincially (GOA Ministry of Education, Alberta Teachers Association, Alberta School Boards Association, College of Alberta School Superintendents) as well as municipally as a Trustee – with District and school, staff, students, parents and community for the betterment of First Nations student performance.
It is through his work with PTKS that Ira supports cross-cultural programming around Southern Alberta-area educational institutions with a wide variety of lessons and lesson planning in all areas of FNMI curricular support. Ira is also an educator, multi-talented musician, performer and songwriter working and contributing to many educational initiatives in the past few decades. Ira’s music reflects his profession as an educator and scholar of Native American (Indigenous) awareness and understanding. His songs tell stories of gaining strength from culture and heritage by restoring identity in Indigenous people of all ages, everywhere.