STAND OFF, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 22, 2012) -
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ATCO President & Chief Executive Officer, Nancy Southern, was named an honorary Chief of the Kainai (Blood Tribe of Alberta) Saturday, July 21. Ms. Southern was given the name Aksistoowa'paakii or Brave Woman during a traditional ceremony on the Blood Reserve in southern Alberta.
"I am deeply honoured to receive the Kainai Chieftainship," said Ms. Southern. "On behalf of my family and the people of ATCO, I will carry this honour forward with the highest regard and respect."
The prestigious honour is seen as an official bridge between cultures, indicating to community members and all others, the selected individual is accepted and now a member of the Blood Tribe. Blood Tribe Chief and Grand Chief of Treaty 7, Charles Weasel Head, said he nominated Ms. Southern for her spirit of entrepreneurship and efforts toward building mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal communities. Michael Mahon, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lethbridge (Iipisowahsi or Morning Star) and John Jurrius, President & CEO of Native American Resource Partners (Sootainaa or Rainy Chief) were also inducted.
"For many years, ATCO and its people have worked alongside the communities of Treaty 7 and their leadership teams have taken the time to learn about our culture and traditions," said Chief Weasel Head. "We wish to recognize our relationship in a meaningful way as we look forward to our future mutual success."
The Kainai Chieftainship comprises 40 living individuals. Past inductees include Pope John Paul II, Prince Charles, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former Prime Ministers John Diefenbaker and Jean Chretien, former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.
"It is both humbling and inspirational to become part of a great tradition," added Ms. Southern. "With this honour, I will continue to promote the sustainability of Canada's First Nations and all other Aboriginal communities."
The Blood, Peigan and Siksika tribes form the Blackfoot Confederacy and are considered to be the oldest residents of the western prairie region. The Blackfoot speaking peoples were one of the last First Nations to enter into treaty with the Americans in 1855, through the Lamebull Treaty. On the British side of the 49th parallel, the tribes did not enter into treaty with the British Crown until 1877 through Treaty 7. Today, the Blood Tribe has the largest reserve in Canada consisting of more than 1,400 sq. km. located in southern Alberta, with a registered population of approximately 11,000, on and off the reserve.
ATCO Group, with more than 8,800 employees and assets of approximately $13 billion, delivers service excellence and innovative business solutions worldwide with leading companies engaged in structures & logistics (manufacturing, logistics and noise abatement), utilities (pipelines, natural gas and electricity transmission and distribution), energy (power generation, natural gas gathering, processing, storage and liquids extraction) and technologies (business systems solutions). More information can be found at www.atco.com.
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