Dr. Vivian Ayoungman

Dr. Vivian Ayoungman

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Calgary, Alberta

Champion of Indigenous Education, Language Preservation, and Cultural Revitalization

Dr. Vivian Ayoungman, with a distinguished educational foundation from the University of Calgary and Arizona State University, has dedicated over fifty years to various educational roles, from teaching to executive leadership. As the Executive Director of the First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium, she significantly contributes to Indigenous education advancement. Her pivotal role in the Digital Preservation of Indian Residential Schools Project exemplifies her commitment to preserving Indigenous history and narratives. Dr. Ayoungman's career, marked by recognition as a Woman of Distinction and a Distinguished Alumni, underscores her profound impact on education and cultural preservation.

DR. VIVIAN AYOUNGMAN BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Vivian Ayoungman is a member of the Sayiiks Clan of the Siksika First Nation in Alberta Canada.  Her education includes a B.Ed. from the University of Calgary (1970) and three graduate degrees from Arizona State University (M.A. Ed.; M.Ed. Ed.D.).  Her education career spans 50+ years as classroom teacher, student counsellor, vice-principal, curriculum developer, college administrator, university instructor and executive director.   She has served on many Boards (many as a founding member) and committees at the local, national and international levels.

She has been recognized for her work such as the 1992 Woman of Distinction for Education, Calgary; and the 1992 Distinguished Alumni 1992, University of Calgary. She has led teams of people to develop useful resources to preserve and revitalize the Blackfoot language and culture.  Some major samples of the work she was involved in are the Siksika Language Series Kits developed to teach language and culture to elementary students and the Siksika Language APP organized under 29 major themes to teach about the Siksika language and culture to the global community.

Vivian’s most recent work experience (2010-2023) was to work with Siksika Ceremonial Knowledge Keepers at Old Sun Community College to research, develop and implement Siksika Knowledge/Language courses, many of which transfer to public universities.  This work included the development of language and culture resources.

Dr. Ayoungman continues to serve as part-time Executive Director of the First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium (FNAHEC).  As Executive Director of FNAHEC she was co-chair of the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) that was hosted by the First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium (FNAHEC) in Alberta Canada in 2002.  She, therefore, continues to serve on the International WIPCE Coordinating Council.

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Articles & Media

Beaten for speaking Blackfoot at residential school, this Siksika woman now teaches it in the same building

CBC

After being forced to attend the Old Sun Indian Residential School in the 1950s, Siksika woman Vivian Ayoungman is now a teacher in the same building, helping to preserve the knowledge and culture of her people.
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Digital archives of Alberta residential schools may serve educational role

UCALGARY NEWS

Dr. Vivian Ayoungman, BEd'70, EdD, from Old Sun College, Siksika Nation, is one of the project co-leads. From her point of view, it’s not only important to display to the world that these places existed and to share Indigenous stories of what happened in these places, but also to show that what the Nations are now doing in these places is a testament to their resilience.
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Former student at Old Sun Residential School develops innovative teaching tool to preserve her language

CALGARY JOURNAL

Dr. Vivian Ayoungman could remember her mother always being complimented on her beautiful and elegant handwriting. “My mother would say ‘it’s all the practice I got from writing: I must never speak Blackfoot again.”
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