Oki, my name is Kinaksipiita (Old Eagle) Billy Heavy Runner. I belong to the many children’s clan of the Blood reserve. I am married with 4 children and live in Lethbridge. My parents are Leroy and Harriett Heavy Runner. I am currently enrolled in the U of L’s addiction counselling program. I grew up on the Blood reserve on a small ranch along the St Mary’s River. My experience with the language comes from home, I am not a fluid speaker, but I could pronounce the sounds and put together simple sentences. I hear the language used in ceremony, also from elders who speak it in the community. The language is very important to me because it contains our Niitsitapi ways of knowing, ceremonial knowledge, and our Blackfoot people’s history. I take on the responsibility if keeping the language alive and passing it on to our youth, because the language defies who we are as Niitsitapi, now and in the future.