Bow Valley College Executive Receives Blackfoot Name


Elder Clarence Wolfleg led the ceremony and gave Val her new Blackfoot name: Ninapiitaakii (Chief Eagle Woman)
Elder Clarence Wolfleg led the ceremony and gave Val her new Blackfoot name: Ninapiitaakii (Chief Eagle Woman)

CALGARY – Val Hoey, Associate Vice-President of College Advancement, Bow Valley College received a Blackfoot name during a ceremony in the Iniikokaan Aboriginal Centre at Bow Valley College (BVC) on Friday January 29, 2016.

The honorary title is in recognition of all that Hoey has done throughout her career to enhance Aboriginal student success. The ceremony also recognized BVC’s connection with Aboriginal communities, including the fact that the College stands on traditional Blackfoot land.

Working with our Aboriginal partners, the College has established educational opportunities that reflect traditional ways, such as the Aboriginal Addictions Services Counselling program. BVC has also established the Iniikokaan Aboriginal Centre, which provides academic advising, counseling, financial advising, cultural sessions, and student gatherings.

The ceremony was led by Elder Clarence Wolfleg. Following a smudge and blessing, Wolfleg gave Hoey the gift of an eagle feather, and noted that her Blackfoot name would be Ninapiitaakii (Chief Eagle Woman).

“I am truly humbled to receive this honour from the Blackfoot Community. This sacred ceremony will leave a lasting impact on me for years to come. I look forward to the influence my Blackfoot name will have on the work that I do in the future. As an immigrant to Canada this ceremony is especially moving for me, and I’m proud to share this experience with my family, friends, and colleagues,” said Hoey.

This is the second Blackfoot naming ceremony for BVC Executives. In the first ceremony Sharon Carry, President and CEO, was given the name Niipaitapi Askinimatstohki (Lifelong Educator), and Anna Kae Todd, Vice President Academic and Chief Learning Officer, was given the name Aapainis Kimaakii (White Buffalo Rock Woman)

About Val Hoey

Valerie (Val) Hoey has over 30 years’ experience in the non-profit sector. She became acquainted with the sector while working for CUSO, an International Development Organization. During her time at CUSO, she worked in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu along and was also the Regional Director for Alberta.

Hoey next joined the University of Alberta where she was Director of Planned Giving, she then became Associate Director of Development, and finally Director of Development. While at the University She moved their Planned Giving from $3 million in expectancies to over $180 million, along with being one of the key leaders in their first ever $145 million dollar fundraising campaign.

Hoey joined BVC in 2001 and instituted their first ever integrated fund development campaign. When she arrived the largest gift donated was $10,000.00. She put her efforts to work helping the Improving Lives Beyond the Classroom Campaign to raise nearly $14 million dollars. Over the course of this campaign BVC experienced a high donor retention rate, which is built upon their brand promise. Under her guidance BVC is currently raising $20 million for their Quest for Best Campaign.

Hoey is currently the Associate Vice-President at Bow Valley College. Her portfolio includes Marketing and Communications, Fund Development and Government Relations.