BASTIEN, Dr. Betty Jean

Posted: May 18th, 2023

Dr. Betty Jean Bastien – Sikapinaki May 27, 1948 – May 9, 2023 Dr. Bastien was a highly respected university professor, consultant and eminent scholar who advocated tirelessly for social justice, academic excellence, and authentic program delivery. Betty was born on the Piikani First Nation where she began her education at the Sacred Heart (Residential) School, her education journey was admirable and commendable. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Lethbridge, Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Calgary and her doctorate degree from California Institute of Integral Studies. Her love of research and writing culminated in her published book, “Blackfoot Ways of Knowing – The Worldview of the Siksikaitsitapi.” Her book is a fundamental part of many university-level Indigenous studies courses as are her many published and co-published academic articles.
Dr. Bastien’s main interests included Indigenous issues, curriculum design, social justice and Indigenous education. Betty was an Instructor at the University of Lethbridge, University of Calgary, Medicine Hat College, Mount Royal University, Red Crow Community College, and Maskwacis Cultural College. Her desire to teach students from Siksikaitsitapi perspectives will be Dr. Bastien’s enduring legacy. Betty felt honored to impart her wisdom and knowledge to her Indigenous people. As a professional consultant, she was a sought-after conference speaker, providing workshops and keynote addresses. With an inquiry-based style as her teaching method, she encouraged her students to engage higher level thought processes. Dr. Bastien had the highest of expectations for all her students. One of Dr. Bastien’s last programs was for her home community, Piikani Employment Services’ Indigenous Mental Health and Addictions Program.
Betty is survived by her husband Henry Big Throat, children, Brooker (Sonya Scout), Piita (Betty-Jo), Joseph, her grandchildren Marty, Fawn, Sable Heavy Shields, Paige and Kody Yellow Horn, Eva Scout-Yellow Horn, Brooker Yellow Horn Jr., Okiina and Jett Bastien, and Kaitlin Erven-Bastien and Patricia Bad Eagle. Surviving sisters are Blandine (Mark) Strikes With a Gun, Elsie Bastien, and Babette (Lambert ETF) Many Bears. Surviving brothers include Erwin (Cathy), Brian, and Cochise (Barbara) Bastien. At her passing she had eight great-grandchildren, numerous traditionally adopted siblings and children.
Betty was predeceased by daughter, Crystal Ann Yellow Horn, granddaughter Courtney Provost, brothers, Stanley, Elmer and Cecil Bastien, niece Krisma Bastien-Lopez, Betty’s parents George and Mary (Sunday) Bastien, paternal grandparents, Frank and Lucy (Black Weasel) Bastien, maternal grandparents Albert and Josephine (Plain Eagle) Sunday – Born With A Tooth, maternal great grandparents, Sunday and Pretty Woman, Striped Squirrel and Light Shawl Woman.
Her wake service will be held at Snodgrass Funeral home in Pincher Creek on Friday, May 19 starting at 6:00 PM. Funeral Services will be held at Piikani Community Hall on Saturday, May 20 at 11:00 AM. Interment at Piikani Nation Cemetery with a feast to follow at Piikani Community Hall.
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One Condolence for “BASTIEN, Dr. Betty Jean”

  1. Linda Weasel Head says:

    Dr. Betty Bastien was a person of action. I personally admired this quality as she did not wait for things to happen but set goals to ensure it happened. More than a role model, she was a leader, advocate and kindred soul to so many who called her their mentor. Betty leaves this legacy and my hope is her exceptional life will inspire our young people and others to put their goals in action.

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