Former chief Charles Weaselhead elected University of Lethbridge chancellor - InfoNews

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Former chief Charles Weaselhead elected University of Lethbridge chancellor

Chancellor of the University of Lethbridge Charles Weaselhead poses in this undated handout photo. An Indigenous man has been elected as chancellor of the University of Lethbridge for the first time in the school's 52-year history. Charles Weaselhead is the former chief of the Blood Tribe and one-time Treaty 7 grand chief. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - University of Lethbridge
February 01, 2019 - 3:59 PM

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - An Indigenous man has been elected as chancellor of the University of Lethbridge for the first time in the school's 52-year history.

Charles Weaselhead is the former chief of the Blood Tribe and one-time Treaty 7 grand chief.

"I am truly, deeply honoured to represent the University of Lethbridge and to represent Aboriginal people throughout communities in Alberta and beyond," he said Friday.

A residential school survivor, Weaselhead has devoted his life to promoting health, education and economic development for Indigenous people.

Recently retired, his new role with the university is a little out of his comfort zone, he said, but he welcomes the chance to learn and serve.

Weaselhead said the population of Indigenous young people is growing fast.

He said it is part of the university's responsibility to provide opportunities for those youth to learn and have a career.

"Right now, we're in a period where our young people, especially in my home communities, are battling opioid addictions and we have an emergency crisis," he said.

"With myself as the chancellor of the University of Lethbridge, I think it gets our young people putting on their thinking caps that they can get to this position too."

The university is in the heart of traditional Blackfoot territory in southern Alberta.

University president Mike Mahon said he is honoured that Weaselhead accepted the role of chancellor.

He said it is long overdue.

"I'm so proud of our university that we made the decision to recognize the importance of our Indigenous community here in Lethbridge and around southern Alberta," Mahon said.

"To recognize the importance of truth and reconciliation, but also recognizing Charlie for who he is — an amazing leader, a great businessman, a fantastic communicator and somebody that's really made a difference."

Weaselhead is to be officially installed at the university's spring convocation. He succeeds Janice Varzari, who has served as chancellor since 2015. (Lethbridge News Now)

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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