National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
by Victoria Castillo
May 16, 2012
Yukon College had an amazing graduation ceremony this year. We had a full-house, a record number of graduates and a fantastic group of speakers including National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. He gave an incredibly powerful speech about embracing education and using it as a tool for becoming better world citizens. If you do not know Chief Atleo here is some information and further reading.
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo is a Canadian First Nations activist and the current national chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Formerly the AFN’s regional chief in British Columbia, he was selected as the new national chief of the AFN at its leadership convention on July 23, 2009. He has been a hereditary chief of the Ahousaht First Nation, part of the Nuu-chah-nulth nation, since 1999, and holds a Master’s of Adult Learning and Global Change degree (MEd) from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. He was named chancellor of Vancouver Island University in 2008, becoming the first university chancellor of aboriginal heritage in the province’s history.
National Chief Atleo believes that education is a top priority and spoke about its importance during the graduation ceremony. He has been the executive director of a family addictions treatment facility and of an Aboriginal post-secondary training institute, Umeek Human Resource Development. He was also a participant in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and led a delegation to assist in rebuilding indigenous communities in Indonesia following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and its associated tsunami. He is also a member of the World Future Council.
We at First Nations Initiatives are very thankful that National Chief Atleo took time out of his very busy schedule to come and be a part of Yukon College’s graduation ceremonies.
Website for further reading:
Assembly of First Nations: http://www.afn.ca/
Information gathered from:
Assembly of First Nations (2012) National Chief, http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/national-chief
Wikipedia (2012) Shawn Atleo, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawn_Atleo
Photo Credit: Office of National Chief (used with permission)