For the first time in the University of Lethbridge's 52 year history, an Indigenous person will hold the position of chancellor.
The University of Lethbridge has a new chancellor and for the first time ever, it's someone of Indigenous decent.
Former Blood Tribe Chief Charles Weaselhead will take over from Janice Varzari. Weaselhead says he's a bit nervous about the new position, but notes it's a big honour for him, the Blood Tribe, and the Blackfoot Confederacy. "I come into this position with an open mind. I have a lot of experience walking both sides of our cultures and that’s how I was taught by my grandfather. You need to understand both cultures and you need to find a way to work with both.
As a survivor of residential schooling, he has devoted his life to promoting health, education and economic development issues for Indigenous people. Recently retired, he admits his new role with the University is a little out of his comfort zone and he welcomes the chance to learn.
University President, Dr. Mike Mahon meanwhile says the U of L has always worked to foster a meaningful relationship with the Blackfoot community. "It is important we continue to lead the way in promoting truth and healing and eliminating barriers, both on campus and throughout our community, to achieving reconciliation."
Weaselhead will be officially be installed as the University’s 14th chancellor at 2019 Spring Convocation.