To conclude this week’s Honouring Truth and Reconciliation activities on campus, Stephen Kakfwi will be joining us as our keynote speaker on Friday, September 26 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts at Capilano U.

Stephen is a recipient of the Aboriginal Achievement Award for Public Service, the former premier of the Northwest Territories (NWT) and the president of the Dene Nation.

Stephen’s keynote address will see him speak from his unique perspective as an accomplished Canadian politician and a learned Dene man. He’ll be sharing his insights on where we might go from here to further the interests and improve the lives of Aboriginal Peoples and all Canadians. Stephen is leading the residents of northern B.C. at a time when the North, and especially its Aboriginal Peoples, are undergoing remarkable political, economic, cultural and geo-political transformations. 

Born at a traditional Dene bush camp on Yelta Lake near Fort Good Hope, NWT in 1950 Stephen spent his early years on the land, learning the customs of his people. He was later sent to residential schools in Inuvik and Fort Smith, where he spent seven years 500 miles away from his family home. Stephen went on to establish the NWT Dene Cultural Institute and, with the assistance of the Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations, founded the Indigenous Survival International. 

“I always believed that Aboriginal people in the north might be able to reverse the experience in the provinces. You can’t depend on federal politicians and officials in Ottawa to effectively manage the north’s environment and resources. One day our government institutions, both public and Aboriginal, will have the complete control required to manage our environment from a truly northern perspective,” says Stephen Kafkwi.

Over the years Stephen has spoken and shared his wisdom with organizations, government, industry and academia and we are honoured to have him with us at Capilano University this Friday.

Submitted by Sarah Ward, First Nations Student Liaison, Sunshine Coast campus