June 16th, 2024

Leroy Little Bear appointed university Vice-Provost

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on November 30, 2022.

The University of Lethbridge has appointed Leroy Little Bear as the Vice-Provost, Iniskim Indigenous Relations.

The position replaces a combination of previous roles on campus, established in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, to lead and facilitate through collaboration and communication with the development. Little Bear’s appointment is part of implementing a university-wide strategy to promote reconciliation and advances in the commitment to Indigenous engagement and achievement.

“It is a great honour to be called on and appointed as the Vice Provost for engaging Indigenous relations,” said Little Bear. “I am looking forward to this and getting to the doing part of this work. It really is to bring about good working relations with the university and the communities.”

Working with the university’s Indigenous-related programs, Little Bear will help facilitate a healthy working relationship towards Indigenous education on-campus.

“The university has a number of programs, one of which is Indigenous Studies. There are also student services, and our partnership with Mastercard Foundation, to bring about more students into the university,” said Little Bear. “It is about bringing in and making those programs run smoothly. Developing the relationship with those programs, both within and outside of the university.”

Little Bear has been with the U of L since 1975, saying the campus has a strong commitment to Indigenous education.

“The university is responding to the idea of Truth and Reconciliation. There is notions about trying to make that Truth and Reconciliation manifest in terms of the university’s curriculum. That type of work is what I am going to be doing in this job,” said Little Bear. “We are at a point in time in our history, as a society in Canada, where we are going through changes. We are reflecting on what Canada is all about. It is about being able to, as an institution, contribute meaningful change.”

Honoured to hold this new position, Little Bear notes the example the university sets itself for the inclusion of Indigenous education.

“It has been the pioneer in terms of Indigenous status. What happens at the University of Lethbridge, a lot of other institutions look up to the university to see how things are going,” said Little Bear. “Learning environments mean that feel at home. As I tell students, this is your time to play around and have the luxury to play with ideas, concepts, and new knowledge. The university really is that place where you have the luxury to play with these ideas and concepts and feel included.”

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