BCIT awards honorary degree to Shawn A-in-chut Atleo

February 17, 2012 - 4:47am

BURNABY, BC: On Thursday, February 16, National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo was recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Technology at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) winter convocation ceremony. This degree is presented to individuals who are widely acknowledged for outstanding and sustained achievements in their areas of expertise and endeavour.

Shawn A-in-chut Atleo is an Hereditary Chief from Ahousaht First Nation on Vancouver Island. In July 2009, A-in-chut was elected to a three-year mandate as National Chief to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Previously, he served two terms as Regional Chief of the BC AFN. Committed to the principles of working together through inclusion and respect, he forged the historic Leadership Accord among First Nations leadership in BC in 2005.

Throughout his career, A-in-chut has continuously demonstrated his commitment to the principles of working together through inclusion and respect and he has made education a key focus of the Assembly of First Nations. As a strong and tireless advocate, he has spent time in every region of the country building relationships with federal, provincial and territorial leaders and with national and international audiences.

“I am honoured to be part of the celebration of accomplishments of this year’s graduates,” said Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. “Education is key to unlocking potential, and BCIT’s efforts in making education more accessible to First Nation students helps build on our broad efforts in supporting education opportunities for First Nations – an economic imperative for the future of our peoples and all of Canada.”

“BCIT is honored to be able to recognize Mr. Atleo – a person who clearly sees the value in education and the power it can have in changing lives” said Don Wright, president of BCIT.

A-in-chut graduated in 2003 with a Masters of Education in Adult Learning and Global Change from the University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) in partnership with University of British Columbia, University of the Western Cape (South Africa), and Linkoping University (Sweden).

In 2008, his commitment to education was recognized in his appointment as Chancellor of Vancouver Island University, becoming BC’s first Indigenous Chancellor. He received an honorary Doctorate of laws degree in Education from Ontario’s Nipissing University in June 2010. In February, 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his advocacy work on behalf of First Nations across Canada.

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