The University of Lethbridge is pleased to announce that Roy Pogorzelski has been appointed director for the Iikaisskini(Low Horn) FNMI Gathering Place, established in 2014 to be a welcoming place where appreciation and respect for First Nations, Métis and Inuit heritage is fostered.
“We are very excited to welcome Roy to the University of Lethbridge,” says Dr. Mark Slomp, executive director of Student Services. “He is a dynamic, interesting and passionate individual who excels at building relationships and bringing people together to create positive change.”
Pogorzelski, a traditional Métis from Saskatchewan, has extensive experience in the areas of human rights, inclusion, racism and reconciliation. He worked with several municipalities to create a National Equity and Inclusion Guide, facilitated human rights training in Europe, instructed courses at the First Nations University of Canada and at the U of L and chaired the Reconciliation Committee for the City of Lethbridge. Melanie Joly, Canadian Heritage minister, recently appointed Pogorzelski to a four-year term as a director for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.
He is currently Inclusion Consultant with the City of Lethbridge and was recently invited to represent UNESCO Canada for the City of Lethbridge at International Coalition of Cities Against Racism (ICCAR) meetings in Kenya. In addition to being a U of L senator, Pogorzelski is a member of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce where he serves as co-chair of the Aboriginal Opportunities Committee. He is also a member of the Alberta Provincial Hate Crimes Committee and a founding member of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Mosaic.
Pogorzelski has received numerous awards for his work, including being named a Human Rights Champion by the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. For his work in organizing an Oktoberfest YQL festival, he received the 2016 Festival of the Year award. He also received a Top 40 under 40 designation from the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.
As Iikaisskini director, Pogorzelski will be responsible for managing and administering programs, services and staff of the Gathering Place. He’ll support collaboration between Indigenous peoples and administrators, faculty and staff across the U of L to foster initiatives and services that enhance the success of Indigenous students. Further, he will provide leadership in organizing and supporting cultural activities and interactions between Indigenous peoples, the U of L, the City of Lethbridge, partner institutions and the surrounding community. Pogorzelski will assume his new role on Aug. 15.