Renowned as an international scholar, speaker and leader, Dr. Leroy Little Bear is a pioneer in the advancement of Indigenous education and the winner of the 2017 University of Lethbridge Speaker Research Award.
A mentor and instructor of students and an esteemed advisor on Aboriginal matters at the local, provincial, national and international level, Little Bear was a founder of the University’s Department of Native American Studies, one of the first such departments in Canada.
Little Bear breathed life into Indigenous scholarship by developing ethical, respectful and rigorous Aboriginal programs. His educational service did not end with his formal retirement, but rather transitioned into the role of mentor and advisor, guiding Indigenous programming and recognition, and establishing a legacy of inclusivity.
Little Bear now serves as the Special Assistant to the President and has played an integral role in breaking boundaries between traditional Indigenous and western sciences, and his writings have influenced legal and policy realms. He and his wife, Amethyst First Rider, were major proponents in bringing about the signing of the Buffalo Treaty between American and First Nations.
He has received the key to the City of Lethbridge, an Urban Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award, an honorary Doctor of Arts and Science from the U of L, an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Northern British Columbia and was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence.
Little Bear will be celebrated at the Chancellor's Dinner on Thursday, June 1 and presented with the Speaker Research Award during the Fall 2017 Convocation ceremonies.