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Athabasca University

Honorary Doctorates


Honorary Doctor of Laws

Chief Wilton Littlechild

On Friday, June 8, an honorary Doctor of Laws will be conferred on Chief Wilton Littlechild in recognition of his leadership and advocacy for Indigenous human rights. As an advocate, lawyer and former Member of Parliament, he has advanced the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and around the world. A residential school survivor, Chief Littlechild has become a leading voice for reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people across Canada, and he was a founder of the North American Indigenous Games, which build self-esteem by bringing together First Nations youth from across the continent for athletic competitions and cultural events. He operates the law firm of J. Wilton Littlechild, Barrister and Solicitor, on the Ermineskin Reserve. On November 30, 2016, Chiefs of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations nominated Wilton Littlechild to the position of Grand Chief for a period of three years.

Honorary Doctor of Letters

Aritha van Herk

Photo by: Ewan Nicholson

On Saturday, June 9, an honorary Doctor of Letters will be conferred on Aritha van Herk in recognition of her contributions, as a writer, scholar and educator, to Canadian literature and culture. She is nationally and internationally recognized for her contributions and commitment to Canadian literature and culture through her award winning novels, her work as a critic and essayist, her support and mentorship of writers and scholars, and her public promotion of arts and culture in Canada and abroad. In 1978, Professor van Herk garnered international attention with the publication of her novel Judith, the first of a number of bold and internationally acclaimed publications and the first winner of the prestigious Seal Books (Canada) First Novel Award.


Past Recipients

Past Honorary Doctorate Recipients


Updated April 25 2018 by Events Office - University Relations

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