Have You Met ... Josh Littlechild?

Meet Josh Littlechild, Indigenous strategies manager, Provost & Vice-President (Academic), at the University of Alberta and U of A alumnus. Josh is a Nehiyaw and Dakota/Lakota from the beautiful Ermineskin Cree Nation located in Treaty 6 territory.

Josh Littlechild, U of A's Indigenous Strategies Manager, Provost & Vice-President Academic

Meet Josh Littlechild, Indigenous Strategies Manager, Provost & Vice-President (Academic), at the University of Alberta and U of A alumnus.

What is your first U of A memory?

Going for clinical ADHD testing with my mom when I was in grade four (back in the mid 1990’s). I went and tried Kimchi-Micimwapoy for the first time in HUB. There was a time when Nikawiy was going to school to finish her education degree. I remember sitting quiet in her lectures, and I couldn't sit still for some reason. Hmm… 

What’s something your coworkers don’t know about you?

I enjoy playing the drum set and some percussion. I also shoot sporting clays. I do enjoy pow-wow once in a while and dance exhibitions in the Men’s Traditional dance in the Men’s Seniors category. I also like playing hockey in the goaltending position, and I like history. 

What’s your favourite distraction?

Making Salsa out of my Mojcahete. It's very satisfying to smash up veggies, and I like the bowl's Indigenous gastro-politics and the Aztec food prep. I enjoy seasoning the Mojachete and preparing it. I have ADHD, so a lot of things distract me. 

If you were enrolling in one course, program or degree right now, what would it be?

The executive education program, a second degree in music or a masters in Indigenous studies (with Frank Tough).

You can invite anyone — alive or dead, real or fictional — to dinner. Who would it be?

Perhaps the person taking the time to read this article right now…

Or maybe Sitting Bull, Chief Kiskayo, Elvin Jones, the late James Dempsey or all of my relations-pan — at like at a big feast or tea dance.

If you could see any live performance tomorrow, what would it be?

Tool with my son or the Oilers and the Panthers playoff game with family… Maybe Sled Island Fest. Shakopee Wacipi, maybe?

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?


And secondly: Everything is going to be alright… It's ok to be yourself and that's just colonialism messing with you. Careful of what you say. Listen... Be humble… Learn more of your language (it's the secret ingredient to our jurisprudence… it's in there). 

You are a aphito- Dakota/Lakota (as well) person navigating a Cree world. 

And, oh yeah, join a Robert’s Rules of Order group right away.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

Water. I love water. Water is life.

What three words describe your U of A experience?

Miyo-kihci-kiskinwahamâtowikamik Kiskeyihtamowin.

Do you have any upcoming projects or initiatives you are looking forward to at work?

The Treaty Flag raising! We are all treaty people. The treaty's right to education and the acknowledgement that the university is on Treaty 6 territory is a huge milestone and a step towards reconciliation that we all need right now.

The erasure of our history and our place in the university is coming to an end — acknowledgement and collaboration through reconciliation is at hand. I am going to embrace this moment as we all move forward together. Years ago these actions were all a pipe dream that colonialism inhibited structurally, and today that has changed and change is difficult as it causes grief. Who knows how far this university will go with reconciliation, maybe we will rename the University of Alberta to the University of Treaty 6 in my lifetime as a solid act of reconciliation for our treaty relationship.

I look forward to implementing the Braiding Past, Present and Future: University of Alberta Indigenous Strategic Plan within the university. I am very proud to be a part of this change in the university, and I cannot wait to see the impact it will have for Indigenous students and our nation's wâhkôhtowin within the wall of this great university. 

If you have any questions about the strategic plan, please feel free to reach out to me.

Meet Josh Littlechild, Indigenous Strategies Manager for the Provost & Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Alberta

About Josh

Josh Littlechild is the Indigenous Strategies Manager, Provost & Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Alberta and a U of A alumnus. To describe himself, Josh writes:

“Tansi, Tatanka wahkan wechasa ekwa miyo omâciw nitsikasoyan Ekwa niya ikce wicaśta, Neyaskweyahk Ochi niya tapwe mana. Hello to all my relations! My colonial name is Josh Littlechild. I am a Nehiyaw and Dakota/Lakota, and I am from the beautiful Ermineskin Cree Nation located in Treaty 6 territory. I am an alumnus of the University of Alberta. I graduated with a Native Studies degree and a certificate in Indigenous governance and partnership. I am married and have two children and currently live in the Ermineskin Cree Nation. I also live with three dogs, a plethora of chickens and three horses. I've worked for the Ermineskin Cree Nation for the last eight years in various capacities and have earned knowledge on Indigenous governance.”