MHC welcomes Charlie Fox as first Elder-on-Campus
Elder Charlie Fox, a respected leader of the Kainai Nations Sacred Horn Society and member of the Blood Tribe, a First Nations Band Government serving southern Alberta, has joined Medicine Hat College (MHC) as its inaugural Elder-on-Campus.
In this pivotal role, Fox will play a crucial part in advancing MHC’s commitment to Indigenous education and cultural integration.
“Elder Fox’s rich Indigenous knowledge and histories will be critical in fostering the academic success and support of MHC students and campus community,” says Nicholas Langat, director of student supports at MHC. “We see his role as essential in our endeavor to address barriers facing Indigenous learners and in crafting and promoting Indigenous-led solutions.”
In 2022, Fox was MHC’s Honorary Applied Degree recipient, an acknowledgment of his outstanding contributions to both the college and the community. His impact at MHC has been particularly significant, primarily through his guidance in the creation of the Indigenous gathering space on campus, known as Ómahksípiitaa. This space, housed within South Country Co-op’s Co-op Wellness Commons, serves as a platform for students and the community to immerse themselves in Indigenous culture by engaging in traditional ceremonies, prayer, smudging rituals, and sharing circles.
“For many of us who have known and worked with Elder Fox, we can attest to his great sense of humor and adeptness in storytelling,” adds Langat. “His presence on campus will go a long way in making Omahksipiitaa a welcoming learning environment.”
Honoured to have been asked to be the first Elder-on-Campus, Fox plans to bring new cultural events and activities to campus, which will help to enhance the wellbeing of the college and community.
“I have always felt it was my responsibility to share my culture,” says Fox. “With reconciliation in mind, there is so much need for diversity and I hope in the coming years, this role will allow me to build lasting relationships, enhance the community and help bridge the gaps as we move forward in reconciliation.”
Fox will be on campus for two days every month to participate in activities facilitated by MHC’s Indigenous engagement and student support office.