FORT NELSON, B.C.- Harvard Business School recognized Prophet River First Nation’s Chief and Council for completing their one-week Tribal Leader program focused on understanding the traditional aspects of Indigenous leadership.
The program was held at Harvard Business School from June 25th – June 30th, 2023.
Valerie Askoty, chief of Prophet River First Nation, said the program was attended by First Nation leaders from across North America. She said it was a week-long program that gave meaningful insights on multiple topics, including education, addiction, reconciliation, and other issues that concern Indigenous people.
“This program helped me gain a new perspective on different leadership styles, learning about different Indigenous cultural practices and understanding the true essence of reconciliation,” added Askoty.
She says she plans to use the skills she learned from the program to support members of Prophet River First Nation and bring them closer to traditional activities.
“For me, true reconciliation for Indigenous people is holding onto their language, culture, and traditions without fear and by spreading love and respect,” Askoty said.
Prophet River councillor Beverly Stager says it was an honour to attend with fellow Indigenous leaders and hear their views on the role of traditional leadership in today’s democratic systems.
“I felt privileged to represent Prophet River First Nation community at Harvard and learn traditional history from the other Indigenous cultures,” said Stager.
Askoty says she will return to Harvard in November of this year as a panellist and share her views on how she aligned the tactics and ideas taught at the program with her leadership style.
She added she hopes to use this excellent opportunity to help bring some of the teachings from the program and implement them on the ground to create a better future for the Indigenous people.