Lewis Cardinal

Public Service (2007)

Lewis Cardinal dined with the Queen of England and had the opportunity to accompany the Dalai Lama on his trip to Canada. He spent a great deal of time with the saintly leader, and even discovered that the holy man was a sensible man who wore black socks and hush puppies. It made Cardinal realize that everyone was human and capable of incredible things.

It wasn’t always state dinners for Cardinal though. When he left his small reserve in northern Alberta as a young man he struggled to find a focal point in his life. Eventually, it was his powerful pilot light and his belief that his ancestors were watching over him that helped him find his focus.

His ancestors were all signatories of Treaty 8, his grandfathers all great leaders of the community. It was in his blood. Cardinal remembers his great grandfather saying that struggle will always be there but you have to remember the people and to give back when you find success.

Since then, Lewis has done nothing but work tirelessly for the people. The significant people he’s met internationally are an inspiration while the elders he’s always listened to still guide his focus.

He’s designing education systems that integrate traditional knowledge, works with Native media on assembling stronger communication strategies and is involved on an international level in a global forum where the world’s Indigenous peoples meet to share, discuss and participate in building a more sustainable future for everyone. His light now stronger than ever.