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Josh Butcher

Youth (2016)

Métis Nation of Alberta

“As Indigenous youth, we partake in a great journey to learn about our culture when there is often no teacher to be found. It’s a journey to prosper when we don’t know the path we must take. It will be hard work, a refusal to quit, and a relentless dedication to accept nothing but the highest standard that will show the world our true potential as Indigenous youth.”

Josh attended Austin O’Brien High School in Edmonton, Alberta. Throughout secondary school, Josh was very involved in extra-curricular activities including jazz band, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Edmonton Christmas Bureau (where he continues to volunteer), and of course, football.  Upon completing high school, Josh enrolled at the University of Alberta and played for the Edmonton Huskies, starting on the offensive line at only 17 years old. Upon completion of this season, Josh travelled to Saskatoon where he tried out, and ‘walked-on’ to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Football team. During his first three years there, Josh studied in the College of Kinesiology where he made the honour roll annually with a 4.0 GPA. He continued most of his volunteer responsibilities and added occasional shifts at SWITCH (Student Wellness Initiative Towards Community Health), a medical clinic that serves mostly Indigenous people. Josh has shown dedication to and has advocated for both children with disabilities and LGBTQ2 athletes. He has joined initiatives such as ABLED (Advocates for Bringing Light to and Education on Disabilities), and created ‘Athlete Allies’, a group within Huskie Athletics with the goal of promoting respect and inclusivity for LGBTQ2 athletes.  In 2014, Josh was accepted into the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, where he is now completing his third year. His career path remains open, and once he completes his medical degree, he hopes to specialize in a field that is most appropriate for him.

His advocacy, resilience, and drive exemplify him as an outstanding role model for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth across the country.