Welcome to Spirit River
Spirit River Striped Wolf (He/Him) is from the Piikani Nation which helps make up the Blackfoot Confederacy in Treaty 7 Territory. His Blackfoot name is Makoyiomahka which describes an enduring running wolf. Spirit River, in his own journey, has learned from his own experience of intergenerational trauma as a second-generation survivor of the Indian Residential Schools, 60s scoop and the Indian Day Schools.
Spirit River has dedicated his life to improving the conditions of Indigenous Peoples through advocacy, volunteering, and leadership initiatives since his adolescence. He finished his degree at Mount Royal University, achieving a BA in Policy Studies. From 2016 to 2020, Spirit River and a professor created a social enterprise called Otahpiaaki which focused on supporting and promoting the work of Indigenous artistic based entrepreneurs. Spirit River’s role was to research barriers to Indigenous economic success, and so he wrote his award-winning paper “Indigenous Genocide: A Path to Indigenous Self Determination and Success” and now does workshops based on this research for businesses, nonprofits and all other groups and organizations.
From May 2020 to April 2022, Spirit River was the first Indigenous elected President for the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University (re-elected in 2021). In this role he helped secure $5 million for Indigenous student academic centres from the Alberta Government, integrated policy development processes that ensure that marginalized students are prioritized and helped with the rebuilding and shifting that COVID-19 brought to the post-secondary educational system.
Spirit River has a strong alignment of values with Canada Bridges. You can hear more about that and about him in this blog post.