Campus News
Dr. Brad Donaldson (left) with Peter Weasel Moccasin.

Lethbridge College President and CEO, Dr. Brad Donaldson, has been honoured with a Blackfoot name. The name, Nináímsskaan isttokimaan/Thunder Pipe Drum, was given to him by college Kaahsinnoonik (grandparent) Peter Weasel Moccasin (Miiniipooka/Berry Child) at a Board of Governors event Dec. 5.

Weasel Moccasin says his inspiration for the name came from Donaldson’s responsibility as a leader – to think of the well-being of others, to lead by example and to show by experience that you can overcome whatever challenges lay ahead.

“Drums are very important,” says Weasel Moccasin. “It’s how we connect ourselves to the Creator of Life. When we hear those drums and the songs that come with them, it inspires us to heal, to overcome and to challenge again. It’s appropriate and deserving, and I hope he continues to do good work in the future.”

The naming ceremony was a surprise for Donaldson, who says he didn’t know he would be receiving such a meaningful gift until he was on stage.

“It was very emotional,” says Donaldson. “To receive this gift is an honour. It means I’m doing something right with respect to Indigenous values and contributions to the college and Indigenous society. I will do my best to keep up the honour of the name, Thunder Pipe Drum.”

In addition to a Blackfoot name, Donaldson was also gifted a ribbon shirt and Pendleton blanket for use in future Indigenous ceremonies.

“I’ve never been this closely associated with an Indigenous community, so my time at the college so far has been an incredible journey of learning,” Donaldson says. “Lethbridge College is ahead of some institutions in the province and country when it comes to incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing and being, but we recognize that it’s a long journey and we will continue to learn and grow together.”

During his first 15 months as President and CEO of Lethbridge College, Donaldson has had the opportunity to take part in many annual and one-of-a-kind Indigenous-focused events and celebrations. Two of the most significant events were the signing of the Buffalo Treaty during Stone Pipe Days in March, and the unveiling of the college’s traditional Buffalo Winter Count Robe in September as part of events surrounding the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.