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Chief Louie Urges Community to Work Together for Success

(September 22, 2010 – Thunder Bay, Ontario) Last night, Chief Clarence Louie of the B.C.-based Osoyoos Indian Band visited Lakehead University’s Thunder Bay campus and took the podium at two separate speaking engagements to address the topic of “Working Together for Success.”

Chief Clarence Louie

Through his personal passion and convictions, Chief Louie spoke to students and community members about the importance of education and the need for economic independence among Aboriginal people.

Professor Laura Buker describes the Chief as a natural choice when Faculty of Education members first considered who to bring to campus to dialogue with students and the broader community.  “Chief Louie is well known for his motivational yet direct speaking style.  The successes and prosperity of his Band and outlying community speak for themselves.  We wanted to bring him here so he could impart his spirit and wisdom upon our own community.”  Buker references the West Coast saying, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and notes the power of positive thinking and affirmative action in creating new opportunities.  “The Chief’s messaging resonates strongly with respect to the stance we as community members need to take in order to create beneficial opportunities, changes, and impacts around our campus, throughout our community, and across the region,” she said.
Since 1984, Chief Clarence Louie has led his community to prosperity by building and managing a multi-faceted corporation that owns nine highly successful businesses.
Chief Louie recognizes Thunder Bay as unique in terms of its large aboriginal population, with a First Nations community on its front doorstep.  He recognizes both the challenges and opportunities our Aboriginal population faces, and says, "I hope the Aboriginal people here take the initiative to become involved in the economy, just as much and as often as do non-Aboriginals.  It's important for community members to share the same standard of living and quality of life, no matter what their status or background.  It's also extremely important for non-Aboriginals to take the initiative to help bridge the gaps in building an inclusive atmosphere for all community members."
Beverly Sabourin, Vice-Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives), sees Chief Louie as a national leader in progressive thought and action and says, “The Chief and his Band are a prime example of the value that stems from progressive initiatives surrounding economic development.  We have benefited tremendously from his talks, particularly with regard to aspects concerning self-sufficiency and education among the Aboriginal population.”

This event was hosted by Lakehead University’s Faculty of Education and the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives with presenting sponsors Ontario Power Generation and Goldcorp.  Additional sponsorship and support was provided by the City of Thunder Bay (Aboriginal Liaison), Lakehead Public Schools, the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, and Northwestern Ontario Building Trades.


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About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 7,700 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit

Last updated September 22, 2010

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