Beloved community member and Indigenous Elder joins UNBC as Chancellor

Elder Darlene McIntosh is honoured to be the first UNBC Chancellor from the Lheidli T’enneh Nation. She has been an active member of the UNBC community for years, from providing welcoming words at events to participating in the UNBC Lheidli T’enneh Translation Initiative committee.

July 15, 2022
Elder Darlene McIntosh in McCaffray Hall
Lheidli T’enneh Elder Darlene McIntosh UNBC's eighth Chancellor.

Prince George, B.C. – Darlene McIntosh, an Elder with the Lheidli T’enneh Nation has been named UNBC’s eighth Chancellor. She will be sworn in at a special celebration on Oct. 21, 2022.

“I am honoured to serve as UNBC’s Chancellor and to be the first Chancellor in UNBC’s history from the Lheidli T’enneh Nation. The immense responsibility UNBC has to the region it serves is important,” says McIntosh. “As UNBC’s Chancellor, I am proud to support the goals and objectives in having this remarkable higher learning institution in northern British Colombia and I look forward to the tremendous opportunities for continued growth and diversity in our community and beyond.” 

McIntosh has a remarkable presence at UNBC, generously contributing her time and knowledge in providing welcoming words on behalf of Lheidli T’enneh at countless UNBC events and celebrations. In addition to her presence, however, she was a critical member of the UNBC Lheidli T’enneh Translation Initiative committee. This committee worked on the translation required for the creation of the new entrance sign to the Prince George campus, on which “Nizdeh Nekeyoh Hohudil’eh Baiyoh” in the Lheidli T’enneh dialect of the Dakelh language represents UNBC as a “House of Learning.” She was in attendance when UNBC raised the Lheidli T’enneh flag permanently at the Prince George campus and signed the first Memorandum of Understanding with Lheidli T’enneh Nation in 2016. 

“Elder McIntosh has been a member of the UNBC community for years. When she offers an opening prayer or a territory welcome at a UNBC event, one instantly feels a sense of calm, appreciation and respect for the lands that our Prince George campus sits. She’s also been pivotal in strengthening the relationship UNBC is honoured to have with the Lheidli T’enneh Nation,” says UNBC President Dr. Geoff Payne. “I am grateful to all those involved in the decision-making process, especially the UNBC Alumni Council, and to Dr. Rheanna Robinson for submitting the initial nomination of such a tremendous individual.”

Elder McIntosh currently serves as Cultural Advisor at the Aboriginal Resource Centre at the College of New Caledonia. The safe and welcoming space she provides for students, staff, and faculty at CNC is one in which people will always find support and understanding. Her presence at notable community events are too numerous to mention, but include highlights such as the 2015 Canada Winter Games and the raising of the Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Flag at School District No. 57 in 2022./chancellor

“It’s an honour to have such an influential knowledge holder as Elder McIntosh take on such an important role at UNBC,” says UNBC Board Catherine Wishart. “Our entire community will have the opportunity to listen to, learn from, and be guided by Darlene's wisdom as we take meaningful steps along the path of Truth and Reconciliation. On behalf of the Board, I offer my thanks to her for accepting our invitation and am excited to work with her even more closely in the future.”

UNBC’s Chancellor is appointed by the UNBC Board of Governors, after a lengthy process that includes a broad call for nominations, consultation with Board Members and Senators and a formal nomination by the Alumni Council. The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University. 

“It is wonderful to have a Chancellor with such strong community ties, and who is already connected to UNBC,” says UNBC Alumni Council Chair Isabella Wilson-Beaulieu. “The Alumni Council appreciates the role we play in the selection process. We look forward to working with such a strong community leader.” 

McIntosh follows previous Chancellors the Hon. Iona V. Campagnolo, Dr. K. George Pedersen, Peter J.G. Bentley, Dr. Alex C. Michalos, Dr. John MacDonald, the Hon. James Moore, and Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell Sr.