Respected elder Alfred Joseph freely shares his story, and along the journey you get a sneak peek into the daily life of ʔakxam̓is q̓api qapsin, All Living Things. Attending the St. Eugene’s Residential School from Grade 1 to Grade 7 did not define who Alfred is. The time he’s spent in and around ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa while raising cattle, horses, hunting, fishing and guiding is what has defined the self-proclaimed preserver of the Ktunaxa language. As a self-taught Knowledge Holder, Alfred generously shares the knowledge that he has painstakingly learned while pursuing his passion for being in the outdoors and in the mountains. As the former chief of ʔakisq̓nuk, Alfred explains that the reason he is self-taught is because he has had to fill the loss of the natural transfer of knowledge resulting from his time at the St. Eugene Mission. Alfred honours traditional Ktunaxa ways by researching how western science is connected to our ancestors’ way of being.
Alfred fondly remembers his introduction to the public political domain by being mistaken for someone else while in school at Olds Agricultural College. This life altering mistake led Alfred to fulfill the role of Athletic Sports Director in Olds, Alberta. ʔakisq̓nuk and fellow Ktunaxa communities have had the privilege of witnessing Alfred serve our citizens since 1971.
Whether Alfred is out on the land or in the boardroom, he always conducts himself with humble dignity and is always open to learning from those willing to share. Alfred is a member of the Indigenous Knowledge Counsel of Bringing the Salmon Home: The Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative.