Premier Christy Clark was on the mid-Island Thursday, and her stops included a visit to Vancouver Island University, where she announced that outgoing chancellor Shawn Atleo will be the BC’s first Shqwi qwal for Indigenous Dialogue. Shqwi qwal means “speaker” in the Hulquminum language.

Alteo is a hereditary chief of the Ahousaht First Naiton and former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Clark says he will help build bridges between Indigenous people, business and the government.

Clark says Atleo will work out of Vancouver Island University’s Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation at the Nanaimo campus.

Part of his work will include facilitating talks between aboriginal citizens and leaders, government representatives and industry leaders.

“Recognition and understanding are fundamental to moving forward in the spirit of mutual respect, reconciliation and sharing,” says Atleo. “Through dialogue, we can together create new paths respective of our history that connect systems and support process innovation for social and economic benefits for First Nations, for British Columbia, and for Canada.”