THE ADVOCATE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 6 P A R T 4 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 559
By Bradford W. Morse*
TRU Law celebrated a historic graduation ceremony on June 8, 2018—historic
for several reasons, not including that, from a personal perspective,
this was the first graduating class in which I was fully involved in the students’
J.D. program from their initial admission onward.
This was the first convocation to be presided over by the new TRU chancellor,
Kukpi7 (Chief) Nathan Matthew. Though he took office officially on
March 1, his formal installation did not occur until the beginning of the
series of convocations on June 6, 2018.
Chancellor Matthew is chief of the Simpcw First Nation of Chu Chua near
Barriere, which is a position he has held for over 20 years. He is also an educator
and very well-known advocate for the advancement of Indigenous
education in B.C. Chancellor Matthew also has strong ties to TRU. He was
the university’s first executive director of Aboriginal education from 2006 to
2014 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters in 2006. He has been
a member of the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs Committee on Education
and an education consultant throughout B.C. for many years. As a senior
negotiator for First Nations education in B.C., he has played a key role in
advancing education jurisdiction legislation and the Tripartite Education
Framework Agreement among First Nations, B.C. and federal governments
that recognized significant First Nations’ control over education programs
and provided more appropriate funding for First Nations’ schools.
Chancellor Matthew was also a founding member and chair of School
District 73’s First Nations Education Council. For his advocacy in education,
Chancellor Matthew was recognized with an honorary membership in the
* Bradford W. Morse is the dean of TRU Law.