Joshua Gottfriedsen

Joshua GottfriedsenJoshua Gottfriedsen

Distinguished Alumni: Public Service Award

Joshua Gottfriedsen grew up in Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc and is an accomplished athlete, actor, and advocate for Indigenous people. Currently he is a Tk'wenem7íple7 (councillor) for Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc. He was a student-athlete at TRU and received his MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership from Simon Fraser University in 2017.

Since he was a teenager, Gottfriedsen has been strengthening his voice as a Secwépemc leader in his home community and far beyond. He has held positions in regional, provincial, and national politics and was elected to the Assembly of First Nations from age 18 to 30 as the co-chair of the National Youth Council. He was the male youth representative for the BCAFN, a youth representative for the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, and a director for the First Nation Youth Council of BC Association.

“Some of the Elders say that you arm yourself with their knowledge, you arm yourself with their ways of knowing, so that you can fight for what your people need and move us out of despair, move us out of poverty, move us out of substance abuse, move us out of domestic abuse — all sorts of dark parts of our past. Move us out of that and into the light. Step out from [under] that colonial rock. It's going to be scary at first, you're going to take some beatings, but eventually more and more we'll step out and use the tools that are given to us with Western knowledge and marry them with our Indigenous spirituality as people.”