Campus Life

University dedicates Carolla (Napiakii) Calf Robe Elders and Ceremony Room

The University of Lethbridge has renamed its Elders Room, dedicating the space as the Carolla Calf Robe Elders and Ceremony Room at a ceremonial event in University Hall.

Carolla (Napiakii) Calf Robe was an Elder in Residence at the University for 11 years.

Carolla (Napiakii) Calf Robe was an Elder in Residence at the University for 11 years until her untimely passing in May 2019. As an Iniskim Elder, Calf Robe would spend time on campus offering support and guidance to the campus community.

“Carolla Calf Robe was a beloved and cherished Elder who selflessly served the University of Lethbridge community, coming in twice a month, September through April, each year,” says Andrea Amelinckx, Chair of the Dhillon School of Business – Indigenous Governance & Business Management Program. “She also welcomed U of L community outreach when she was not on campus, always ready to provide support and traditional counsel to those in need.”

Described as a native herbalist, Calf Robe learned about plants from the Grandmothers and was transferred the right to make medicine from her own grandmother in the 1970s. She has also instructed others in plant identification and common uses. Calf Robe often spoke to health sciences classes to share her knowledge of local plants.

She worked with several agencies and used her insight, based on both traditional and Western models, to help people make changes in their lives. In addition to the U of L, Calf Robe worked with Red Crow College and the Galileo Educational Network.

“The Elders Room is a very important spot on our campus and it’s fitting we rename it in honour of a woman who gave so much to our community,” says Dr. Mike Mahon, U of L president and vice-chancellor. “Her eagerness to provide counsel and allow us to learn from her vast wisdom and experience enhanced greatly the campus experience for all students, faculty and staff.”

The Carolla Calf Robe Elders and Ceremony Room is open to all students, faculty and staff at the University. There are three current Elders in Residence, including Francis First Charger, Shirlee Crow Shoe and Cathy Hunt.