November 10, 2022

Williams Lake, B.C.: The Tŝilhqot’in National Government congratulates Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse on receiving his Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Victoria today. This Honorary Doctor of Laws degree recognizes the tireless fight by Nits’ilʔin Joe Alphonse and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation to compel respect for Indigenous law, title and jurisdiction in Canada.

Nits’ilʔin Alphonse has been at the forefront of several historic moments for the Tŝilhqot’in Nation. These milestones include the protection of sacred lands and waters at Teẑtan Biny from large scale mining interests, the recognition of Aboriginal title by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2014 for the first time in Canadian history, and advocating for Indigenous jurisdiction in emergency and land management.

History is not made in isolation. Nits’ilʔin Alphonse accepts this honorary degree as a collective recognition of the entire Tŝilhqot’in Nation, and in particular the Elders, former leaders, members, and communities that have sacrificed and persevered through much adversity to protect Tsilhqot’in law, territory and way of life.


Nits’ilʔin Otis Guichon, Vice-Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government

“Nits’ilʔin Joe Alphonse has dedicated his life to fighting against the status quo. His knowledge of the Nation, the Tŝilhqot’in language, and the people is something to be celebrated. Nits’ilʔin Alphonse has not only a wealth of traditional knowledge of our Indigenous laws, but also an inspiring way of applying these laws to the world today. We commend Nits’ilʔin Alphonse for the work he has done with the Nation and congratulate him on receiving this honorary Doctor of Laws today.”


Media Contact:

Myanna Desaulniers

Tŝilhqot’in National Government

(250) 305-7885 or

Categories: Press Release