Friends and family gather for Wilton Littlechild’s 80th Birthday

Hundreds of well-wishers gathered in Enoch Cree Nation over the weekend to wish Wilton Littlechild a happy birthday and to honour his accomplishments.

Littlechild has a law degree, and a master’s in physical education, was a high-level athlete, former MP and recipient of the Order of Canada.

“There is no one anyone can do what that man has accomplished,” said Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse who is also running to be leader of the provincial NDP. “His works on the [United Nations] Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was decades in the making. He was a former commissioner on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. All of his work on the 94 calls to action.

“This man has changed the reality of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in this territory, and in this country.”

Littlechild, born April 1, 1944, is from Ermineskin Cree Nation and a member of Maskwacis which makes up four First Nations.

Former Assembly of First Nations nation chief Perry Bellegarde was there as a friend Littlechild’s and representing current national chief Cindy Woodhouse-Nepinak.

“He’s done so much, he’s a mentor, he’s a role model,” said Bellegarde. “The man is amazing and so tonight we are surrounding him with family and friends just to say thank you Willie. Happy Birthday Willie. We love you and many more to come.”

Littlechild said it was nice to have a group together.

“I think just sharing the evening with family. I think it was really touching because in residential schools of course, the impact was separation of family. And to have everyone come together as families and as a community of families was special,” he said.

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