Royal Adkin (BMgt ’18) is a proud graduate of the inaugural graduating class of the Dhillon School of Business, after the Faculty of Management was renamed in 2018. As an Indigenous Student Advisor, Royal enjoys connecting Indigenous students with resources and helping to elevate their cultural experiences on campus. He is happy to witness ULethbridge grow more inclusive of Indigenous history and culture, with increased opportunities for Indigenous students.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Oki, my name is Royal Riel Piche Adkin. My family is originally from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. My grandmother went to residential school when she was six years old. When she finished at residential school at the age of 18, she never went back to Peguis First Nation. I was raised mostly by my grandmother prior to being placed in foster care at the age of seven. I was fortunate enough to be adopted at the age of 13 by a loving family that lived in the same town as my foster family.

I moved down to Lethbridge in 2009 to take the Professional Golf Management Program at Lethbridge College. The three-year certificate was a combination of business administration, applied kinesiology and hospitality management. I continued my post-secondary journey by attending the University of Lethbridge to pursue a Bachelor of Management.

When I started as an undergraduate at the University of Lethbridge, I worked with a variety of student clubs and organizations on campus. The first thing I really noticed was the number of student clubs, activities and experiences that you can have. And I kind of fell in love with it. I wanted to be involved so I joined every single club that I possibly could.

I took a lot of joy in helping to build community on campus.

In the final two years of my degree, I served two consecutive years on the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) from 2016 to 2018 - as both the vice-president of student affairs and vice-president operations and finance respectively.

I received my Bachelor of Management from the Dhillon School of Business in 2018. After graduation, I worked in radio and digital advertising for four years until I was fortunate enough to return to the University of Lethbridge as the Indigenous Student Recruiter.

I am happy that, at the University of Lethbridge, I can reconnect with some of my cultural background.

One fun fact is my dad worked on the Destination Project when I was finishing up my undergraduate degree. He worked on the sheet metal architecture for the Science Commons.

How long have you been at ULethbridge and what do you do here?
My journey as an employee of Iniskim began in February 2022 as the Indigenous/Saskatchewan Student Recruitment Officer. I officially started working in Iikaisskini Indigenous Services in January 2023.

I really love my job because I get the opportunity to work with students that are currently enrolled at the University.

My primary job is to help guide Indigenous students towards academic success during their educational journey. University can be intimidating for any new student and so it is my job to help students connect with resources on campus, such as academic advising, counselling, tutoring, or other additional cultural supports such as the Elders in Residence Program or Influence Mentoring.

I also work closely with the rest of the amazing team in Iikaisskini Indigenous Services to coordinate events around campus and within the Iikaisskini (Low Horn) Gathering Centre.

I hope all I can do is just help students to have the best experience they can while they're here.

What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is being able to work directly with undergraduates. Post-secondary should be one of the best times in a person’s life as they work towards self-actualization. I’m just happy to be a part of that journey for current students.

University can also be stressful. Ensuring that students have support when they're going through their post-secondary journey is something that I value, because if I can help point towards resources, I can take away some of that stress. University should be fun. The time I spent at university were some of the best years I had in my life, and I think students should be able to experience that as well.

Our primary purpose in post-secondary should be education, but it should also be something that we can look fondly back on.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I still really enjoy golfing, even though it’s not a career I’m pursuing, and I do try to stay active and exercise. I am also an avid thrift shopper and I enjoy searching for vintage University of Lethbridge items.