Speaking to a crowd of graduates at the NWCC campus in Smithers yesterday, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’moks, otherwise known as John Ridsdale, accepted an Alumni Award.

During a speech, he gave words of inspiration about the importance of not hesitating to reach goals in life.

Na’moks started his education at the college and worked his way up to Executive Director of the Canadian Federation of Students among other accomplishments.

He now works as a resource referrals coordinator at the Office of the Wet’suwet’en.

“Without education, our future generations will be left behind,” says Na’moks.

“We’ve never ever gone against education. We may have gone against pipelines – but the training aspects – those skills are interchangeable with other careers – we’ve never stopped it.”

Na’moks was also recognized for his work in the community including the protection of land and water.