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Victor Buffalo

2017 Distinguished Alumnus

Victor Buffalo, 2017 SAIT Distinguished Alumnus

When Victor Buffalo was a SAIT student, his class went on a field trip. During a stop at a café, his classmates invited Buffalo to join them. He declined. Instead, he sat outside, eating his bagged lunch alone. "I cried, because I couldn't join them. I didn't have any money."

Two decades later, when he was first elected Chief of the Samson Cree Nation, Buffalo remembered that incident and established the Samson Education Trust Fund.

He served as Chief five times, working to build a brighter future for his people through education and economic development initiatives including the establishment of the Peace Hills Trust Company, building four state-of-the-art schools, and a lawsuit against the federal government that saw the Nation receive $350 million of their oil and gas revenues.  

Buffalo has received the Order of Canada and been inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame — but even at 75, he keeps adding to his list of achievements.

"What things do you want to accomplish? Write them down and go after them. It's how I started and I've accomplished most of the things I wrote down. That list keeps growing. Some you accomplish, some are far-fetched, but you keep trying."