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A Tradition of Sharing

Stories

Wayne Strandlund, Chancellor and Board of Governors Chair

Chancellor Wayne Strandlund's family traditions are infused in everything he does.

Chancellor Wayne Strandlund’s family traditions are infused in everything he does, from raising the next generation of leaders in his business, to supporting the next generation of leaders in the community. 

Wayne raised his children to share responsibility for the family business from a young age. “They got their start by organizing my desk, sharpening pencils, tending the library and answering the phone,” he says. They were also part of a family tradition of sharing, handed down to Wayne from his parents, his grandmother and the Métis community in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan.

“It became evident to me early on that sharing is as much a part of my life as eating, working and celebrating. The guide was to take 10 per cent of everything I earned and immediately share it out. The important point – lesson perhaps – of the tradition was to not wait until you are wealthy or have extra to share,” he says. “Just do it, and do it all the time. Make it part of daily life.”

This year Wayne provided a $100,000 endowment to reduce barriers to education and to support life-long learning for Indigenous and Métis students at Royal Roads University. The establishment of the endowment followed Wayne’s commission and donation of a 25-foot pole carved by local Tsawout artist Tom La Fortune named S’AEŁ, a SENĆOŦEN word for harmony.

“Accompanying S’AEŁ with an endowment is important,” Wayne says. “S’AEŁ is the visible manifestation of the endowment. S’AEŁ pole stands as a reminder - a reminder to pitch in and share.”

Wayne sees the practice of sharing as integral to his personal well-being.

“Eat right, exercise and share the wealth. It’s not optional, it’s the simple practice of good health and it’s a lifelong affair. Don’t look for results – just get on with it. Positive things will happen, and people around you will start to do the same. By sharing, you will enjoy physical, mental and spiritual health,” he says. “It’s great medicine. Try it!”