Dr. Wally Rude
Wally was born on the Great Plains east of the Rocky Mountains; southeast of Edmonton on the traditional territory of the Cree and Blackfoot. Wally has been a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists since 2007; with a keen interest in holistic well-being and positive psychology. He is currently employed on a wellness team as a psychologist with the Bigstone Health Commission in Calling Lake, Alberta where he serves members of the Bigstone Cree Nation in a number of northern communities. Most recently, Wally worked as a Manager of Spiritual and Mental Wellness for the Kawnlin Dün First Nation in Whitehorse, Yukon; in this role he provided oversight to the Jackson Lake land-based healing program and to a wellness team.
Wally has a northern European heritage and it was through his parents and grandparents that he was taught about Christian faith, generosity, humility, respect, hard work, and laughter. He recently discovered that his great grandparents had connections in the early 1900’s with a number of Cree families who travelled from Saddle Lake to Banff for an annual festival. Wally is married to Paula and together they have three adult children.
Dr. Rude’s undergraduate studies in Forestry at the University of Alberta propelled him into a career in forest management for a number of years, but his career pivoted when he completed a Masters in Counselling Psychology at Trinity Western University. Upon completion of his MA, he worked in senior management roles at King’s University, Ambrose University and Yukon University, as well as operating his own clinical private practice. Wally was recently selected to serve on the Canadian National Technical Committee for CSA/MHCC and helped create the Mental Health and Well-Being Standard for Students. He also served on a number of working groups for the Council for Yukon First Nations. Wally’s Higher Ed. PhD dissertation at Azusa Pacific University explored the relationship between outdoor-based experiences and thriving among university students; he later published this research with colleagues in the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership in 2017.
In Wally’s spare time you can find him hunting, fishing, camping, or climbing a mountain; or optimally climbing a mountain to camp at a good fishing and/or hunting spot—preferably with friends or family, but alone if necessary.