Recipients of the Order of Canada
The Honourable Ethel Dorothy Blondin Andrew, P.C., O.C.
Norman Wells, Northwest Territories
Ethel Blondin Andrew is a Sahtu Dene and Métis leader in Canada’s North. One of the first Indigenous language teachers in the Northwest Territories, she contributes to the training and development of Indigenous people in both government and private sectors. As Canada’s first Indigenous woman to serve as Member of Parliament, she helped advance portfolios related to children, youth and northern affairs. Past chair of the Sahtu Secretariat and senior advisor to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, she is an active advocate for Indigenous-led initiatives in support of community and land well-being.
Robert Charles Davidson, O.C., O.B.C.
White Rock, British Columbia
Robert Davidson is a mainstay in contemporary art. A prolific sculptor and painter, he has driven the revival and advancement of Haida art for more than five decades, and his pieces and exhibitions have helped historical First Nations works to be newly appreciated. His 1969 totem pole was the first raised in the village of Masset in more than a century and continues to rally the region around the reclamation of Haida culture. A passionate mentor and community leader, he helps connect ancient teachings with modern life through his many potlatches and performances.
This is a promotion within the Order.
Victoria Grant, O.C.
Victoria Grant, Teme-Augama Anishnabai Qway (Woman of the Deep-Water People), Temagami First Nation, partners and collaborates with Indigenous organizations to improve the lives of Canadians. For more than 40 years, she has worked with like-minded colleagues for such organizations as Community Foundations Canada, the Temagami Community Foundation and The Circle on Philanthropy, to name a few. Through her extensive involvement, she helps support reconciliation by fostering mutual respect and an appreciation of Indigenous issues and culture, and connects Indigenous peoples with philanthropic initiatives, organizations and communities across Canada.
The Honourable Margo Lainne Greenwood, O.C.
Vernon, British Columbia
Margo Greenwood is a commanding advocate for the rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families. A professor at the University of Northern British Columbia and academic leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health, she has conducted decades of innovative research in early childhood education, focusing her studies on the health and well-being of Indigenous individuals and communities. Through her work, she has helped shape policy and advance public health equity to improve Indigenous wellness in Canada and abroad.
The Honourable Harry S. LaForme, O.C.
Harry LaForme is a champion for civil and human rights. A retired judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal for Ontario, he was the first Indigenous person to sit on an appellate court in Canada. Notably, he was a key author of the landmark decision on same-sex marriage, which paved the way for its legalization at the provincial and national levels. A senior counsel at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LL.P., he advocates Indigenous interests on education, land claims and self-governance.
The Honourable Gerald M. Morin, O.C., K.C.
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Gerald Morin transformed the use of Indigenous languages in Canada’s judicial system. A member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, from Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, and a retired judge of the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, he has had a far-reaching impact on justice. Notably, he is recognized for creating the Saskatchewan Cree Court Circuit in 2001, the first of its kind in Canada. He is also a revered mentor among Indigenous judges and lawyers, admired for creating the Wunusweh lecture on Indigenous law series at the University of Saskatchewan in 2012.
Pita Aatami, C.M., C.Q.
Pita Aatami has devoted his life to Nunavik and to the broader northern communities. While at the helm of the Makivik Corporation, he tackled complex issues pertaining to governance with vision and determination, notably leading the negotiations of the Nunavik Inuit Land Claim Agreement with the Government of Canada. As president of Air Inuit and as a member of such boards as the Canada Inuit Circumpolar Council, the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, he has striven to enhance opportunities for Inuit nationwide.
Hereditary Chief Stephen Joseph Augustine, C.M.
Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick
For decades, Elder Stephen Augustine has been disseminating Mi’kmaq culture, heritage and knowledge. As associate vice-president of Indigenous Affairs and former dean of Unama’ki College at Cape Breton University, he has advanced Mi’kmaq studies by developing a set of guidelines that have helped shape culturally relevant research projects. A former curator of Ethnology for the Eastern Maritimes at the Canadian Museum of History, this knowledge keeper has also shared his expertise with Indigenous communities, government departments, and both public and private organizations in Canada and abroad, contributing to the journey towards reconciliation and healing.
Bonnie Yvonne Bressette, C.M.
Kettle Point First Nation, Ontario
Bonnie Bressette is a nation builder in the Anishinaabe tradition. An esteemed Elder of the Kettle Point First Nation, she was a long-serving band council member and the first woman to serve as its chief. She expertly managed portfolios that expanded economic development and increased opportunities for future generations. Her influence and wisdom were essential during the Ipperwash Crisis, during which she worked to mitigate tensions and help the Stony Point First Nation reclaim their land. Her activism also guided the creation of the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement and the Anishinaabe Chi-Naaknigewin.
The Honourable Marion Ruth Buller, C.M.
Anmore, British Columbia
A member of the Mistawasis Nehiyawak, a Cree First Nation, Marion Buller has had a distinguished legal career as the first female First Nations judge appointed to a British Columbia court. She has made invaluable contributions to restorative justice and to the creation of the province’s Indigenous Courts, which allow for traditional practices that reflect the local communities they serve. As chief commissioner of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, she played a leading role in creating the landmark Calls for Justice.
Elder Ruth Christie, C.M., O.M.
Ruth Christie is a cherished, community-based scholar, knowledge keeper and storyteller. A member of the Peguis First Nation, she began her career in nursing and worked among a unique cadre of Indigenous nurses focused on healing their communities. She then undertook the in-depth pursuit of her family history, recording her vast oral knowledge of the early relations between Indigenous and European settlers in Manitoba. She has significantly advanced scholarship on this subject, and has contributed to film and television productions that honour her ancestors’ rich legacy.
Elder Reg Crow Shoe, C.M., and Elder Rosemary Crow Shoe, C.M.
Esteemed Elders of the Piikani Nation, Reg and Rosemary Crow Shoe have advanced reconciliation efforts across Canada. For decades, these spiritual counterparts have guided all levels of government, institutions and non-profit organizations, and helped them to establish best practices and develop a cross-cultural understanding of Indigenous history, traditions and perspectives. As ceremonial grandparents and experts on traditional knowledge and practices, they have preserved and celebrated their Blackfoot culture across Canada and around the world with unwavering compassion and dedication.
Reginald Lester Davidson, C.M.
Masset, British Columbia
Reginald Davidson attributes his lifelong connection to Haida culture to his ancestors and peers, including his parents Vivian Anniskett and Claude Davidson. A renowned sculptor and artist, he helped bring Haida performance and song back to the forefront by co-founding the Rainbow Creek Dancers with his brother Robert in 1980. He continues to mentor youth in Haida traditional art, song and dance through community outreach activities. As a result of his efforts to reclaim and celebrate Haida culture, it has expanded on a local, national and international level for all to understand and appreciate.
Charlie Kakotok Evalik, C.M.
Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
Charlie Evalik has played a leading role in the social and economic development of Nunavut. Admired as one of the chief negotiators for the Tunngavik Federation, he collaborated on the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement settlement, and helped fulfil its terms as president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association. He is also a founding member of the Nunavut Resources Corporation, which he co-created to diversify the economy and attract investment capital to the region. His decades of visionary leadership have inspired the next generation of business leaders in the north.
Father James Holland, C.M., A.O.E.
Father Jim is a beloved figure in Edmonton. For more than two decades, this former pastor of Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples fostered an inclusive and welcoming environment for parishioners from all walks of life. His services incorporated many of the customs and traditions of the Indigenous community, for which he was a vocal advocate both within and beyond the church. Known by his Cree name “Napew ka mio tee heet,” meaning “Man with a Good Heart,” he has worked tirelessly to help those living with addictions, facing homelessness or surviving the legacy of residential schools.
Nancy Uqquujuq Karetak-Lindell, C.M.
Nancy Karetak-Lindell is a voice for Canada’s North. As the first Member of Parliament elected for the newly established riding of Nunavut, she represented northern and Inuit communities and helped advance various portfolios, including Indigenous affairs, northern development and natural resources. As the first woman to serve as Member of Parliament in the Eastern Arctic, she has encouraged young women to become active in their communities. Through different avenues, she continues to advocate the region’s unique cultural, economic and environmental interests.
Brian Gerald MacKay-Lyons, C.M.
Kingsburg, Nova Scotia
Brian MacKay-Lyons brings Nova Scotia architecture to the world. Found throughout Eastern Canada, his award-winning vernacular designs merge modern and historical structures in a celebration of maritime culture. Long-time professor at Dalhousie University, he was the esteemed founder and leader of the unique and immersive Ghost Laboratory program, and he helped cement the school’s reputation for regionalist architecture. His many achievements, including the design of the Canadian High Commission in Bangladesh, coupled with his prolific speaking engagements, have made him an undisputed ambassador of the profession..
John Morrisseau, C.M.
Grand Rapids, Manitoba
John Morrisseau is a highly respected Métis leader who has advocated for Indigenous rights for decades. A residential school survivor and former president of the Manitoba Métis Federation, he was a driving force behind a 1981 land claims suit brought against the provincial and federal governments, which was upheld in 2013 by the Supreme Court of Canada. He also served as a deputy minister for the province of Manitoba. His work continues to bolster the relationship between the Métis Nation and Canadian government, advancing meaningful reconciliation for the benefit of all Canadians.
Bill Howard Namagoose, C.M.
Bill Namagoose is a champion of Indigenous rights and nation-building. A member of the Waskaganish Cree Nation, he is the esteemed and long-serving executive director of the Cree Nation Government and the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Itschee). As chief negotiator, he has been a stalwart defender of the integrity of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in the face of multiple challenges. He also chairs both the First Nations Bank Board of Directors and the renowned James Bay Cree-Naskapi Pension Plan.
Ralph Nilson, C.M.
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Ralph Nilson is a powerful advocate for access to higher education. President emeritus of Vancouver Island University, he transitioned the former college into an award-winning university recognized for the quality of its faculty and dedication to its students. He is highly regarded for implementing a tuition waiver program for former youth in care, an initiative emulated across the province. He is also admired for developing programming that honours the reconciliation process and supports the cultural values of Vancouver Island’s First Nations peoples.
Elder David Gerard Perley, C.M. and Elder Imelda Mary Perley, C.M.
St. Mary’s First Nation, New Brunswick
As knowledge keepers and educators, David and Imelda Perley are devoted to the revitalization of Indigenous culture and tradition. Together, these highly respected Elders preserve the Wolastoqey language and Wolastoqey teachings and philosophies, and develop curricula for both the public school system and university-level programs, which help guide education on the province’s history. They have created programs and events that bring Indigenous knowledge and ceremony to the University of New Brunswick campus, fostering cross-cultural awareness and understanding between communities.
Stanley Vollant, C.M., C.Q., M.S.C.
Stanley Vollant is a passionate advocate for healthy living. An Innu doctor physician, professor and lecturer, he was Quebec’s first Indigenous surgeon and is a trusted authority on the needs and realities of health services delivery in Indigenous communities. Beyond the healthcare system, he is deeply committed to ensuring youth are given the opportunities needed to lead healthy and successful lives. As the founder of Puamun Meshkenu, he supports members of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities to walk their own holistic path of the thousand dreams.
Recipients of the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division)
Cynthia Lickers-Sage, M.S.C.
Lisa Steele, M.S.C.
Kim Tomczak, M.S.C.
Wanda vanderStoop, M.S.C.
Cynthia Lickers-Sage, Lisa Steele, Kim Tomczak and Wanda Vanderstoop are the founders of the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, the largest event in the world showcasing Indigenous screen content. Held annually in Toronto since 2000, the festival fosters emerging talent through year-round programming, promotes social responsibility and ethics in filmmaking and brings stories by Indigenous artists from Canada and across the globe to vast audiences.
Recipients of the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)
Maureen Bianchini Purvis, A.O.E, M.S.M.
Maureen Bianchini Purvis created No Stone Left Alone, a project that engages school children in honouring the sacrifices of Canada’s military members. Each November, students learn about veterans whose graves are in local cemeteries and then place poppies on the headstones during a remembrance ceremony. The program has spread across the nation, inspiring youth, families and educators to celebrate the women and men who have served our country.
Willa Black, M.S.M.
As vice-president of Cisco Canada, Willa Black created Connected North, a distance learning program offering immersive and interactive education services to students in remote northern communities. Using a video communication technology to create a network of 27 high schools in various provinces, Connected North has reached over 7 500 Indigenous youths and has helped to improve their future prospects through education.
Nadine Caron, M.S.M.
Prince George, British Columbia
Dr. Nadine Caron is a strong advocate for culturally sensitive health care for Indigenous and rural Canadians. In 2014, she co-founded the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health, which has yielded a legacy of research aimed at improving treatment for patients. She has helped shape public health policy and, as Canada’s first female Indigenous general surgeon, she serves as a positive role model for the next generation of Canadian doctors.
Shannon Christensen, M.S.M.
Kelowna, British Columbia
Shannon Christensen is the founder and CEO of Mamas for Mamas, an organization that helps low-income families tackle poverty and maintain mental wellness. Emergency programs meet the immediate needs of mothers in crisis while ongoing support is offered through counselling, resource navigation, mentoring for teen moms, sustainable nourishment programs and on-line swaps. Equally important is the sense of community and belonging that welcomes moms and caregivers that need a helping hand.
Brent Kaulback, M.S.M.
Summerland, British Columbia
Educator Brent Kaulback led a project to publish more than 300 books in Indigenous languages for use in classrooms in the Northwest Territories. He worked with Elders and other community members to curate stories, legends and traditional teachings into illustrated books, as well as to create dictionaries in three languages. Accompanied by audio files demonstrating correct pronunciation, the collection serves as an integral part of the effort to preserve and revitalize Canada’s Indigenous languages.
Julie E. Lohnes-Cashin, M.S.M.
Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia
High school teacher Julie Lohnes-Cashin founded the Nasivvik Music Club to give students the chance to learn and play both traditional Inuit and popular music. Now called the Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association – Music for the Future, it has grown to become an important part of cultural education in Nunavut, allowing hundreds of youth to develop their talents through organized workshops and exposure to professional performers.
Ralph McLean, M.S.M.
The Pas, Manitoba
For more than two decades, Ralph McLean has been dedicated to commemorating soldiers killed in war and peacekeeping missions. His self-funded Canadian and international travels have allowed him to identify unmarked war graves, which has helped expand the documentation of British Commonwealth military history. He has also ensured the required maintenance of graves, corrected personal information on thousands of memorial inscriptions, and submitted more than 200 000 photographic records to various databases, including the South Africa War Graves Project, which he created.
Julia Ogina, M.S.M.
Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
Julia Ogina strives to protect and promote Inuit culture and traditions within northern communities in Canada and beyond. Through her role as program coordinator with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, she works towards revitalizing Inuit language and organized the Stories Told Through Drum Dance project, which brought traditional drum dancing and singing back to her community. She continues to lead a drum dance group, which has evolved from a handful of youth participants into a community-wide event.
Kelvin Redvers, M.S.M.
T’áncháy Sarah Judith Redvers, M.S.M.
Deninu K’ue First Nation, Northwest Territories
Siblings Kelvin and T’áncháy Redvers co-founded We Matter, a national Indigenous, youth-led, non-profit organization focused on Indigenous youth support, hope and life promotion. The organization’s flagship project, the We Matter Campaign, receives and publishes thousands of videos, artwork and other online multimedia messages of love and inspiration intended for Indigenous youth experiencing hardships. The campaign has reached millions of people across Canada and beyond.
Kennith James Skwleqs Robertson, M.S.M.
Kennith Robertson is an advocate and change agent for Indigenous families’ access to services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He is the founder of Four Directions Autism, a parent-support group in Toronto that helps off-reserve families understand funding resources. His work has helped highlight gaps in ASD advocacy as well as the need for timely, culturally relevant services.
Brent Tookenay, M.S.M.
Fort Frances, Ontario
Brent Tookenay has been the CEO of the Seven Generations Education Institute since 2015. As its CEO, he helped established culturally appropriate supports to facilitate the increased participation and success of Indigenous students. By expanding the school’s services and programs, and creating new partnerships, he has helped advance the education, employability and future prospects of local youth, and enriched the community as a whole.