Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, invested four northerners as Members of the Order of Canada recently at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario.
Andrew Qappik, from Pangnirtung, Nunavut, was honoured for his “initial drawings that helped inspire draft versions of Nunavut’s flag and coat of arms” and “for his contributions to defining the visual culture of Nunavut as a master printmaker and sculptor.”
Minnie Grey, from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, received her award for her dedicated leadership to protect and promote the Inuit way of life for 30 years. Former vice-president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council and chief negotiator for the creation of a Nunavik regional government, she spearheaded and bolstered initiatives that improved education, food security, cultural rights and economic development. As executive director of the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, she established and furthered health policies, notably those addressing youth mental health and suicide.
Stephanie Dixon, from Whitehorse, Yukon, is a champion of inclusive sport. At home in the water since the age of two, she is a highly decorated Paralympic swimmer who has won 19 medals. She is also a broadcaster, keynote speaker and mentor who shares her conviction for the power of sport to elevate and empower all Canadians.
James Eetoolook, from Taloyoak, Nunavut, has been a tireless advocate for Inuit rights, culture and heritage for 45 years. As president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, he was involved in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement negotiations — a landmark achievement on the path to self-governance. He has also served on multiple boards, notably as chair of the Inuit Wildlife and Environment Council.
For more information about the Order of Canada or to nominate someone, visit www.gg.ca.