Chief Robert Joseph speaks at a decommissioning ceremony for St. Michael’s Indian Residential School at ‘Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, BC (photo/govcanada)

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph awarded Order of Canada

An inspiration and role model for all Canadians

The B.C. Association of First Nations has extended it’s congratulations to Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.C., as he was recently awarded the Order of Canada. Joseph was awarded the prestigious honour in a ceremony with Governer General Julie Payette and several others from across Canada in recognition ofhis lifetime of works and dedication to improve the lives of First Nations peoples and all Canadians.

“We hold up and congratulate Chief Dr. Robert Joseph in being acknowledged as an Officer of the Order of Canada,” said Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

“He is an inspiration to all Canadians for his eloquence, commitment and perseverance. As a long standing elder advisor at the BCAFN and AFN, we are very proud of Elder Bobby Joseph.”

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph is one of the last few speakers of Kwakwaka’wakw language, and is a Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation. He has received countless awards and acknowledgements including the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, appointment to the Order of British Columbia in 2015, the Wallenberg-Sugihara Civil Courage Award, and Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Dr. Joseph also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from the University of British Columbia, and received the Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue from Simon Fraser University and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the Vancouver School of Theology for his work in reconciliation. In 2015, Chief Joseph was presented a Deputy Ministers’ Recognition Award for Collaboration and Partnerships and was appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the Province of British Columbia’s highest honour.

Chief Joseph is currently the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and is an honourary witness to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As Chairman of the Native American Leadership Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation and Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation with the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IFWP), Chief Joseph has sat with the leaders of South Africa, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and Washington, DC to learn from and share his understanding of faith, hope, healing and reconciliation.

The Order of Canada, was created in 1967, and is one of Canada’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

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