Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut June 20, 2017 - 11:45 am

GG honours Inuit at Ottawa awards ceremony

"We pause to celebrate your achievements with some of this country’s top honours"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presents honours in recognition of outstanding Indigenous leadership to 29 recipients during a ceremony June 19, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in attendance, along with other dignitaries and special guests. Recipients were recognized with one of the following honours: the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division), the Polar Medal, or the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GG)
David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presents honours in recognition of outstanding Indigenous leadership to 29 recipients during a ceremony June 19, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in attendance, along with other dignitaries and special guests. Recipients were recognized with one of the following honours: the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division), the Polar Medal, or the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GG)
Governor General David Johnston presents the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) to Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, M.S.C. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GG)
Governor General David Johnston presents the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) to Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, M.S.C. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GG)
Governor General David Johnston presents the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division) to Hovak Johnston, M.S.M. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GG)
Governor General David Johnston presents the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division) to Hovak Johnston, M.S.M. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GG)
Governor General David Johnston presents the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division) to Jordin Tootoo, M.S.M.
Governor General David Johnston presents the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division) to Jordin Tootoo, M.S.M.

In a “celebration of outstanding Indigenous leadership,” Governor General David Johnston honoured three Inuit among a total of 29 people receiving recognition June 19 at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa—filmmaker and activist Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, who received a Meritorious Service Cross, traditional Inuit tattoo artist Hovak Johnston, who received a Meritorious Service Medal, and NHL hockey player Jordin Tootoo, who also received a Meritorious Service Medal.

Arnaquq-Baril was recognized for inspiring Inuit communities to reconnect with their ancestral values and lost traditions through her films, Johnston for creating the Inuit Tattoo Revitalization Project to re-establish an Inuit art form that was on the verge of being lost, and Tootoo for using his star power as an NHL hockey player to promote healthy lifestyles in Canada’s North, reads a backgrounder on the awards.

Other awards bestowed June 19 included the annual Polar Medal and an induction into the Order of Canada for Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip for being “devoted to promoting dialogue, raising awareness of the history of residential schools and moving the country along the path to reconciliation.”

“We also gather to raise awareness of Indigenous histories, cultures, achievements and concerns, and to create an environment in which reconciliation is possible,” Johnston said in his address to those gathered in Rideau Hall.

“There is so much work to be done, but today we pause to celebrate your achievements with some of this country’s top honours.”

Johnston also apologized for comments he had made on a recent CBC radio show in which he referred to Indigenous people as immigrants, “10, 12, 14,000 years ago.”

“Let me apologize for not expressing myself correctly on this matter recently: Indigenous peoples are the original peoples of this land,” Johnston said.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Aluki Kotierk also congratulated the three Inuit on their awards.

“The recognition bestowed on Alethea, Hovak and Jordin are a testament to the skill, talent and accomplishment among Inuit. May this celebration be a reminder of our collective abilities and serve as an inspiration so that Inuit continue to become our best. Regardless of which dream we pursue, may we move forward toward a healthier future. Congratulations to the recipients!” said Kotierk.

Email this story to a friend... Print this page... Bookmark and Share

 THIS WEEK’S ADS

 ADVERTISING