Thirty nine exceptional individuals will be officially bestowed the Order of Canada today, including Nova Scotia resident and Mi’kmaq leader, Viola Robinson who is among 10 Canadians awarded the honor of Officer of the Order of Canada.
Governor General David Johnston will present the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system which recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Officer title acknowledges a recipients’ “high degree” of achievements that contribute to Canada or “humanity at large”.
Viola Robinson, from Acadia First Nation, is a trusted and inspiring leader for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia and was recently appointed the Lead Negotiator position for Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office. From the 1970’s she has worked to end discrimination against the Mi’kmaq people, advocating in particular for changes to sections of the Indian Act that discriminated against Aboriginal women. She served as president of the Native Council of Nova Scotia from 1975 to 1990 and as president of the Native Council of Canada from 1990 to 1991. She was one of seven commissioners who travelled across Canada with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in the early 1990s.
Having received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Dalhousie University, she went on to study law, graduating with a law degree in 1998. Dr. Robinson contributed to the development of the Made-in-Nova Scotia Process, a forum for negotiating treaty rights and governance with representatives from the Mi’kmaq community and the provincial and federal governments.
The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office would like to congratulate Dr. Robinson on this prestigious recognition of her continuing efforts to bring wisdom, persistence, and vision to achieving a just and inclusive society for our people.
More than 5,000 Canadians have been named to the Order of Canada since it was created in 1967.