REGINA — Five Saskatchewan residents have been included on the Governor General’s list of recipients who will receive an Order of Canada distinction this year, which is the highest civilian honour in the country.
Governor General Mary Simon named 135 individuals who will be appointed to the Order, including two Companions (C.C), 39 Officers (O.C), 93 Members (C.M) and one honorary Member.
The list includes prominent cultural, political and business figures to recognize their “outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.”
From Saskatchewan, Saskatoon author Yann Martel will be named a Companion for his contributions to literature and philanthropic commitment to his community.
Former Senator Lilllian Eva Dyck will be named an Officer for her contributions of human rights and social justice, as well as her extensive advocacy for First Nations and racial minorities in Canada. Dyck is a member of the Cree Gordon First Nation and was notably the first-ever First Nations senator to serve Canada and the first Canadian born senator of Chinese descent.
Deborah Chatsis will be named a Member for her leadership and international advocacy of human rights. Chatsis, who grew up in Prince Albert as a member of Ahtahkakoop First Nation, was the first First Nation woman to serve as a Canadian ambassador, which she did in both Vietnam and Guatemala, in addition to other international roles including High Commissioner to Belize and Director of South Asia Relations.
Regina dancer, choreographer and artist Robin Poitras will be named a Member, for her contributions to contemporary dance and her leadership as the director of non-profit studio New Dance Horizons.
And finally, Vaughn Wyant of the Wyant Group of auto dealers will be named a Member for his contributions as a business leader within the auto industry and his community philanthropy.
“Those who bear the Order’s iconic snowflake insignia have changed our nation’s measure of success and, through the sum of their accomplishments, have helped us build a better Canada,” said a statement issued by the Governor General.
More than 7,000 individuals have been invested into the Order of Canada since its inception in 1967, appointed by the Governor General upon recommendation by the award’s advisory council.