OHSWEKEN – Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced last week, the 113 new appointments to the Order of Canada. Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire, was promoted from Member to an Officer of the Order of Canada, and will be invited to accept her insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.
Jamieson is a Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, where she still resides. A woman of many firsts and with many awards, she was once introduced as “a vocal advocate for the preservation and enhancement of human rights, Indigenous rights specifically, as a part of realizing Canada’s potential.”
Jamieson became the first First Nations woman to complete a law degree and was later appointed as Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario, and then Ombudsman and was has been Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in the past.
She is the President and CEO of Indspire, a national charity ranked one of Canada’s top 25 by Financial Post. Indspire encourages and empowers Indigenous people to realize their full potential through post-secondary education and training. Jamieson has transformed this Indigenous-led charity, positioning its focus on education for Indigenous youth, and working tirelessly to attract public and private sector funding for scholarships and bursaries. This has resulted in exceptional graduation results, creating a brighter future for new generations of Indigenous youth.
“As Chair of Indspire, I congratulate Roberta on this prestigious appointment. I am proud and grateful for Roberta’s unparalleled leadership and her life-long commitment to advancing Indigenous youth through education,” said David Gabriel Tuccaro, Chair, Indspire. “Roberta is an outstanding humanitarian who has changed the lives of thousands of First Nations, Inuit and Métis students.”
Jamieson is also the executive producer of the annual Indspire Awards, which is broadcast nationally and recognizes exceptional talent. Representing the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own achievers, the Indspire Awards were created in 1993, in conjunction with the United Nation’s International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
She has received 25 honorary degrees from many institutions and numerous awards, including the YWCA President’s Award and is but the third recipient in YWCA’s 39-year history.
She has also been named three times to the Women’s Executive Network’s “Canada’s Most Powerful Women” Top 100 list and is a fellow of the prestigious Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution.
With more than 30 years of experience in conflict resolution, in particular through her positions as Ontario Ombudsman and Commissioner of the Indian Commission, Jamieson has gained a reputation as an outstanding communicator and mediator. Her work has been strongly influenced by her traditional Mohawk values and the Mohawk history and traditions of diplomacy. She is described by her colleagues as a highly skilled, impassioned, inspirational and engaging woman.
The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Throughout the last 49 years, more than 6,500 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.
For more information on the Canadian Honours System, please consult the Order of Canada website at www.gg.ca/honours.