Angeconeb appointed to Order of Canada
Lac Seul’s Garnet Angeconeb has been appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of his years of voluntary service.
“It’s a real honour — it came as a total surprise,” said Angeconeb, who was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada on Dec. 30, 2012. “It’s been a life-long process for me to work with people and it’s become a real passion, even more so after becoming a grandfather. I have to ask myself what’s in it for the grandchildren, what kind of future do we leave for them.”
Angeconeb was recognized for his contributions to his community, for fostering relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and for helping to promote the Anishinabek culture.
“Garnet was a pivotal person in the movement to get residential school survivors compensation and a federal apology,” said Grand Chief Harvey Yesno. “His work is recognized and greatly appreciated by the Nishnawbe Aski Nation members and the indigenous community across Canada. He is a true survivor and an inspiration.”
Angeconeb was one of the founders of the Sioux Lookout Anti-Racism Committee, which includes the Sioux Lookout Coalition for Healing and Reconciliation for former residential school students and their families. He also recently developed a website, www.garnetsjourney.com, for people to engage and dialogue about residential school issues.
Angeconeb said that addressing the harms of the Indian residential school legacy is difficult for many individuals.
“There are individuals who have decided to move on, and that is great — I acknowledge and honour their wishes,” Angeconeb said. “I am also very sensitive and supportive of those who have yet to deal with their issues in a meaningful way. I think it is important to know that there is no one solution for a very deep-rooted, very complex issue that affects our people intergenerationally.”
Angeconeb said that people are at different stages of healing.
“Some people have really worked hard to become healed, while others still feel the effects,” Angeconeb said. “We just have to keep moving forward and support one another. I just really encourage the healing to go on. We’ve done a lot of good work in the last 10-20 years; we just have to keep moving forward because there are those who are affected
intergenerationally. We need to keep working at creating healthy individuals, health communities and healthy nations.”
Angeconeb said the ceremony for his Order of Canada appointment would likely take place this summer.
“I look at this appointment and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a lot of people,” Angeconeb said. “So in many ways, all those who I have worked with locally, regionally and indeed nationally, they are all part of this honour as well. So I share that with them.”
One of Canada’s highest civilian honours, the Order of Canada was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation. More than 5,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order since 1967.
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