MNO Veterans’ Council attends the Suzanne Rochon-Burnett street name unveiling

Submitted by: Joseph Paquette, MNO Veterans’ Council President. With excerpts from

Suzanne Rochon-Burnett street
The roundabout off Glenridge Avenue and the roadway
near Mackenzie Chown in Saint Catharines is now called
Suzanne Rochon-Burnett Circle after MNO citizen Dr.
Suzanne Rochon-Burnett, C.M., O.Ont. Click here to view a
larger version of the picture.

On October 4, 2016, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Veterans’ Council attended a special ceremony at Brock University to officially rename the Glenridge roundabout to Suzanne Rochon-Burnett Circle after MNO citizen Dr. Suzanne Rochon-Burnett, C.M., O.Ont. The street naming ceremony was one of three Indigenous-themed events held at Brock University’s campus on October 4.

Suzanne was a founding member of the MNO and was instrumental in the advocacy for Métis recognition, both at the provincial and federal levels. Named to the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, Suzanne was a member of the Canada Council and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Brock University where she served on the Board of Trustees. She was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation and the first woman inducted into the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame.

Suzanne passed away in 2006. To honour her memory and recognize her outstanding service as a volunteer, in 2006, the MNO named Suzanne as the first recipient of the inaugural Volunteer of the Year Award, which now bears her name.

“Suzanne dedicated much [of her] time to the Métis here in Ontario and we will not forget her dedication,” said Joe Paquette, MNO Veterans’ Council President. “We thank Suzanne Rochon-Burnett for the many personal and business accomplishments, for the contributions to Brock University, and her efforts for the betterment of Aboriginal students at Brock and across the country. Having personally known Suzanne, she was a great mentor, achiever, supporter and most of all a good friend.”

Earlier that morning, the MNO Veterans’ Council also attended a ceremony at the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex to officially open the Brock Healing Garden. Healing gardens are green spaces that offer a therapeutic setting where visitors can sit to reduce stress. At the ceremony, Michele-Elise Burnett, MNO citizen and Suzanne’s daughter, had the opportunity to speak about her mother and Indigenous peoples.

Through the efforts of Michele-Elise, Suzanne’s achievements continue to be recognized. Michele-Elise currently sits on Brock University’s Board of Trustees and is clearly following in her mother’s footsteps and living her legacy.

The MNO Veterans’ Council also attended the third event at Brock University, which was the official opening of the Aboriginal Student Services office’s new location, which is now on the northeast corner of Market Hall.

“All in all,” says President Paquette, “it was a very emotional day, accompanied by many memories, friends and great weather.”

Published on: October 24, 2016


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