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Tony Belcourt being invested into the Order of Canada
as an Officer by His Excellency, the Right Honourable
David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Photo
Credit: Sgt Ronald Duchesne, Rideau Hall ©Her
Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada represented by
the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General
On September 12 former Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Tony Belcourt was invested into the Order of Canada as an Officer by His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. The investiture ceremony was held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa and Mr. Belcourt was among four companions, 14 officers and 31 members who were invested into the Order.
Mr. Belcourt was recognized for his work in giving a voice to Canada’s Métis community. A respected leader and advocate, he has worked tirelessly to remove barriers faced by Indigenous peoples. He was co-founder and first president of the Native Council of Canada, and contributed to the official recognition of Métis as one of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples in the Constitution Act, 1982. He was the founding president of the MNO, and in that role laid the foundation for what has become a strong government for Métis in Ontario.
“It’s a great honour to be named an Officer of the Order of Canada,” stated Mr. Belcourt, “In accepting it, however, I know that this recognition is because of a life’s work that I shared with everyone who joined the struggle for justice and recognition of Métis rights. Together we turned the tide of 137 years of systemic discrimination by the Government of Ontario. Together we’ve achieved a better place and a better future for our people. I proudly share this appointment with all those I was blessed to work with along the way.”
Current MNO President Gary Lipinski stated: “This is a well-deserved honour. Tony’s contributions to Métis and Aboriginal causes over five decades were pivotal in improvements made in the lives of Aboriginal people across Canada and particularly for Métis in Ontario during that period. He continues to be a mentor and a role model for so many of us.”
The Order of Canada was created in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Since its creation, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.
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