Sophie Pierre presented with Order of Canada

Sophie Pierre, former Chief of ?Aq'am [St. Mary's Band] became part of the Order of Canada Friday, Feb. 17, in a ceremony in Ottawa.

  • Feb. 21, 2017 5:00 p.m.




Barry Coulter

A prominent member of the Ktunaxa Nation has been presented with one of Canada’s highest honours.

Sophie Pierre, former Chief of ?Aq’am [St. Mary’s Band] became part of the Order of Canada Friday, Feb. 17, in a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

Last June, David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced the 113 new appointments to the Order, Pierre among them. As well as Chief, she served as Commissioner for the British Columbia Treaty Commission from 2009 to 2015.

Pierre was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for “her role in the British Columbia treaty process and for her commitment to the economic development of First Nations.”

Pierre was named to the Order Of British Columbia in 1994.

The ceremony kicked off the 50th anniversary celebration of the Order of Canada.

Gov. Gen. David Johnston said in his speech at Rideau Hall the people being honoured have helped make Canada a better country, and he urged them to continue to inspire others.

“We’re here because we desire a Canada in which everyone is able to lead a meaningful, dignified and secure life to the greatest extent possible,” he said.

“That’s what we mean when we say we desire a better country. I don’t need to tell you we’re not there yet. But thanks in part to the efforts of those of you we honour today with this investiture, we are closer to living in that country.”

The Order of Canada appointees include one Companion (C.C.), 27 Officers (O.C.) and 85 Members (C.M.). These appointments were made on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

The Order of Canada is the nation’s second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals. It comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is the personal gift of Canada’s monarch. An Officer of the Order of Canada, and honour which is presented to people who have demonstrated an outstanding level of talent and service to Canadians, is graded after Companions of the Order of Canada and ahead of Members of the Order of Canada.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 49 years, more than 6,500 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

With files from CBC and the Winnipeg Free Press