Governor-General Honours Humanitarians

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 13:51



One of the country’s greatest honours will be presented tonight in Ottawa to a pair of First Nations humanitarians.


George Erasmus and Bertha Allen are being recognized for their decades of service to their communities and the country.


Governor-General Michaelle Jean will award them with the coveted Northern Medal during a ceremony at Rideau Hall.


Erasmus is a former chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and also co-chaired the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.


He is well-known for his work in promoting Dene rights and sovereignty. As well, he is the current president of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.


Allen, meanwhile, is a Gwich’in Band member who has worked tirelessly on behalf of Aboriginal women everywhere.


She founded the Native Women’s Association of the Northwest Territories and established native women’s training centres in both Yellowknife and Inuvik.


The Northern Medal is given to those individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to Canada’s North in one or more fields.