Dr. Gosnell attends 50th Anniversary of the Order of Canada


’You write the soundtrack to our lives and spark our imaginations with your words.  You unite our communities through service and push humanity forward through unwavering innovation.  You are the Companions, Officers and Members of the Order of Canada, one of our country's highest honours; and collectively, you desire a better country.

In 2017, the Order of Canada marks 50 years of honouring Canadians.  Canadians like you, who represent the ever-evolving definition of this country by saying the unsaid and doing the undone.

This milestone is not just a celebration of our past, but a hint at what is still to come.

Who will inspire us next?’

The above is an excerpt from the programme booklet distributed to guests at the 50th anniversary of the Order of Canada hosted by His Excellency Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, ON on August 26, 2017.

Ever fitting are the words above for one of the Nisg̱a’a Nation’s own, Sim’oogit Hleeḵ who was among the hundreds of distinguished guests that day.  Nisg̱a’a Ambassador Dr. Joseph Gosnell, C.C., O.B.C., LL.D. has been bestowed the honour twice.  First as an Officer of the Order of Canada on November 15, 2000 - months following the Effective Date of the Nisg̱a’a Treaty that he was instrumental in finalizing, and second as a Companion of the Order of Canada - the highest degree of merit of the Order - on October 5, 2006.

"Boy, it’s been a long time since I’ve been here!" remarked a sentimental Dr. Gosnell as he made his way up the stairs to the grand entrance of Rideau Hall.

It was quite remarkable to see Dr. Gosnell among his colleagues in the celebratory and social environment of Rideau Hall on a bright, sunny Ottawa day.  Many came forward to shake his hand and acknowledge his life’s work and contributions to the Nisg̱a’a Nation and indeed for Indigenous people’s in Canada and the world over.

Dr. Gosnell also had the honour and privilege of being invited by His Excellency Governor General David Johnston to be featured in They Desire a Better Country: The Order of Canada in 50 Stories - a stunning tribute to 50 individuals who’ve contributed to a better Canada.

At the conclusion of the day, Dr. Gosnell and former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson were re-united unexpectedly.  "Joe! I’m so happy to see you!" said a jovial Clarkson as they briefly chatted, posed for a photo and parted ways.

"It was nice to come back to this place," he remarked as we drove away on a taxi from Rideau Hall, "hopefully more of our people have this same opportunity in the future!"

For more photos of Dr. Gosnell at the prestigious 50th Anniversary celebrations, view our photo album at the following link: http://nisgaanation.zenfolio.com/p495277502

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