Eskasoni resident receives Order of Canada for lifetime of work on Mi'kmaq rights

Chris Shannon
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Appointment comes just in time for Canada Day

SYDNEY — Mi’kmaq rights advocate Joseph B. Marshall has been appointed to the Order of Canada.

Joseph B. Marshall, right, is seen here in October 2011, accepting the Order of Nova Scotia from then-premier Darrell Dexter. Marshall, from Eskasoni, was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada on Monday.

The Eskasoni resident will enter the order as a member, alongside 63 other accomplished Canadians.

The announcement was made by Rideau Hall on Monday. For more coverage, click here.

Marshall is the executive director and a founding member of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, a tribal council created in 1969 to provide a unified voice for the Mi’kmaq people in Nova Scotia.

Since 2004, Mr. Marshall has been senior Mi'kmaq advisor to the Mi'kmaq Rights Initiative, guiding the Mi'kmaq and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs as they proceed through the negotiation of aboriginal and treaty rights with the Nova Scotia government and Ottawa.

In his citation on Gov.-Gen. David Johnston’s website, Marshall has received the Order of Canada for his “contributions to the preservation and promotion of Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq language and culture.”

He received the Order of Nova Scotia in 2011.

As an associate professor of Mi'kmaq studies and political science from Cape Breton University, he was instrumental in the formation of the Mi'kmaq College Institute and the creation of Mi'kmaq Studies as a disciplinary subject.

He retired full-time from CBU in 2005.

Other, well-known Canadians appointed to the Order of Canada on Monday, include comedian Rick Mercer, retired astronaut Chris Hadfield and renowned filmmaker David Cronenberg.

In all, 86 people were appointed to the order, which included three as companions – the highest rank – and another 19 as officers of the Order of Canada.

Organizations: Union of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton University, Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi Order of Nova Scotia

Geographic location: Canada, Nova Scotia, Ottawa

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