Author Joseph Boyden among those appointed to the Order of Canada

OTTAWA -- Joseph Boyden, the award-winning author whose work vividly documents the complexity of Canada's indigenous history, is among the latest appointments to the Order of Canada in a year when aboriginal issues have dominated the national agenda.

See Full Article

Boyden, whose novels include Three Day Road and The Orenda, joined 68 other people recognized Wednesday by the Governor General with one of the country's highest civilian honours.

In its citation, Rideau Hall said Boyden was being recognized for his contributions to telling stories of "common heritage" and for his social engagement "notably in support of First Nations."

The novelist, who also served as an honorary witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission studying Canada's painful residential school legacy, said he believes the arts are a powerful tool to help repair fractured relationships between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians.

"I have come to realize that I think art is the way to allow Canadians to begin to understand in a way that is manageable at first for them to understand something of such huge pain," he said in an interview.

"We can lecture all we want about the ongoing intergenerational trauma but those words sometimes don't sink in.

"I think stories, I think novels, I think film, I think dance, I think painting, all of this allows Canadians to absorb not just the pain and the anger but the beauty as well."

Several other members of Canada's arts community were honoured Wednesday, including Noreen Taylor, who founded one of Canada's major literary prizes, Winnipeg painter and sculptor Ivan Eyre, Quebec musician Diane Dufresne and Antoni Cimolino, the artistic director of the Stratford Festival.

Other recipients include former Prince Edward Island premier and senator Catherine Callbeck, former privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart and House of Commons clerk Audrey O'Brien.

Nominations for the Order of Canada are reviewed by an independent council chaired by the chief justice of Canada. Individuals are appointed on merit to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Rideau Hall has been actively working to ensure its honours reach more Canadians. Earlier this year, Gov. Gen. David Johnston flagged two areas of particular concern for the Order of Canada: gender and regional representation.

Spokesperson Emily Keogh said females make up 46 per cent of the latest appointees. A previous list released in July had 44 per cent of female appointments -- a bump from the average of 31 per cent between 2010 and 2014, she noted, adding there is there is also "great diversity" among the recipients including filmmaker Atom Egoyan and author Rohinton Mistry.

The honour still hasn't sunk in for Boyden.

"It is something you hear about all your life as one of the great gifts given to Canadians of note," he said.

"I guess I have to now consider myself a Canadian of at least some little note."

Here is a look at some of the promotions within the order and the new appointments:


Atom Egoyan, Toronto: a promotion within the order for his groundbreaking contributions to film as an internationally respected filmmaker and for his commitment to mentoring and showcasing Canadian artists.

Angela Hewitt, London, U.K. and Ottawa: promotion within the order for her transformative interpretations of the piano repertoire, which have brought new life to the genre before a global audience.


Julie Dickson, Ottawa: the former Superintendent of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, for her leadership in the development of financial regulation in Canada and around the world.

Nassif Ghoussoub, Vancouver, B.C.: for his scientific contributions to the study of differential equations, and for advancing mathematics research and education in Canada.

Dany Laferriere, Montreal: for his contributions to the vitality of the literary world as an internationally renowned author.

Jennifer Anne Stoddart, Montreal: for her international leadership in privacy rights and for her exemplary public service as the privacy commissioner of Canada.

Mary Anne White, Halifax: for her contributions to chemistry, which have advanced our understanding of the thermal properties of materials, and for her leadership in science outreach initiatives.


Joseph Boyden, New Orleans, La., and Ahmic Harbour, Ont.: for his contributions as an author, who tells stories of our common heritage, and for his social engagement, notably in support of First Nations.

Laura Brandon, Ottawa: for her contributions to uncovering and preserving Canadian war art, and for bringing it to the attention of national and international audiences.

Catherine Callbeck, Central Bedeque, P.E.I.: for her contributions to the citizens of Prince Edward Island as a former politician and senator, and as a business and community leader.

Robert Campbell, Sackville, N.B.: for his contributions to academia as an authority on postal services and as president of Mount Allison University.

Antoni Cimolino, Stratford, Ont.: for his contributions to Canadian theatre as an actor and director, notably through his leadership of the Stratford Festival.

Joseph Z. Daigle, Dieppe, N.B: for his contributions as a jurist and lawyer, notably for increasing access to justice for Francophones in his province.

Rollande Desbois, Montreal: for her contributions to the dissemination and evolution of Quebec's culinary culture, notably through her teaching and writing.

Odette Heyn and Faye Thomson: Winnipeg: for their contributions to contemporary dance in Canada and to the development of the next generation of dancers.

Rohinton Mistry, Toronto: for his acclaimed work as an author of international renown.

Audrey O'Brien, Ottawa: for her contributions to democracy as a senior administrator with the House of Commons for over two decades.

Richard Weber, Alcove, Que.: for his pioneering acts of polar exploration and for his efforts to increase awareness of environmental threats to the North.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Five men arrested after Vegas-bound plane diverts to Winnipeg

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- Five men were removed from a plane that was forced to divert to Winnipeg on its way from the United Kingdom to Las Vegas. A spokesman with Thomas Cook Airlines says the Airbus A330 was travelling from Manchester to Las Vegas on Saturday morning when the crew diverted to Winnipeg due to some passengers' "disruptive behaviour. Source
  • Family found dead at Mexico resort killed by toxic gas

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY -- Autopsies indicate an Iowa couple and their two children died from inhaling toxic gas at a rented condo on Mexico's Caribbean coast, but there was no sign of foul play or suicide, Mexican authorities said Saturday. Source
  • 'A historic moment': Montreal massacre survivor joins Washington rally

    Canada News CTV News
    It’s been more than 28 years since a gunman stormed Montreal’s École Polytechnique, killing 14 women in the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history. Another 14 people were injured in the massacre, including Nathalie Provost, who sustained four gunshot wounds, including one to the forehead. Source
  • 'I will vote you out': Teens vow to shake up U.S. politics at gun control rallies

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Kat Schamel did not vote in the last American election, because her 18th birthday happened to fall on Nov. 9, 2016, one day after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Source
  • Car bomb in coastal Egyptian city kills 2 police

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- A bomb placed under a nearby car exploded Saturday in the coastal city of Alexandria as the city security chief's convoy passed by, killing two policemen and wounding four others, the Interior Ministry said. Source
  • Accused Austin bomber called himself a 'psychopath': congressman

    World News CTV News
    AUSTIN, Texas - A congressman says the suspected Austin bomber left a confession calling himself a "psychopath" and saying he felt no remorse for his actions. Rep. Michael McCaul made the comments at a news conference Saturday, where he thanked law enforcement officials for stopping the deadly three-week bombing spree that terrorized the capital of Texas. Source
  • The road map and road blocks of Trump's transgender troops ban explained

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump has issued an order supporting his push to ban most transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military except under "limited circumstances." But the decision is expected to be the subject of an ongoing legal fight in the months ahead. Source
  • Nigerian police: Boko Haram to free 1 more kidnapped girl

    World News CTV News
    MAIDUGURI, Nigeria -- Nigeria's police chief says another girl who was abducted from a school in Dapchi last month is being brought back by her kidnappers. Police Inspector General Muhammed Abubakar said Saturday that he cancelled a trip to Dapchi to avoid interfering with the release. Source
  • Quebec doctors protest their own raises, call for improved patient accessibility

    Canada News CBC News
    When Lashanda Skerritt decided to go to medical school, money was far from being the first thing on her mind — she wanted to serve the population. She is among hundreds of health care workers, patients and community groups who marched in protest of raises for doctors in the province. Source
  • New Brunswick man reaches halfway point of 3,000-kilometre dog sled trek

    Canada News CTV News
    A New Brunswick man making a 3,000-kilometre dog sled trek from Manitoba to his home province says the journey thus far has been "a mix of beauty and terror." Justin Allen and his 12 Alaskan huskies left Churchill, Man. Source