From left to right: Jane Dragon, Richard Van Camp, and Suzette Montreuil, who have been awarded the 2022 Order of the Northwest Territories.
Jane Dragon, Richard Van Camp, and Suzette Montreuil have been awarded the Order of the Northwest Territories.
The 2022 recipients of the highest honour awarded in the territory were announced earlier this week.
Dragon, a Fort Smith Elder, “has imparted a wealth of traditional knowledge to generations and created a one-of-a-kind resource for students and youth groups known as Foxy,” read a summary of her accolades.
“Acknowledged for her dedication to education, social causes, sports, volunteerism, and cultural activism, she holds prestigious Queen Elizabeth medals (Silver, Diamond, Gold Jubilee, etcetera) and was inducted into the NWT Education Hall of Fame.”
Dragon was a school community councillor and Chipewyan language teacher before serving as a resident Elder for the Foxy and Smash northern programs, which promote mental and sexual health and healthy relationships.
Van Camp, who was raised in Fort Smith and now lives in Edmonton, was nominated for his work promoting arts and culture.
“With over twenty published books in two decades, he’s mentored young writers and conducted readings and workshops across the North,” read his biography.
Van Camp has worked with the NWT Literacy Council and the Department of Education, Culture and Employment to help build up their collections of northern reading materials and has been instrumental in the growth of Yellowknife’s Northwords Writers Festival.
Montreuil, who lives in Yellowknife, received the Order for her work in social justice.
“Her contributions span diverse NWT issues, striving for improved conditions in all communities. Achievements stem from professional roles and volunteerism, including leadership in organizations like Alternatives North (which she co-founded), Commission Scolaire Francophone de Division and more,” a summary of her work read.
Montreuil has also won the NWT Wise Woman Award, a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Prix Jeanne-Dube; and is an honorary member of the Association Canadienne d’Education de la Langue Francaise.
A ceremony is planned to celebrate the three recipients in Fall 2023. How the wildfire crisis may impact these plans is not yet clear.
Members of the Order of the NWT can wear the insignia and use “O.N.W.T.” after their name.