Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Canada’s first Indigenous female MP, has been named to the Order of Canada by Governor General Mary Simon.
Blondin-Andrew, born in Tulita, served as the MP for the Western Arctic riding from 1988 to 2006, making her the longest-serving parliamentarian in the Northwest Territories’ history.
In appointing her an Officer of the Order of Canada, Simon said on Wednesday that Blondin-Andrew deserved recognition for her “longstanding advocacy of northern and Indigenous people, languages and culture at all levels of government.”
Blondin-Andrew has described fleeing Inuvik’s Grollier Hall residential school as a child and surviving tuberculosis before graduating from the University of Alberta and returning to the North, where she taught and promoted Indigenous languages.
As an MP, she rose to become a Liberal minister responsible for children and youth and a minister of state for northern development.
She later chaired the Sahtu Secretariat for nine years.
The date of her investiture ceremony in Ottawa has yet to be confirmed.