Indigenous literary and cultural studies scholar and creative writer Daniel Heath Justice has been appointed Officer of the Order of Canada.
His and 60 new appointments were announced Dec. 30 by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.
A release said Justice received the special honour “for his prolific contributions to the field of contemporary Indigenous studies in Canada and abroad.”
Justice, who is a Cherokee Nation enrolled citizen and was raised in Colorado, served as chair of the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program at UBC for four years, with a cross-appointment in English. He moved to Halfmoon Bay with his husband and dogs Butter and Moira Rose, after finishing his term as chair, according to his website.
He currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture at the university. Justice has authored and edited several books of non-fiction and fiction, including his forthcoming non-fiction book, Racoon, in the Animal Series through the publisher Reaktion Books.
Justice became a Canadian citizen in 2009 after having taught at the University of Toronto’s English department and as an affiliate of the Aboriginal Studies Program since 2002. Before that he received his MA and PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The Order of Canada Officer designation recognizes national service or achievement and along with the designation of Member, may be elevated within the order – from member to officer or from officer to companion – to recognize additional achievements.
Since 1967 more than 7,000 people have been named to the Order of Canada, which “honours people whose service shapes our society; whose innovations ignite our imaginations; and whose compassion unites our communities,” according to the Dec. 30 release announcing the appointments.
The Governor General makes the appointments based on recommendations from the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada. The insignia is a “stylized snowflake of six points” with the inscription, “They desire a better country” in Latin.
John Borrows of Victoria was also named an officer “for his scholarly work on Indigenous rights and legal traditions, which have had a significant impact across Canada and abroad.”