Three Greater Victoria residents are among 14 people appointed to the Order of British Columbia this year.
Former MP and MLA David Anderson, Tracey Herbert, CEO of the First Peoples' Cultural Council, and First Nations carver Carey Newman are the three local honorees.
Newman, from Sooke, is an Indigenous artist, master carver, singer and volunteer who created the Witness Blanket, a powerful monument to the impact of the residential school era.
He called the award a great honour, but said it “comes with some responsibility.”
“I think it’s important to embrace these honours when they come along, but I think it’s also equally important to keep focused on the motivation behind the work to begin with,” he said. “I guess what I’m trying to ensure is that I try to direct the focus toward the issues.”
Herbert has worked for more than 30 years in the areas of health, education, employment, community development and strategic planning. “I’m really honoured and humbled to receive the Order of B.C.,” said Herbert, of Brentwood Bay. “I’ve looked at the list of some of the past recipients and they are people that I have really admired for years.”
Originally of the St’uxwtews First Nation (Bonaparte Band) in the Thompson Okanagan, Herbert has been heavily involved in First Nations language preservation and revitalization in B.C.
She led the development of an award-winning exhibit on Indigenous languages of B.C., showing the critical level of endangerment of First Nations languages.
“I’ve been really fortunate to have a great team at the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and we’ve accomplished a lot of things within the last decade and really raised the profile of Indigenous languages,” she said.
Anderson, a silver medalist in rowing at the 1960 Rome Olympics, was ahead of the curve on issues such as oil drilling, pipelines and tanker traffic. First elected as an MP in 1968, Anderson founded and chaired the special committee on environmental pollution. An Officer of the Order of Canada, an honorary citizen of the City of Victoria, and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Anderson is the only Canadian to be elected president of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environmental Programme. He could not be reached for comment.
Others being named to the order include:
• Deborah Abbey, of New Westminster, an author, media spokesperson and champion for responsible, sustainable investing.
• Domenic Cuccione, of Port Moody, a philanthropist who has raised more than $23 million for pediatric oncology research.
• Brian Fehr, of Vancouver, founder of the BID Group that provides technical systems and construction services for wood products industries.
• Anne Giardini, of Vancouver, chancellor of Simon Fraser University.
• Andrew Way Yin Joe, of Vancouver, Canada’s first Chinese-Canadian lawyer.
• Grand Chief Percy Joe, of Merritt, a hereditary and elected chief of the Scw’exmx, who was one of the founders of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.
• Mary Kitagawa, of Delta, an educator and human rights crusader.
• Brenda Martens, of Vancouver, a sustainability advocate and early adopter of green building practices.
• George Melville, of White Rock, chairman and owner of Melville Global Investments Inc.
• Bill Millerd, of Denman Island, who dedicated 40 years to nurturing the growth of professional theatre in B.C.
• Brian Minter, of Chilliwack, horticulturist and entrepreneur,
Recipients of the Order of British Columbia are selected by an independent advisory committee. This year 203 British Columbians were nominated for the order.