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The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest honours. Since 1967, the award has recognized people across all sectors of society who have made extraordinary and sustained contributions to Canada.

Governor General May Simon announced the new members on December 28.

“I greatly value the opportunity to celebrate individuals whose perseverance, ingenuity and community spirit have benefited Canadians throughout the country. As governor general, I have seen first-hand that our communities are rich in both excellence and diversity, which we need to do our utmost to recognize,” remarked Simon. “I encourage each of us to become catalysts for the change we want to see in the Canadian Honours System by nominating individuals whose exceptional accomplishments may have gone unrecognized through the years.”

Elder Albert Marshall is a highly regarded Mi’kmaw Elder from Eskasoni who attended the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School. He is a long-time advocate of the Mi’kmaw language and culture.

During his career, he has been an advisor on the use and integration of traditional knowledge to multiple organizations, including the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs and the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources. He provided support for the selection of Bras d’Or Lake and watershed as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Marshall is well known for creating the approach known as Etuaptmumk, or Two-Eyed Seeing, which means “learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western knowledges and ways of knowing … and learning to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.” (Cape Breton University’s Institute for Integrative Science and Health) 

According to Marshall, Etuaptmumk/Two-Eyed Seeing suggests that humanity cannot live within one vision or one understanding about the world. Instead, humans should meet the challenges of the future through this approach. He promotes healing and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, particularly environmental sustainability and natural resources.

Marshall co-created the innovative Integrative Science program at Cape Breton University, which was the first of its kind in Canada. He has also advised on the BEAHR (Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources) program at Nova Scotia Community College and contributed to the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association’s Code of Ethics.

Marshall has also co-authored a children’s book Walking Together and several scholarly publications. He has Honorary Doctorates from Cape Breton University, Acadia University, and Humber College. He is also the recipient of the 2021 Professional Champion Award from the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, the Thomas Dignan Indigenous Health Award from Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2022 and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Indspire in 2023.

Dr. Ron Stewart was born in North Sydney and raised in Sydney Mines. Stewart graduated from Dalhousie University and began his medical career in Neil's Harbour.

In 1972, Stewart began the residency program in Emergency Medicine at the University of Southern California. He was the first medical director in the Los Angeles paramedic program and was also hired as a consultant for the television shows Emergency! and Marcus Welby, M.D. In 1978, he was appointed medical director for the Department of Public Safety of Pittsburgh. Stewart also served as the chairman for study of health reform in United States, which advised Bill Clinton on ambulatory care and training standards.

In 1988, Stewart returned to Canada and eventually ended up at Dalhousie University to establish a pain and trauma research lab. He also founded the Music-in-Medicine program at Dalhousie Medical School, which is part of their Medical Humanities Program. 

Stewart entered provincial politics in 1993 representing the Cape Breton North riding. In June 1993, he was appointed Nova Scotia’s Minister of Health. He is known for reforming Nova Scotia's health care system, including its ground ambulance operations, and consolidating them into a single entity called Emergency Health Services.

Stewart resigned from cabinet in 1996 and resigned as MLA the following year.

Stewart was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993. In 2006, he was named a Member of the Order of Nova Scotia. Last year he was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada. Stewart has also received honorary doctorates from Acadia University, Cape Breton University, and Dalhousie University.

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