The University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg will honour a number of Canada’s top leaders, activists and thinkers this spring with honorary doctorates.
The University of Winnipeg will honour Cindy Blackstock, Paul Thomas and Byron Williams at its convocation June 15 and 16, while the University of Manitoba will honour Maria Chaput, Thomas Denton, Tomson Highway, Sharon Johnston, Jennifer Jones, Sandra Pitblado, Gerry V. Price and Derek Riley at a number of ceremonies beginning May 18 and running through mid-June.
Blackstock is an Gitxsan activist famous for her dedicated work pushing the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to acknowledge the Canadian government discriminated in how it funded child-welfare services for indigenous children.
Thomas is a teacher and researcher known for establishing the universities’ joint master of public administration program.
Williams is a lawyer and director of Legal Aid Manitoba’s Public Interest Law Centre, where his victories have helped to lower payday loan rates and allowed same-sex couples to adopt.
Chaput is a Franco-Manitobaine whose advocacy was key to ensuring bilingual schooling.
Denton is a longtime supporter of refugees to Canada and is executive director of the Hospitality House Refugee Ministry.
Highway is a celebrated Cree playwright, novelist and performer and was named one of Canada’s 100 most important people in 2000 by Maclean’s magazine.
Johnston is an advocate for people living with mental illnesses as well as the co-founder of Friends of the Neuro at the Montreal Neurological Institute.
Jones is a gold-medal Olympian in curling and a board member of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation.
Pitblado is a patron of the arts, a supporter of the National Ballet of Canada and former chairwoman of the Stratford Festival.
Price heads the Price Group Companies and has contributed significantly to the University of Manitoba’s scholarships for engineering and architecture students.
Riley is an Olympian, veteran and businessman whose impact can be felt in places such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Assiniboine Park Conservancy.