Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pomp and Ceremony

[Photo:From the left: Dr. Richard Umeek Atleo, Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo,
moi, Dr Nancy Turner, Dr. Ralph Nilson.
In front is the paddle that Chief Atleo presented to VIU
when he was installed as chancellor.  It is a steering paddle,
which helps guide us during important journeys.
It is now part of our convocation ceremonies.]
This was a busy week, being convocation week and I had the pleasure of introducing Dr. Nancy Turner to the audience as the Honorary recipient of a Doctorate of Science. Nancy is one of the world's top ethnobotanists. She has worked with First Nations Elders and cultural specialists for over 40 years, helping to preserve and bring to the broader world their traditional knowledge about plants and their ecosystems, their management and enhancement. Her CV is 60 pages long and she has been recognized with many awards (Member of the Order of Canada, Order of BC, ....the list goes on and on). She is an incredibly humble person who acknowledges those who taught her and shared their knowledge with her. I know who to ask when I have a question about native plants or things like, which plant was used by First Nations to dye wool yellow, or black? She was a great inspiration for those students who were graduating and to the rest of us. Here's a news release about her.

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