(Edmonton, AB) - Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) Board Member Chief Wilton Littlechild C.M., A.O.E., M.S.C, Q.C., was honoured with the prestigious Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) in recognition of outstanding Indigenous leadership by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Littlechild, along with 28 other recipients, were recognized at a ceremony in Ottawa yesterday.
Littlechild has served as an EOCF Board Member for the past three years.
"I am delighted to be honouring some of the country's most dedicated and talented Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders at this special ceremony at Rideau Hall," said the Governor General. "These individuals are working in myriad ways to strengthen urban and rural Indigenous communities, to raise awareness of Indigenous histories, cultures, achievements and concerns, and to create an environment in which reconciliation is possible. This ceremony represents one more step toward a more fair, just and dynamic country."
The Meritorious Service Decorations celebrate Canadians who have performed an exceptional deed or activity that brings honour to Canada. The decorations are separated into military and civil divisions, with two levels each: a cross and a medal.
The Civil Division recognizes remarkable contributions in many different fields of endeavour, from advocacy initiatives and health care services, to research and humanitarian efforts. The contributions can be innovative, set an example for others to follow, or improve the quality of life of a community.
Chief Littlechild along with Justice Murray Sinclair and Marie Wilson shouldered the responsibility for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada with fortitude, compassion and perseverance. Over six years, they led the examination of the Indian Residential School system, combing through myriad documents and witnessing the courage of survivors who shared their stories. Their final report invites all Canadians to confront the inequities of the past, and calls on governments and individuals alike to move forward, with greater understanding, towards reconciliation.
"The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation is fortunate to have a dedicated Board of Directors, all of whom are some of Edmonton's most influential leaders in our community, and we are proud of Chief Littlechild's recognition for outstanding Indigenous leadership," said EOCF Executive Director Natalie Minckler. "Chief Littlechild is an exceptional community ambassador, leader and mentor throughout Northern Alberta."
Chief Littlechild plays a big role in the Foundation's efforts to change lives and improve communities throughout Northern Alberta. With a focus on programs that support education and health and wellness for youth, the EOCF is deeply committed to enriching lives while finding long-term solutions to improve our home where we live, work and play.
For more information on the Meritorious Service Cross, please visit merit.gg.ca. For more information on the EOCF and its dedicated Board Members, please visit OilersFoundation.ca.