Media Advisory – Ryerson University to award honorary degrees to two First Nations community leaders

by NationTalk on June 3, 20112051 Views

Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine and Traditional Healer and Elder Joanne Dallaire to receive honorary degrees at Spring Convocation

June 2, 2011

As part of this year’s convocation ceremonies, Ryerson University will award honorary doctorate degrees to two remarkable Aboriginal community leaders. Phil Fontaine and Joanne Dallaire will both be recognized for their contributions to First Nations communities at Ryerson’s spring convocation ceremonies, which take place from June 8 – 17.Former National Chief Phil Fontaine is a dedicated and highly respected Aboriginal leader in Canada. First elected as National Chief in 1997, Mr. Fontaine held the position twice for an unprecedented three terms. He has been instrumental in facilitating change and advancement for First Nations people, particularly in the negotiation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Mr. Fontaine will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Faculty of Community Services convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 9 at 9:30 a.m.

Joanne Dallaire has worked in the social service sector for over 30 years transforming the lives of individuals and the culture of agencies, and, instilling recognition and respect for Aboriginal people, issues and their contributions to society. As the Traditional Counsellor to Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services she has been an inspiration to Aboriginal students. As the Elder and acting Chair to Ryerson University’s Aboriginal Education Council, her support, guidance and engagement has enriched and nurtured its growth and the breadth of its work. Ms. Dallaire will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Faculty of Community Services convocation ceremony on Friday, June 10 at 9:30 a.m.

WHAT: Honorary Degree presentations and convocation addresses
WHEN: Phil Fontaine – Thursday June 9, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
Joanne Dallaire – Friday, June 10, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Ryerson Theatre, 43 Gerrard St. E. Toronto

For a full list of the notable Canadians to receive an honorary degree from Ryerson University this spring, please visit:


Note: Media are invited to attend the convocation ceremonies. Space is limited. Please RSVP to Johanna VanderMaas.

Johanna VanderMaas
Public Affairs
Ryerson University
Office: 416-979-5000 x 4630

If you require this in another format, please contact Ryerson University Public Affairs at 416-979-5000 x 7134.

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