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Honorary degree citation - Edith Cloutier

By: Daniel Salée, June 2018

Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Madame Edith Cloutier, an exemplary Indigenous community organizer and bridge builder.

Madame Cloutier has dedicated her life to defending the rights of First Peoples and improving their quality of life in urban settings. For nearly 30 years, this member of the Anicinabe Nation has led the Val d’Or Native Friendship Centre.

Axé sur l’habilitation sociale, l’organisme a remporté l’an dernier le Prix d’excellence de l’Association nationale des centres d’amitié.

Toutefois, l’influence de Madame Cloutier s’étend bien au-delà de la région de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Elle est présidente de l’Alliance de recherche ODENA, qui se consacre au bien-être et au développement des populations autochtones installées dans les villes du Québec.

Elle croit fermement qu’être Autochtone en zone urbaine ne signifie pas qu’on doive abandonner son identité culturelle.

And since 2014 she has co-directed DIALOG, a federally and provincially funded network comprising nearly 100 university researchers and partners from Indigenous communities. Their projects conceive novel ways to enhance Indigenous cultures and improve their socioeconomic conditions. She often shares her vast experience at national and international forums.

You might say Madame Cloutier is the living embodiment of taking intercultural rapprochement from theory to practice. She has done so, as she herself has said, “nourished by hope, because even though we advance a little at a time, we do not retreat.”

Son talent et son engagement lui ont valu plusieurs distinctions : un Prix national d’excellence décerné aux Autochtones dans la catégorie Fonction publique; les titres de Chevalière de l’Ordre du Québec et de membre de l’Ordre du Canada; la Médaille du jubilé de la Reine Elizabeth II; ainsi que le Prix de la justice du Québec.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Madame Edith Cloutier, so that you may confer upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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