Honorary degree citation - Arthur Solomon*
By: Gail Valaskakis, June 1992
Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Arthur Solomon, Ojibway elder, teacher and spiritual leader.
Arthur Solomon est mondialement connu pour ses engagements sociaux et politiques et son leadership spirituel. Reconnu partout dans le monde tant par les membres des Premières Nations que par les non-autochtones, il représente par sa vie, ses travaux, ses écrits et la sagesse dont il fait preuve, l'essence même de l'enseignant.
Born in Killarney, Ontario, in 1913, Mr. Solomon attended Indian residential School, where he received a formal education of about Grade 6. He has been educated through his study of the traditional culture, spirituality and way of life of Native people; and through his work as a builder of roads, a miner, a lumberjack a carpenter, a craftsperson. He is a fourth degree Midewiwin, a great achievement within the spiritual teachings of the Ojibway people. He has shared his knowledge and experience freely and openly, with inspiring generosity of time and energy and resources. He has been a guide and organizer working with mining unions, Native craft guilds, the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native People, the American Indian Movement, the Native Studies programme at Laurentian University, Native Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods in federal and provincial prisons, the World Council of Religion and Peace, the World Council of Indigenous Peoples and the federal and provincial governments.
Son influence notoire et l'ensemble de son oeuvre lui ont valu de recevoir un diplôme de Doctor of Divinity de l'Université Queen's, un doctorat en droit civil de l'Université Laurentienne, la Médaille du bicentenaire de l'Ontario ainsi que la Médaille du mérite du gouvernement de l'Ontario.
His poetry, essays and stories were published in 1990 in a book entitled Songs for the People Teachings on the Natural Way.
Art Solomon continues to travel around the world, sharing his message with churches, Amnesty International, Project Ploughshares, the National Film Board and countless organizations and individuals, young and old, men and women, Native and non-Native. His life, his work and his teachings continue to inspire us all to think, to understand and to act.
Mr. Chancellor, it is a privilege to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Arthur Solomon, so that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.