Honorary degree recipient - Fibbie Tatti
Citation Reader: Manon Tremblay
Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Ms. Fibbie Tatti to recognize her decades of First Nations advocacy.
Long before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action in 2015, which include calling on the Government of Canada to acknowledge Indigenous language rights, Ms. Tatti was an ardent champion of Dene [DE-NAY] languages and cultures and Indigenous language education.
Ms. Tatti is a member of the Sahtúgot’ı̨nę [SAT-U-O-TINE] First Nation in the Great Bear Lake region of the Northwest Territories. She is a fluent speaker of the Sahtu Deline language, and she holds a Master’s degree in Indigenous education from the University of Victoria. Her thesis, entitled “The Wind Waits for No One”, explored the foundational role that spirituality plays in the development of the Dene language.
Throughout her career, Ms. Tatti has generously shared her knowledge, her wisdom and her experience and has worked closely with Indigenous leaders, Elders, language experts and interprovincial education professionals to uphold and protect the rights of her people.
Among her many roles, she was a monitoring agent of the Northwest Territories Official Languages Act, worked for more than two decades for the territory’s Department of Education, and co-chaired the Aboriginal Language Task Force during the mid 1980s.
Ms. Tatti was also involved in the Sahtu People’s land claim settlement that enshrined the ongoing role of Dene and Métis people as stewards of the land, and the community of Deline’s final self-government agreement that established a community-based Indigenous government.
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Board of Governors and Senate, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Ms. Fibbie Tatti, so that you may confer upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
* As a result of the suspension of June, 2020 convocation ceremonies due to pandemic restrictions, Honorary Degree recipients provided video messages. Citations for recipients will be posted following rescheduled ceremonies, which will be announced at a future date.