Dr. Joseph Gosnell, has been promoted from the title of an Officer of the Order of Canada to a Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest ranking a Canadian citizen can reach.
The past leader of the Nisga'a nation has been a major participant in First Nation's affairs not only in his duties with the Nisga'a Lisims government, but with the larger issue of First Nation's affairs in Canada.
The Daily News provided details of the new honour and some background on Dr. Gosnell in the Friday edition of the paper.
Veteran Nisga’a statesman is given nation’s highest honour
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Friday, February 23, 2007
A state leader for the Nisga’a Nation, Dr. Joseph Gosnell, has been promoted within the Order of Canada to the highest level of membership.
On Tuesday, Canada’s Governor General, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, announced 89 new appointments to the Order of Canada, including Gosnell’s promotion from Officer of the Order of Canada to Companion.
The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievements and service to the country. It is Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement and has three levels: Companion, Officer and Member.
Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said was a fitting tribute for a remarkable man.
“Dr. Gosnell has spent his lifetime bringing modern education, health care and resource management to the Nass Valley,” Cullen said. “His dedication as president of the Nisga’a Tribal Council and chief negotiator for the landmark Nisga’a Treaty helped to create a model of aboriginal self-government that has been felt around the globe.
“I know I join with all Canadians in thanking Dr. Gosnell for his extraordinary contributions to our country and our world.”
Fewer than 500 of the 5,200 recipients to date of the Order of Canada have been named Companions. A maximum 165 living people may hold this title. Today, there are 158 Companions in the Order of Canada.
“Dr. Gosnell has spent his lifetime revitalizing Nisga’a culture,” said North Coast MLA Gary Coons.
“His work as president of the Nisga’a Tribal Council and chief negotiator for the landmark Nisga’a Treaty was remarkable.”
Gosnell stepped down from his role as president of the Nisga’a Lisims Government in 2004.