Métis National Council (MNC) President Clement Chartier is among 60 winners of the inaugural Diamond Jubilee Awards, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne.
Governor-General David Johnston, accompanied by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, awarded 60 inaugural medals, several of them to aboriginals or people working on indigenous issues. Chartier won "for his leadership as president of the Metis National Council, and for advocating for Métis and indigenous rights," the Governor General's website said.
“It is an honor to have been selected to receive the Diamond Jubilee Medal,” Chartier said in a statement. “This medal recognizes the achievements and dedication to building a better Canada—to be recognized for pushing the Métis rights agenda forward is very special, but there is much work yet to do on this issue.”
Chartier is serving his third term as head of the national organization of the descendants of colonial fur traders and Native women.
He has advocated not only for the Métis people but has also traveled abroad to monitor human rights issues of the Rapa Nui of Easter Island, Chile. He is also a solid backer of Manitoba Métis efforts to win restitution in a 141-year-old land claim that was argued before the Supreme Court of Canada in December.
The medals were given out in a private ceremony at Rideau Hall, the Governor General's base, on February 6.