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UNB announces honorary degree recipients for fall convocation

Author: Communications

Posted on Sep 19, 2013

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

The University of New Brunswick is pleased to announce that the following honorary degrees will be awarded at its fall convocation ceremonies.

On October 24 in Fredericton, honorary degrees will be awarded to Shawn Atleo, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and Paul Martin, former prime minister of Canada.

On October 25 in Saint John, an honorary degree will be awarded to Jane Bertrand, an internationally respected expert in the field of early childhood education.

Additional information related to UNB's fall convocation ceremonies will be released in the coming weeks.

More complete biographies of this fall's honorary degree recipients follow:

ATLEO, Shawn: national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, chief of the Ahousaht First Nation

Chief Shawn Atleo was raised to become the hereditary chief of the Ahousaht First Nation, part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation, and has held that position since 1999. He served two terms as the Assembly of First Nations’s regional chief in British Columbia and was selected as national chief in July 2009. Atleo received a master’s of education degree in adult learning and global change from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia in 2003 and works as a leader, negotiator, facilitator, mediator, teacher and community activist. He is deeply committed to the education of aboriginal peoples. He has been the executive director of a first nation family addictions treatment facility and was managing director of a private aboriginal post-secondary training institute. In 2008, he was named chancellor of Vancouver Island University, becoming the first aboriginal university chancellor in the province’s history.

Atleo has also represented aboriginal peoples internationally, participating in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples talks and working with the indigenous caucus at the Organization of American States. He has participated in various events across the globe to highlight issues faced by indigenous peoples. In Canada, he co-chairs the national process of the Recognition and Implementation of First Nation Governments and co-chairs a national committee consisting of chiefs and expert advisors to advocate for first nation’s coastal fisheries. For his work promoting education, Atleo was awarded an honorary doctor of education from Nipissing University in 2010.

BERTRAND, Jane: program director for the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation and former professor, School of Early Childhood at George Brown College

Jane Bertrand is an internationally respected expert in early childhood development. She has provided leadership to early childhood practitioners, researchers and policy thinkers to ensure that early childhood practice is grounded in evidence that helps to inform progressive child- and family-centred policy. She is an expert advisor to the early learning advisor of Ontario, the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, and the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation. She is also a member of the directing committee of the Centre for Excellence for Early Childhood Development. Bertrand was the principal researcher/writer of the Early Years Study 1 and 2, a member of the Toronto first duty research and development team from the Atkinson Centre, and is a contributing author of Science of Early Childhood Development.

Before joining George Brown College in 1986, Bertrand worked for 16 years in child care programs with infants and school-age groups. With an educational background in child development and early childhood education curriculum (B.A., Psychology; Queen's University; M.Ed., Early Childhood Education, O.I.S.E.), she has been active in early childhood pedagogy, advocacy and policy development, having recently authored the following textbooks: The Essentials of Early Childhood Education and Understanding, and Managing and Leading Early Childhood Programs in Canada. She is also the author of the textbook, Essentials of Early Childhood Education.

Bertrand has been a leader in Canada regarding the importance of early human development on the life course of individuals in respect to health, learning and behaviour and was recently invited to be a keynote speaker at a meeting of the Association of American Governors. Bertrand is working in New Brunswick to inform and effect progressive change in the province’s education system in order to ensure the healthy development of all young New Brunswickers.

MARTIN, Paul: former prime minister of Canada and president of the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative

The Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, former Canadian prime minister (2003-2006), attended the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1966, he earned a law degree from the University of Toronto. Before entering politics, he was an executive with the Power Corporation of Canada and then chairman and CEO of Canada Steamship Lines, among other executive positions with major Canadian corporations. He also served on the board of governors for Concordia University.

Martin entered politics, holding several high profile positions in the Chretien cabinet, including minister of finance. Among his political successes, he erased a multi-billion dollar deficit, paid down debt, and brought in five consecutive budget surpluses. As prime minister, he implemented a $41-billion initiative to improve healthcare, signed a landmark agreement with the provinces and territories for a national early learning and childcare program, created a new financial deal for municipalities, achieved consensus on the Kelowna accord to provide equal opportunity for Canada’s aboriginal population and redefined marriage to include same-sex couples.

Since leaving office, Martin has worked with several organizations to reduce poverty and create sustainable development in Africa. He has served on the boards of Amnesty International, the Centre for Research and Action on Race Relations, the Canadian Centre for Arms Control, and is founding director of the North-South Institute and the Canadian Council for Native Business. Martin is currently the president of the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, an organization that works to keep aboriginal youth in school and to prepare them for successful careers. He co-founded the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship Fund with his son David, to foster and grow successful aboriginal businesses.

He has received honorary degrees from Concordia University (1998), Wilfred Laurier University (2001), the University of Western Ontario (2010), Queen's University (2011), McMaster University (2011), and the University of Toronto (2011).

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