TRU 2006 Honorary Degree Recipients


John Ciriani

Mr. John Ciriani - Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

John Ciriani has been an exemplary educator. He taught at Trail Junior High School from 1953 to 1956, then took a position at J. Lloyd Crowe Senior Secondary School in 1956 while working toward a Bachelor of Education degree at UBC, which he completed in 1957.

After teaching English, mathematics and physics at J. Lloyd Crowe from 1956 to 1961, John Ciriani was appointed head of the mathematics department at that school. In 1966 he was appointed assistant to the principal of J. Lloyd Crowe, remaining until 1971, during which time he earned a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics Education.

From 1971 until he retired in 1995, John Ciriani was a mainstay of the mathematics department at the former Cariboo College and University College of the Cariboo. A born educator with a gift for teaching, John Ciriani was considered to be the best teacher at Cariboo College. He won a teaching merit award in 1985, and was presented with the university’s inaugural Master Teacher Award 1988.

John Ciriani also helped to teach the teachers, and his mentorship of his colleagues was well noted and appreciated. Throughout the transition of the university from a community college to a degree-granting institution, John Ciriani was heavily involved in curriculum development, course planning, and establishing transfer credit with the major universities. John Ciriani also reached out beyond campus boundaries as the founder of the Provincial High School Mathematics Contest, which now attracts students from all over the province.

Janet De Silva

Janet De Silva - Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Past President of Sun Life Financial China and President and CEO of Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance Company. De Silva has contributed much to Canadian business interests abroad, international women, and education.

Suzanne Fortier

Dr. Suzanne Fortier - Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

Dr. Suzanne Fortier, who assumed the presidency of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in 2006, also assuming the role of chair of the Networks of Centres of Excellence Steering Committee, has had a long and successful career as both a scientist and an administrator.

Throughout her academic career, Dr. Fortier authored or contributed to more than 60 scientific papers and was among the pioneers helping to shape the new scientific discipline, bioinformatics.

The first person in her family to attend university, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1972 and a PhD in crystallography in 1976 from McGill University.

She held several research positions over a six-year period before joining Queen’s University in 1982 where she remained until 2005, receiving the Distinguished Service Award from Queen’s University Council for exceptional contributions to research and academics and her devotion to Queen’s University.

Dr. Fortier has served with many external administrative and collegial organizations, including the Council of Science and Technology Advisors, the Royal Military College of Canada, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Inc., the Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress, and NSERC, where she was a council member and Vice-President.

In January 2006, Dr. Fortier assumed the presidency of NSERC, where she continues to promote research and development in universities and the private sector.

People throughout Canada and the world have benefited greatly from the lifelong efforts of Suzanne Fortier. Her leadership, vision and ingenuity symbolize Thompson Rivers University’s commitment to research and to interdisciplinary initiatives.

CT Manny Jules

C.T. (Manny) Jules - Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Manny Jules is a distinguished First Nation leader and innovator who has devoted over 30 years of his life to First Nations entrepreneurship and self-government.

In 1974 he was elected councillor of Kamloops Indian Band for the first time, and in 1984 he was elected chief.

In his 16 years as chief, Mr. Jules spearheaded a number of initiatives, and is most well-known for co-founding the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, repatriating through purchase and negotiated settlement 45,000 acres of alienated Kamloops Indian Band reserve lands, and driving the passage in 1988 of Bill C-115, the only First Nation-led amendment to the Indian Act to date, well known as “the Kamloops Amendment.”

After Bill C-115 led to the establishment in 1989 of the Indian Taxation Advisory Board (ITAB), Manny Jules was appointed ITAB’s first chairperson, and was twice reappointed. Manny Jules also co-founded the Centre for Municipal-Aboriginal Relations with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the First Nations Gazette, and led the creation of the Financial Management Board and Statistics, and the First Nations Finance Authority.

In 2000, Jules retired as chief to devote his full attention to leading the drive to establish the First Nations fiscal institutions, and in 2003 became lead spokesperson for the First Nation Fiscal Institutions Initiative and focused on leading Bill C-19, the First Nation Fiscal and Statistical Management Act.

Aboriginal people throughout Canada and elsewhere have benefited greatly from Manny Jules’s pioneering leadership, commitment and innovation in First Nation legislation, self-government and entrepreneurship.

Mr. Nathan Matthew - Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

Photo of Nathan Matthews

A member of the Simpcw First Nation, Nathan Matthew holds bachelor’s degrees in recreation education and education professional and a master of education degree from UBC. He served as Simpcw chief from 1976/77, 1985-87 and from 1989 to 2006, initiating many community-building educational and financial initiatives

Education has been a priority for Nathan Matthew throughout his professional career, and he has been called the education chief of Canada. He was a founding member and continuous chair of the First Nations Education Council for School District #73, and also served as chair of the Chief’s Committee on Education for the Assembly of First Nations.

Nathan Matthew has also served as First Nations representative to the provincial Education Advisory, political advisor and negotiator for the First Nations Education Steering Committee, signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding with provincial and federal education partners to work on behalf of First Nations students, and First Nations signatory to the Education Jurisdiction agreement.

He has served as tribal chief of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council from 1993 to 1996 and from 2002 to 2006, spearheading the development of the Secwepemc Title and Rights Consultation and Accommodation and the Secwepemc Economic Development Corporation.

Nathan Matthew, in his role as planner, strategist, relationship-builder, supporter and spokesperson for First Nations has provided consistency and stability to his community and other aboriginal organizations. His belief in the potential of and his efforts in demonstrating the capacity for First Nations self-determination has made him an important voice for First Nations aspirations.

JF Mustard

Dr. Fraser Mustard - Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

One of the world's leading experts on childhood learning and behaviour, Dr. Mustard is founding president and fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and through his work there, has been a leader in Canada with respect to the socioeconomic determinants of human development and health.

Perhaps the single most important impact of Dr. Mustard’s work has been the creation of the Council for Early Child Development, formed in 2004 following the publication in 1999 of his pivotal Early Years study, co-edited with former New Brunswick Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain.

As a major researcher, Dr. Mustard has had 489 publications in academic journals and has served on the editorial boards of six academic journals. He has acted as advisor to many international and national governments and organizations, and has served on numerous provincial and federal government committees, advisory boards and foundations. He has been awarded 16 Canadian and two international honorary degrees.

Dr. Mustard has received numerous international and national distinctions, among them the Royal Society of Canada’s William J. Dawson Medal, Companion of the Order of Canada, the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada Award of Merit, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Canadian Medical Association’s FNG Starr Award, and he was named to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

People throughout Canada and the world have benefited greatly from the lifelong efforts of Fraser Mustard. His leadership, vision and support of health and education symbolize Thompson Rivers University’s commitment to lifelong learning and the importance of child welfare and development.

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