Joseph B. Marshall, former associate professor of Mi’kmaq studies and political science at Cape Breton University has been appointed to the Order of Canada. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada appointed Marshall for his “contributions to the preservation and promotion of Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq language and culture.”
Established in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of Canada’s highest civilian honours. It recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Marshall, a resident of Eskasoni, is one of 86 new appointments.
“It would be nice to live long enough to see the final settlement of Mi’kmaw claims to lands, rights and resources. Being recognized to have had a part in promoting those during my lifetime is reward enough,” says Marshall. “Future generations of Mi’kmaw will surely complete the process adequately.”
Marshall is the executive director and a founding member of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, a tribal council created in 1969 to provide a unified voice for Mi’kmaq people in Nova Scotia. He is also a senior Mi’kmaq advisor to the Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative, guiding the Mi’kmaq and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs as they negotiate aboriginal treaty rights with the Nova Scotia government and Ottawa.
Marshall played a key role in the formation of the Mi’kmaq College Institute and the establishment of Mi’kmaq Studies as a disciplinary subject. He retired full-time from CBU in 2005. He will be invited to accept his insignia along with the other appointees at a ceremony to be held at a later date.