UWindsor law professor Bev Jacobs was one of 105 appointments to the Order of Canada announced June 29 by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette. Jacobs will be invested as a member of the order — one of the country’s highest civilian honours — at a ceremony to be held later.
In making the announcement, Payette cited Jacobs’ work to promote the rights of Indigenous women and girls, notably as the lead researcher of the Stolen Sisters report. The report, released by Amnesty International in 2004, examined factors which contributed to a heightened risk of violence against Indigenous women in Canadian cities.
Jacobs, a member of the Mohawk Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, served as president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada from 2004 to 2009. She lives and practises law in her home community of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
An alumna of Windsor Law (LLB 1994), she also holds a Master of Law degree from the University of Saskatchewan and is completing doctoral studies at the University of Calgary.
Jacobs said that she respects the award, but it won’t keep her from fighting government in defense of her people.
“I accept this to bring attention to Indigenous laws and responsibilities of Indigenous peoples to protect our lands, waters, and resources for future generations,” she wrote on Twitter.
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The contributions of members are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the order: Desiderantes meliorem patriam (“They desire a better country”).