Canon Roderick A. Robinson, of the diocese of Caledonia, and Janet Somerville, former general secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), were named in January to the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest honour.
Mr. Robinson, 72, was ordained a deacon in March 1998 and made a canon of the diocese in 2001. An elder of the Nisga’a nation, he “has been a spiritual, community and political leader” who “demonstrated immense perseverance and determination during the negotiations that culminated in the historic Nisga’a Treaty,” according to the citation accompanying the announcement of the awards. The land claims treaty saw the transfer of 2,000 square kilometers of Crown land in British Columbia to the Nisga’a nation. He is based in Aiyansh, B.C.
Janet Somerville was the first woman and first Roman Catholic to hold the position of CCC general secretary. She “has been an advocate for interfaith understanding, human rights and peace,” said the award citation. She produced CBC Radio’s Ideas show and was associate editor of the independent newspaper Catholic New Times. She was general secretary from June 1997 until September 2002.