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West Kelowna  

Order honour for Hamilton

A Central Okanagan woman has been named an officer of the Order of Canada.

Deanna Hamilton is among 99 new members of the order announced Friday.

Hamilton was named to the order as a "promoter of First Nations fiscal management and governance."

The Westbank First Nation leader oversaw development of the First Nations Finance Authority, established the WFN’s system of property tax, was a board member on the WFN’s self-government committee, and previously served on the B.C. Assessment Authority and with the All Nations Trust.

She is a previous recipient of the British Columbia Community Achievement Award.

There was a strong First Nations theme among today's Order of Canada recipients, several of whom have been outspoken critics of the Canadian government.

Matthew Coon Come was ripped from his family as a child and placed in a residential school. He survived abuse and went on to become a lifelong advocate for the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

"There's a lot of rhetoric, a lot of trust that is broken," he told The Canadian Press.

First Nations activist Beverley Jacobs was an early voice in sounding the alarm about missing and murdered Indigenous women.

"I was actually quite shocked because I'm always so critical of Canada and its government," she said of the honour.

Other outspoken critics include Cindy Blackstock, who battled Ottawa for more than a decade over aboriginal child welfare. Former auditor general Sheila Fraser recently reviewed and found fault with the way the RCMP deals with sexual harassment complaints.

"I respect (the award), of course, but it's not going to stop me from fighting for my people," said Jacobs.

– with files from The Canadian Press



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