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Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees recognize individuals who have accomplished extraordinary achievements and remarkable service. These individuals have demonstrated a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in one or more field; provided outstanding service to the greater society through non-academic achievements and/or public service; or made noteworthy contributions in areas relevant to the mission of the university and/or local community.

Awarded for outstanding achievement in social science in the broadest sense, or significant community contributions at the local, national or international levels.

Honorary Degree Recipient

Ms. Roberta Jamieson

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Ms. Roberta JamiesonIn recognition of her tireless advocacy for the rights and autonomy of Indigenous peoples, her leadership in the field of alternative dispute resolution, her efforts to improve education funding, access and opportunities for Indigenous youth, and for being a role model for those in public life, particularly women and Indigenous people, the university proudly confers upon Ms. Roberta Jamieson the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. 

Called to the Bar in Ontario in 1982, Ms. Jamieson is an accomplished lawyer who was the first First Nations woman to earn a law degree in Canada). With acknowledged expertise in environmental, social and governance issues, she currently holds corporate directorships with RBC, Deloitte Canada and Chile, and the Rideau Hall Foundation, where she leads a national initiative to graduate more than 10,000 Indigenous teachers.

Her remarkable career includes being the first non-Parliamentarian appointed as a member of a special House of Commons committee on Indigenous self-government, and being the first Indigenous Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario. At the request of the Prime Minister, she served on the inaugural Gender Equity Advisory Council during Canada’s G7 Presidency.

In 2001, she was the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario. She is the first woman appointed as Ontario’s Ombudsman, where she took bold steps to advance service equity and initiated systemic investigations into allegations of administrative unfairness.

She previously served with numerous boards, including the Canadian Native Law Students Association and the Centre for Research in Women's Health, and was Founding Patron of ImagineNATIVE, an international showcase of the work of Indigenous artists. While serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Indspire, Ms. Jamieson transformed its focus to attracting funding for scholarships and bursaries for Indigenous youth, resulting in exceptional graduation results. Following this initiative, Charity Intelligence Canada recognized Indspire as one of 10 Canadian Charities with the most impact, while the Financial Post named Indspire one of Canada’s Top Charities.

In addition to receiving 30 previous honorary degrees and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, she has been recognized with numerous awards from a wide range of organizations including the Indigenous Bar Association (Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel designation), the Council of Ontario Universities, and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

She has been invested as a member and officer of the Order of Canada and named three times to the Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 list.