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At a time when we might feel a lack of inspiration or hope about altering the current socio-political landscape, a good-news story about recognition of determination and hard work to create social justice change can be just the antidote needed. “It’s incredible and awesome, and I’m thrilled to be appointed,” says Cree Elder Doreen Spence of her recent appointment to the Order of Canada. “Because Indigenous women are usually the last people to be recognized. I’m still levitating to be recognized.”
Spence’s involvement with UCalgary includes leading and participating in the Connection Circles series, co-hosted by the Alberta Indigenous Mentorship in Health Innovation (AIM-HI) Network and the Cumming School of Medicine’s (CSM) Indigenous, Local and Global Health (ILGH) Office. She leads outdoor land-based learning workshops for the AIM-HI Network. She is an active Elder in Residence with the ILGH’s Traditional Knowledge Keepers in Residence program, and was also involved in the CSM’s Indigenous Hub planning consultations.