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October 23, 2023
The Canadian Red Cross has recognized Dr. Tom Jackson, Canadian actor, musician, and activist, and Charles Weaselhead, former Blood Tribe Chief and Treaty 7 Grand Chief, as Members of the Order of Red Cross, which is the organization’s highest award for extraordinary people who have provided outstanding humanitarian service at home and abroad.
“We feel extremely thankful to have two outstanding people from Alberta – Tom Jackson and Charles Weaselhead – among the Order of Red Cross recipients this year,” said Thu Parmar, Canadian Red Cross vice president for Alberta and Northwest Territories. “They are true humanitarians who have dedicated themselves to supporting and strengthening their communities, and it is because of their extraordinary efforts that they are both being acknowledged with this honour.”
Dr. Jackson became an official ambassador for the Red Cross during the historic 2013 floods in southern Alberta. He has since visited and supported communities impacted by disasters or emergencies in communities across Canada, including the 2016 wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, the 2017 and 2018 wildfires in British Columbia, the Humboldt Bus Tragedy in Saskatchewan, the COVID-19 response where he supported the Indigenous Help Desk in 2020-21 and the YouTube airing of the 2021 Huron Carole show that raised money for flooding in B.C. He also continues to support the Canadian Red Cross with numerous fundraising efforts through songs and videos to help raise awareness for appeals such as the Nepal Earthquakes and the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis.
“This award is humbling to say the least. The reward is an acknowledgement of work that you have inspired in my life, to help the vulnerable, whomever and wherever they may be,” said Jackson. “I’m addicted to love, not the word, but the verb.”
Former Blood Tribe Chief and Treaty 7 Grand Chief Charles Weaselhead has been an integral partner with the Canadian Red Cross and the Indigenous communities in Alberta for 25 years. In 1998 as CEO of the Blood Tribe Department of Health, he formalized a Memorandum of Understanding with the Red Cross based on the mutual vision to create healthy and resilient communities through shared values, respect, and collaboration. His knowledge and experience as an Elder has also provided invaluable guidance to the Red Cross towards culturally relevant assistance and support to Indigenous communities.
“It’s my honour to be recognized for the service award from Red Cross and it certainly marks a significant milestone in my career,” said Weaselhead. “This award will be my shining light that inspires me to continue to share my values and lived experiences with our people, especially with the disadvantaged and most vulnerable in our communities. Sincerely and humbly, I wish to thank my family and peers for believing and empowering me to continue the work I do for our Indigenous communities.”
Close to 400 people have been appointed to the Order of Red Cross over the last 39 years, which recognizes outstanding performance among all volunteers through superior contributions in volunteerism or leadership from a local to a national level.
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Interview with former grand chief Charles Weaselhead
Order of Red Cross
About the Canadian Red Cross
Here in Canada and overseas, the Red Cross stands ready to help people before, during and after a disaster. As a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – which is made up of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 192 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies – the Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to helping people and communities in Canada and around the world in times of need and supporting them in strengthening their resilience.
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