Kamloops woman appointed to the order of B.C. - InfoNews

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Kamloops woman appointed to the order of B.C.

Premier John Horgan on the order of B.C.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
August 03, 2020 - 12:31 PM

A Kamloops woman whose influence can be seen throughout the province has been appointed to the order of B.C., alongside 12 others.

Ruth Williams, who was born in Big Bar Creek, received the province's highest honour today, marking a lifetime of work with indigenous people.

She was born in the remote and isolated community in the Cariboo and raised by a single mother with six other siblings, according to biographical information provided by the province.

“When she moved to an urban setting, it was a complete culture shock. She took her hardships and became a determined, visionary and selfless individual who has striven to do all within her powers and abilities to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples,” the province said in a release.

“Williams may be soft-spoken, but she has learned to stand up for what she believes and has gained the courage and confidence to speak out and be heard.”

Williams’ passion and dedication for improving the health and well-being of Indigenous children and families can be seen through involvement in numerous community and government committees for advancing a health-care system that supports Indigenous peoples; supporting families and children in care; promoting early childhood education for Indigenous children; and developing health programs and services for Indigenous peoples.

Williams is a founding member and active board member on the first Urban Native Housing Society, which has 103 affordable and safe housing units in Kamloops and 94 units within the Thompson, Okanagan and Kootenay regions.

Among many other accomplishments, her advocacy work has increased the number of Indigenous graduates and students pursuing post-secondary education and decreased the number of students dropping out of school by ensuring supports were in place for them.

 Williams’ influence is shown by the variety of awards that she has received, including an honorary doctor of laws from Thompson Rivers University and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

She received the Kamloops Rotary Club Paul Harris Award, the City of Kamloops 100 Year Confederation and Distinguished Service Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from B.C. Aboriginal Achievement Awards and numerous business awards.

In addition to Williams, others who were awarded the province’s highest honour include Shashi Assanand of Richmond Ryan Beedie of West Vancouver, Michael Bublé of Burnaby, Shirley Chan of Vancouver, Neil Cook, MGC, of Cranbrook, Paul George of Gibsons, Rusty Goepel of Vancouver, John Malcolm Horton of Delta,  Mel Krajden, Ph.D., of Vancouver, Janet Nadine Mort, Ph.D., of Brentwood Bay, Tracy Porteous of Vancouver and Carole Taylor, OC, of Vancouver.

"As the representative of the Crown in British Columbia and chancellor of the Order of British Columbia, I am delighted to welcome 13 new members to the order," Lt. Gov. Janet Austin, chancellor of the order, said in a media release.

"They have helped us to grow as a province, taught us to care for our environment, enriched our lives with literature and art, helped us to address past injustices and inspired us to become a more caring and inclusive society. To recognize these remarkable people, who are changing our communities for the better in many ways, is an honour of great personal significance to me."

This year, 160 British Columbians were nominated. The deadline for nominations was March 6, 2020. Since its inception, 460 British Columbians have been appointed to the Order of B.C. Members have been appointed from all regions of the province and in numbers generally proportionate to a region's population.

"As we celebrate B.C. Day, I want to recognize the efforts, achievements and accomplishments of this year's Order of British Columbia recipients," said Premier John Horgan. "Congratulations on receiving this well-deserved honour. Your many contributions have enriched the lives of British Columbians and helped make our province an even better place."

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